Europe

Ste Chapelle, Paris

Ste Chapelle, Paris

All the links to my European articles are below.

My first trip to Europe was with my mum and sister when I was 18. As my mum describes, I was lucky because my first European trip was more like that of a third visit, thanks to my mum’s extensive knowledge of all the countries and cities we visited in our month-long trip.  We skipped tourist hot spots like the Eiffel Tower but I learned how to differentiate between Michelin three- and two-star restaurants.  It was on this trip that I caught the travel bug and I haven’t been able to shake it since.

My mum, sister and I spent a couple weeks in Europe — Paris and Barcelona — in February 2015 to celebrate my mum’s birthday.  Don’t I have a great mum?!

A cruise ship attacking Dubrovnik (photo by RR Koops)

A cruise ship attacking Dubrovnik (photo by RR Koops)

As in the Caribbean section, I’ve not yet written about much of my European travels, and some of my visits are too old to have much relevance anyway.  But if you have questions, please feel free to ask.

CROATIA

I’ve only been to a few coastal towns, but they’re pretty lovely (at least after the monster-of-the-sea cruise ships depart).

CZECH REPUBLIC ((i.e. CZECHIA)

I’ve not yet been to the Czechia (their cool new short name, as of May 2016), but Ivan Ross Vrana has written a guest post about Culinary Prague.

FRANCE

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France is the place for food. In addition to some pretty spectacular Michelin-starred meals, I’ve also eaten the best sandwich and tomato of my life in France, and France tied with Seattle for the best peach ever.

I’ll soon be posting my research for my upcoming trip to Paris.

With thanks to Chef Chris Deraiche from my old neighbourhood haunt The Wellington Gastropub, here’s my story on chef-recommended restaurants in Nice.

ENGLAND

Check out my Scotland page.

GERMANY

GREECE

ICELAND

ITALY

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre (photo by RR Koops)

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre (photo by RR Koops)

You could explore Italy for the rest of your life and still not see it all.  I’ve sailed around the country (once with Star Clippers, once with Windstar) with stops in Venice, Taormina, Capri, Ponza, Civitavecchia, Cinque Terre, and Portofino. But most of my time has been spent in Rome and Venice.

 

MONACO

Hotel Metropole, home to Joël Robuchon’s restaurant (photo by RR Koops)

The place for yacht- and car-spotting.  And delicious food.  Joël Robuchon’s Monte Carlo is on the top of my list.

MONTENEGRO

Kotor, Montenegro (photo by RR Koops)

Kotor, Montenegro (photo by RR Koops)

Sailing through the fjords of Montenegro is stunning (keep your eye out of the hidden submarine tunnels on shore), as are the views above Kotor.

NETHERLANDS

 

PORTUGAL

One of Lisbon's many squares (photo by RR Koops)

One of Lisbon’s many squares (photo by RR Koops)

Lisbon is a walking city, my favourite kind.  I wish I had been a port drinker when I was there, but now that I’ve discovered the captivating caramel of tawny ports, I need to go back. Plus I’ve only explored one castle in the UNESCO site of Sintra.  Lisbon is a port for Windstar’s Atlantic crossing, so you can even get there without suffering the effects of jet lag; take a two-week sail and have the clock change just one hour every day or two.

The WindSurf has just 3 meters to spare when sailing under this bridge at low tide (photo by RR Koops)

The WindSurf has just 3 meters to spare when sailing under this bridge at low tide (photo by RR Koops)

SPAIN

SWITZERLAND

TURKEY

Waiting to enter the mosque, Istanbul (photo by RR Koops)

Waiting to enter the mosque, Istanbul (photo by RR Koops)

Turkey is one of my very favourite countries and I hope to go back soon.

The Turks are such a hospitable people and they have one of the finest cuisines in the world (thanks to sultans trying to keep their vast courts entertained).  The history is fascinating and sites are spectacular (underground cities, phallic towers with houses and hotels carved into them, spooky fire that comes out of the ground, white terraced pools that look as if they’re made of ice, beautiful beaches, more architecture and ruins that you can possibly see …).  And any country with a hammam is a country for me.

VATICAN CITY

photo by RR Koops

photo by RR Koops

One of the greatest museums in the world. The Sistine Chapel wasn’t that exciting, but the Raphael Rooms blew me away (as did the bizarre fact that the Vatican supposedly owns 97% of the world’s porphyry).  Read my Rome field notes for tips on the best way to see it.

 

WALES

Can I include this on the list?  I just took a day trip here whilst visiting friends of my mum who lived near the border, and I can’t remember the name of either town.

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And general stuff:

Three of my World Travel Buzz articles also talk about some European deliciousness:

What do you think? Your comments are most welcome.

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