After living in Ireland for 3 months, my friend Cassie and I decided to visit some other European countries before we headed home. (If you’d like to read about our stay in Ireland, take a look at this post.) After all, we were already over there. The next 3 weeks were amazing! We visited Amsterdam, Paris, Salzburg and Hallstatt in Austria, and spent over a week in Italy, starting in Rome and finishing up our trip in Milan. I’ve put together a dozen or so photos from each country below.
We started out in Amsterdam. I had never heard much about Amsterdam, to be honest, so I didn’t know what to expect. Cassie and I each picked two spots to travel to in Europe, and this was one of her choices. I was really impressed! Amsterdam is a beautiful city, and if you ever go, I highly recommend taking a tour in the canals to truly be able to take it all in. It’s very well preserved and maintained, and the buildings and streets are clean and beautiful. We met up with friends from Germany we met previously in Ireland. It was so nice to see them again.
After leaving Amsterdam, we headed for Paris. We got to meet some wonderful friends and stayed at their place about 40 minutes outside of Paris. I was also so impressed with Paris. There is something very special about the Eiffel Tower, something I didn’t tire of taking photos of from many different locations and angles throughout our stay. We took a day to visit Disneyland Paris, which was a lot of fun. And we couldn’t visit Paris and not go to the Louvre! It was amazing! You could easily spend a few days or even a week in there to look at everything they have on display. It’s HUGE. We also enjoyed walking around Montmartre with our new friend Meg and her friends for an afternoon. We’ve actually seen her since leaving Paris, because she came with a couple friends to the west coast for a road trip a couple months ago! It was so nice to be able to return some of the hospitality that was shown to us.
Following Paris we took a flight to Salzburg, Austria. We were able to visit a few of the many locations where The Sound Of Music was filmed, museums such as the house where Mozart was born, and walk their old town streets. They also have a large castle called Fortress Hohensalzburg. It’s one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. The first day or two it rained, but the rest of our stay had great weather. On our last day in Austria we took a train to the beautiful lakeside village of Hallstatt. This place is straight out of a storybook, with old charming 16th century Alpine homes everywhere.
Finally, my favorite leg of the journey- more than a week spent traveling through Italy. I love Italy. It lived up to and even exceeded my expectations. We began by flying into Rome and spent a day there, drove a couple days through Tuscany, stopped in Florence, visited the 5 beach towns of Cinque Terre, headed north to see Lake Como, and finally spent the day in Milan before flying home. In Rome and Milan we made some more new friends, which was wonderful. It’s great to have friends across the world. It’s also great to have friends as guides who know the area to show you around. What an amazing old country Italy is. Of course, the food was spectacular. If I could pick one country to return to, I would pick Italy.
As someone who has always lived in Southern California her whole life, and never had to take public transportation, the hustle and bustle of traveling via public transport was something I really enjoyed. There’s something more adventurous about being able to hop on and off the trains, buses, and subways as you explore a city. For my first trip leaving America, this was an amazing way to begin my travels. I hope one day I will be able to continue to travel some more. Let me know if you have any recommendations for my next adventure!
If you’d like to read about my stay in Ireland please use this link: