Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My European Vacation

I just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe. It was fabulous! We started off in Munich, then went to Milan then Rome. After a few days in Rome, we took a week long cruise that stopped in Genoa, Cannes/Monaco, Barcelona, Mallorca, and Valencia. We were in Rome for a few more days after the cruise ended and finally spent a couple of days in Barcelona.

Here are a few outtakes from the trip:


As wonderful as seeing Germany is, the real reason I wanted to go to Munich was to visit Danny of Bewitched Bookworms. Danny and I (and our husbands) spent the weekend together. They were such great hosts!

We loved Munich. It was so interesting and also felt really livable. It was our favorite place that we visited in Europe.

Danny and Me
We saw all the highlights of Munich, including the city center cuckoo clock tower, lots of churches, the Hofbrahaus, the Viktualienmarket, the spot where Octoberfest is held, Nymphemburg Palace, and much more. On Sunday, we drove out to Chiemsee, a beautiful lake with one of King Ludwig II's palaces.


Our next several days were spent in Milan, where my husband attended a conference. There's not a huge amount to do in Milan other than shopping. I enjoyed walking around the main shopping areas and loved looking at the Duomo - the big Cathedral. 


We took the train to Rome on Thursday. We had a day and a half before our cruise and then another two and a half days in Rome after our cruise. We filled our time with lots of site-seeing and great food. We saw the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, and much more.

The Colosseum
The Trevi Fountain
Vatican Square

Our first cruise stop was a little underwhelming. Actually, I think Genoa would be a very cool place, but not on Sunday, when everything is closed. Still, we got to see some nice Cathedrals and Christopher Columbus's house.

Cathedral of San Lorenzo
Christopher Columbus's house

We did a cruise excursion to Monaco when we were docked in Cannes. Unfortunately, it was raining torrentially so we didn't get to see as much. I wish we'd docked in Nice, so we would have had time to look around there.

Monaco/Monte Carlo
Princess Grace's grave

The Spanish island is a popular vacation spot. There's not that much to see in the town, but just enough. I wish we'd had time to go to the beach too.

Palma de Mallorca Cathedral
Old Mallorca castle

The third largest city in Spain isn't exactly a tourist mecca. We did see a nice cathedral, a great market, and a really cool silk market. But what I'll remember of Valencia is our lunch. We went to Carosel and got a 3 course meal for about the equivalent of $20 each. The best part was the paella, a dish that originated in Valencia.

Gazpacho, fried fish, something with pumpkin in it, squid salad, and bread with tomato
Paella with fish and garbanzo beans

The last few days of our trip were in Barcelona. It was quite an adventure getting there. We took the train from Rome to the airport. When the train stopped at the airport, I fell back and hit my tailbone really hard on the armrest. The shock of the pain from that caused me to faint! I got to ride in an authentic Italian ambulance. It was very exciting, other than the extreme tailbone pain and nausea. Luckily, I was fine and we actually still made our plane.

We loved Barcelona. It was a close second or maybe a tie with Munich for our favorite place. There's so much to see. We loved La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's unfinished cathedral), all the Gaudi architecture, the Barri Gotic and more. The food was great too.

La Sagrada Familia
The interior of La Sagrada Familia

The Catalan flag - September 11 is their independence day and more than a million people were on the streets demonstrating for independence.
Churros y xocolata
Guell Parc - designed by Gaudi
 We had such a good time in Europe. Three weeks was a little bit long for my taste, but I can't wait to get back to the continent again!

Have you been to Europe? Or do you live in Europe? What's your favorite place to visit?


  1. I am simmering in jealousy right now! :)

    I lived in Germany for a portion of my childhood. Best memories EVAR! I'm dying to go back there someday.

  2. OoOOOo!!!! I LOVED having you here! It was a wonderful weekend and we had so much fun! so happy you loved Munich :))

    The rest of the trip looks equally awesome and I'm happy you had such a great time! You and Scott are welcome here any day! :)

  3. I love Europe! My favorite place is Giverny, France, which is the home of Claude Monet. It is wonderful to see whee he painted and lived. He created wet and dry gardens and the real Japanese water bridge is just as stunning in person. Looks like you had a magical time!! Great photos.

  4. Oh, I was hoping you would post pictures of your trip!! Good grief, the architecture is just insane! How come we don't build buildings like this anymore? It's a shame. I've only been to France once, but I would love to see all of Europe at some point! And ouch! I've hit my tailbone really hard before and I know your pain.

  5. I live in Italy in a city near Genoa:) I hope you enjoyed the great italian food:)

  6. I live in Europe, in Spain. I didn't visited a lot of places of my country, I only visited Madrid and Asturias. But I'll like visit Barcelona, Valencia (like you) and return again to Madrid. This travel will be in some years I suppose, the next summer I hope will travel to Canada in the summer for celebrate the finish of my studies in high school. Great post. Kiss :)

  7. You had such a great time (except for the injury, sorry to hear abut that :/ )
    I live in Croatia and I've been to most of the places you mention. Barcelona is amazing, I hope you had the pleasure of seeing the fountains at night. I loved Monaco and Cannes, that's a bummer about the rain.
    And it's awesome that you and Danny met up!

  8. Wow! Sounds like an amazing trip!! Munich is a cool city and it sounds like you had a great tour guide! :)

  9. YOU GOT TO VISIT WITH DANNY!!!! So jealous right now, you don't even know. Munich is definitely on my to-visit list as well as pretty much every other place you visited. Except for the Italian ambulance and hospital. I think I can avoid that. Hope your tailbone is recovering! What a fabulous trip--thanks for sharing.

  10. Sounds like you got to see lots of places in only three weeks! I absolutely love Italy and hope to go back someday. I've been to Spain about five or six times. Loved it there. Especially Barcelona, which was amazing. And wow you got to ride in an Italian ambulance. I guess that's not what you'd pictured when you were planning your trip to Europe and I'm glad you're okay!

    I'm from The Netherlands myself and I visited Amsterdam for the second time in my life last Saturday. There's so much to see and do here in Europe!

    Do you think you'll visit Europe again sometime?

  11. I'm glad that you had a wonderful trip! I would love to travel around the world someday. Amazing pictures :)

  12. Grrr. I had my comment all written out and Blogger died on me.

    Anyway, it looks and sounds like you had a great time! Loved living vicariously through your experiences and looking at all your awesome pictures.

    I'm glad you made it home in one piece too! Welcome back! :D

  13. Wow those pictures make me itch for my passport and carry-on! I loved my visits to Europe. I've only been to London, Paris, Madrid, Granada, and Cordova. I really want to go to Istanbul as I hear it's beautiful and rich in history.

  14. JEALOUS!!!! Sounds like you had such an amazing trip Alison:) And you got to spend time with Danny, lucky you! The hubs and I got to go to Palma, Rome, and Barcelona last year and loved every second of it. The Sagrada Familia was absolutely unbelievable wasn't it? I took hundreds of pictures there I think. I couldn't stop myself. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures, they make me want to go back asap!

  15. Wow, you got to see the Sagrada Familia and didn't get pickpocketed? I'm glad you had a good trip.

  16. Wow! What an amazing trip! And you got to see Danny! That's awesome.

    Sorry you hurt your tailbone so badly. That must have been so stressful, especially in another country.

  17. wow that trip looks amazing. No I haven't been to Europe. Loved the picture of the shoes :)

    looks like a amazing time and proably different from where you are living now :)

  18. Wow. Looks like a great trip. What a wonderful experience. We went 14 years ago -- Rome, Paris, London, and Venice in 11 days. It was awesome, but I REALLY need to go back. There's just so much to see. Glad you are home safely.

  19. I've been to all those places except for Mallorca and Monaco. I used to live in Europe, but I moved back to the United States since then. I would so love to go back to Europe, but I'm glad you enjoyed your trip!

  20. Wow! That sounds like you covered an awhul lot of ground! I personally love Europe and have been there quiter a few times.
    Let's see. I've been to England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.
    Out of all those places, Scotland has felt the most like home to me. But I'd have to say the most memorable place I visited was Romania. It was like stepping back in time to the middle ages.
    I am leaving for Germany myself on Friday for two weeks and am really looking forward to the time away.
    I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip!
    Tammy @

  21. Oh wow! You went on my dream trip! I have never been to Europe but want to so so bad! And I'm jealous you got to visit Danny! That's definitely a planned stop if I ever get over there. No, when I DO get over there! Thanks for sharing with us! I have to live with living vicariously through others trips for now.

  22. Those pictures are so beautiful. I've never gone to Europe, but I have been to both Mexico and Canada. Mexico has some gorgeous beaches. Went snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas and loved every second.

  23. So gorgeous!!! I'm dying to travel! Glad you had a great time!

  24. *o*
    So. Jealous. I've never been to Europe, but it's one of my life goals to go :)

  25. Europe is GORGEOUS.
    I went there this February and have been pining for it ever since!!
    Awesome pics! :)
    Addie @ READioactive

  26. Wow this looks fantastic! Your pictures are so great! I would LOVE to go to Europe, especially London. So glad you had a great time!

  27. What an amazing trip! Lucky you :-)

    I've never left the US (I hate flying) but we do travel quite a bit. One day I'll be brave enough lol

    I love all your pictures. thanks for sharing.

  28. I haven't been to Europe but I love traveling and I've recently come back to the US from a living in China.

    I Loved all of your pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful!

    Please stop by and visit
    Confessions of An Angry Girl
    Mad Scientist @ Steampunkery & Book Reviews

  29. I've been to Italy, France, and England. At least those are the trips I can remember. Technically my parents took me to a few more countries when I was only a year old, but I can't quite remember that.

    Anyways I've loved every European country I've been to, and I can't wait to go back and visit more.

  30. Ooh pictures! The architecture of the buildings are so gorgeous. I am of course jealous that you got to go to so many lovely places on your trip and hope to take a trip like this some day ^_^. Was the language barrier ever a big issue? I hope your tail bone is all healed up now!

    When you return to the continent what other places would you like to visit?


  31. Oh wow, so many fabulous places! Gotta love all the gorgeous architecture in Europe. I've been to England, but I'd love to visit mainland Europe, especially Holland, where my family is from.

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