Our Two Week European Getaway
Well it’s been one month since we’ve been back from Europe, and I still think about how much I miss the culture and European lifestyle everyday. The post vacation withdrawal has been real… so real that during my free time I casually look up plane ticket prices to go back. 🤣It was truly an amazing experience and vacation. Having the chance to explore so many different countries and see so many historical landmarks in a span of two weeks is something I am so thankful for! In the beginning of July, we flew out to Barcelona, Spain to board a cruise ship that set sail to: Nice, France; Monaco; Lucca, Italy; Pisa, Italy; Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Santorini, Greece; and Valletta, Malta. To say that it was a trip of a lifetime would be an understatement. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a taste of the Mediterranean! So please prepare for all the photos you’re about to see…
Our first day was in Nice, France and Monaco. The only other part of France I had gotten to visit was Paris, so I was excited to see what the coast of France was like. Walking around, I was just amazed by all the beautiful, warm-colored buildings and the fact that it was all so clean! They had a Farmer’s Market happening in the center of town where we bought some fresh chocolate croissants to munch on. We even came across a flea market right by the farmer’s market where vendors sold vintage french prints and books. Of course I couldn’t leave without buying something! While walking around we found the cutest cookie/coffee shop called Emilie and the Cool Kids - just scroll down to drool at the pictures of the cookies! While in Monaco, we did not stop inside the Monte Carlo, but opted for wandering around the town and stopping inside the Christian Dior Museum which was absolutely beautiful! They had a special exhibit dedicated to Grace Kelly and her timeless style and marriage to Prince Rainier III.
The second port on our cruise was in Lucca and Pisa, Italy. Our day started off real gloomy, which we totally did not mind, because it really helped us from getting too hot. Of course, the architecture nerd in me was freaking out over all the intricately designed buildings. While exploring the city, it started to rain and thunder a bit, so we took this as an opportunity to explore inside the St. Martin Cathedral. Afterwards, we were ready for some lunch and decided to stop at a local eatery for some pizza, pasta, and bruschetta. While we were waiting for our food, it started pouring and thundering like crazy!! So we had to race inside and grab our food to-go. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, the rain stopped and the sun came back out.
These photos were literally taken 15 minutes apart!
And then it was on to Pisa, where something real special happened… ❤️But I’m saving that story for another blog post. ;) We obviously had to take the classic holding the leaning tower picture because we are basic like that. Honestly it was not as easy to get as I was expecting! A lot of people were standing on these rounded platforms, so I figured for my picture I would do the same, but honestly it was really hard to get up there and stay up there so if you’re looking to take that picture as well, I suggest maybe not standing on those platforms haha.
Our third port our trip was in Rome, Italy. This was our hottest day of our whole trip, but our most sight seeing filled. We were lucky to get to see so many of the historical sights in just one day and grab a couple of gelatos along the way! We did not go inside the Colosseum as the line for tickets to go inside was HUGE, but honestly just seeing the outside of it was inspiring enough. The Trevi Fountain was insanely crowded, but when it comes to taking pictures, as long as you get it shot in that right angle, it will be as if no one else is really there with you. We even got to visit the Vatican City, and would have loved to explore St. Peter’s Basilica, but unfortunately we were told the line was way too long so we opted out. It will definitely be a must-do for us on our next trip to Rome though.
Next stop was Athens, Greece where we explored the Acropolis. Walking around and admiring the remains of these ancient buildings was absolutely surreal. Again, the architecture nerd in me was freaking out. It does get pretty packed here as you hike up the ruins and the marble stone can be very slippery to walk across, so be sure to wear good walking shoes!
Our fifth destination was Mykonos, Greece. Now while it is hard to just pick one favorite spot from our whole trip, I must say Mykonos is pretty high up there! Our excursion for the day allowed us to visit one of the local beaches, Kalafatis Beach. The water was crystal clear and they had lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent for only €25. From the beach, there was a resort with a restaurant that overlooked the beach called Aphrodite Mykonos Hotel where we stopped for a little snack. After a few hours at the beach, we walked around the town of Mykonos to do some shopping and more eating.
Santorini was next up on our trip and my goodness was it breathtaking! Honestly, the pictures do not do it justice. I could have very easily stayed there a whole week and still have wanted to stay longer and see more. I had seen so many pictures on Pinterest of those iconic white buildings with the blue domes, but seeing them in person was surreal! Here we got to try some VERY yummy gelato at Solo Gelato and I tried my very first gyro at Meat Corner Grill (AMAZING!). We even got to do a little bit of wine tasting at Santo Wines.
Our final stop on our trip was in Malta, where we got to see the city of Mdina and Valleta. Mdina, also known as the silent city, was a dream to walk through. The whole city was so quiet and being surrounded by ancient, Baroque architecture had me falling in love with every part of it. One thing that was so interesting to see was that on all of the Maltese homes, the front doors were adorned by unique door knockers. After exploring Mdina, we then ventured off to Valletta where we visited St. John’s Co-Cathedral. This is a must-see for anyone in Malta. The interior is extravagant and you will find Caravaggio’s biggest and only signed painting hanging inside. For lunch, we stopped at the oldest cafe in Malta, Caffe Cordina where I ordered an aperol spritz and the salmon bagel. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to gelato yet, so we had our final cone at Cafe Capitolino, which was some of my favorite gelato from the trip.
It’s so crazy to think that in just two weeks we were able to explore seven different countries! Now that we had the chance to get a taste of so many wonderful destinations, we can really start planning where we would definitely want to go back. While I absolutely loved all the ports, I would have to say Mykonos and Santorini were probably my favorite, and definitely want to plan a trip back there soon! If you visited any part of the Mediterranean, let me know down in the comments section where you went!