Epic Europe Trip March 2018

I can’t believe it’s already been 2 months since my husband and I took our epic trip to Europe. We traveled to London, Paris , Rome, Alberobello and Berlin. 4 countries in 14 days. Originally it was supposed to be 17 days but we came home early because it was a lot to take in and accomplish. But we had a blast and I am so grateful I was able to experience these 4 countries with my husband. We started our trip on March 6th and traveled from Buffalo NY with a rental car to Toronto Ontario. We found that it was much cheaper to do it this way rather than leaving from Buffalo and flying to JFK then to London. We left Toronto at around 8:30 at night and arrived in London the next day in the morning so we had the whole day to explore. We packed hiking back packs and it worked for some parts but other parts I wish I had a regular suit case because I could barely carry mine so my husband was carrying both and I would have the carry on’s most of the time. We made it work and we ended up buying a small carry on in Rome to use to get wine and olive oil home. That’s where my priorities were when I was in Italy.

First stop London.

We spent the day in London and made a lot of ground. I had to have fish and chips for lunch we went to Richoux and then stopped at a local bakery. There is way more things to see in London than I realized so we missed a lot of good stuff. We did well considering we had 24 hours pretty much and we had to deal with jet lag. Big Ben was unfortunately under construction of course. We still saw it since we were right near the Palace of Westminster. We walked so much that day.  We rode the London Eye and that was a great experience. I am not a height person so at one point I had to sit down and play with my phone so I wouldn’t look up at how high I was. It freaked me out! It was absolutely amazing though. I do not regret it. I am actually glad I forced myself to go and I know my husband really enjoy it especially since I couldn’t make it to the top of the Eiffel Tower…

I so badly wish we had more time in London. I think it is an amazing city and I love the people there. They were so nice and welcoming. I love the royal history behind it all. It is so fascinating. We saw Buckingham Palace and were able to experience the change of guards. Some how my phone video tapped it upside down so I am so mad because apparently you can’t rotate videos on iPhone…. My husband and I ended up having Italian food for dinner that night at Hai Cenato. I know totally not the typical food we should have experienced but it was really good. We stayed at the Rydges Hotel for our first night. It was a cute small hotel. We noticed that all of Europe likes to sleep with high heat at night during the winter months.Which makes sense but I am talking 23 degrees Celsius which is 74 degrees Fahrenheit. This made for some restless nights.

We traveled to Paris on day 2 and when we landed and rode in our uber to our hotel Hotel Les Theatres. Our uber driver was nice but very aggressive when it came to driving. I was actually concerned for our safety because he was very upset with someone who kept cutting him off and he would speed up and try to make sure this guy couldn’t get in front of him it was honestly a little obnoxious. I just wanted to get to our hotel safely. I was just shocked at how aggressive he was. The couple of ubers we did take they were all very aggressive and kind of mean. When we arrived to our hotel it was very small but super cute. Lots of red and black details. The receptionist was so kind and she knew some english which was helpful. I so enjoyed listening to her talk though in french. It was beautiful. After we got settled in we made our way to a restaurant for our first crepes. If you are in Paris you definetly need to check this place out. It is cash only but it was delicious. The name of the place was Creperie Saint Eustache. They don’t have a website so I linked trip advisor and there’s a picture of the outside of it. It is so quaint. The crepes were phenomenal. After we had crepes we checked out the Musee du Louvre. It is a popular art museum. You could spend a whole day in that place there is so much to see. It was amazing. We did catcha glimpse of the Effile tower outside which was cool because thats what I really wanted to see and I had to take advantage of a cute picture with my husband as well. See pictures below of our time in Paris.

We had mexican for dinner in Paris and you may say “What the heck?” “Why mexican?” A coworker of my husbands recommended it because they came across it when they were in Paris traveling. If you didn’t know about it you would totally walk by it. I totally recommend you check this place out too. They had minimal seating but they had a bar in the back that had a really cool vibe to it. If I hadn’t had 2 margaritas already I would have totally stayed for another drink but what ever tequila they use or however much they use it was strong! The name of this place was Candelaria. I tried beef tongue for the first time after having a pork taco. I couldn’t believe that it was some of the best mexican food I have ever had. This owner was so kind and talented. I was so impressed. I asked her how to say phenomenal in French because we loved it so much. We walked to Catedral de Notre Dame Paris after. This church is stunning outside and inside. I made a donation so I could light a candle in honor of a few of my family members that have passed away.

On our last day in Paris we went to the Eiffel Tower the statue of liberty and a wine museum. The Eiffel tower is more stunning in person and at night. I am so grateful I was able to experience both versions. During the day and night. We only made it to the first level even after I had a glass of champagne to hopefully calm me down since I do not like heights. I definitely needed 2 or 3 glasses if I wanted to grow the gumption to go all the way to the top. It was amazing the little bit we did see. From there we walked to the Statue of Liberty. It was pretty cool but definetly thought it was going to be a little more exciting. It is small and its on such a high pedestal that you couldn’t get a decent picture. After this we walked to the wine museum. Musee du Vin Paris it was a neat spot. It felt like we were in a cave which I guess we were kind of since it was built into the side of the hill. We had a wine tasting after of a white wine that was delicious. I was hoping there was going to be more to the tasting aspect of it like 2 to 3 tastings. They didn’t have a lot of the information through out in the museum in english. I wish they would have because it would have been consistent with the rest of the tour since some of  the information had English versions to read. It was fascinating to learn about how far back wine went. After the museum we ate our weight in crepes again. Thats all I would go back to Paris for honestly. I wasn’t impressed by the people and their hospitality. I felt like it was this terrible thing because we didn’t know how to speak their exact language. This crepe place was so good though. I had a cappucino and a savory and sweet crepe. Framboise Passy Trocadero was the name of the crepe place. It seemed to be the place for kids to come after school to hang out and have a crepe. I miss the crepes. We ended our last day in Paris by touring the Arc de Triomphe and we climbed to the top to look at the amazing views. It was absolutely stunning.

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From Paris we traveled to Rome. I was in heaven. I love Italy. I have traveled to northern Italy before when I was in college I did a 10 day culinary tour. Rome and visiting Alberobello in Italy were my favorite part of the trip. Rome had more of a romantic vibe to me rather than Paris and Paris is the city of love. On our first day we went to a place for pizza. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the name nor did I tag it in a Facebook post and I am so mad I didn’t do it because it was the best pizza I have ever had. Even with having been in Italy before. We tried to see the Colosseum the first night but they close at 4. So we wandered around after lunch. We had dinner at a restaurant that we went back to a second time the next night it was so good. I loved the owner she was so sweet and bubbly. I asked both nights for recommendation on wine and we even bought a bottle from her to take home. The name of the restaurant is L’ Archetto di Cavour . I am actually shocked at the negative reviews on yelp about this restaurant. My husband and I had a totally different experience and I am so glad we had a great experience and enjoyed the food. The owner makes a lot of the food by hand. On our second night at the restaurant she offered us complimentary house made limoncello and I was so happy because that’s one of my favorite things. The hotel we stayed in was good but the website pictures did not match what the rooms actually looked like. It really wasn’t too bad at Hotel Nord Nuova Rom they offered a complimentary breakfast as well. The last full day in Rome we stopped by the Trevi Fountain. That is really stunning in person. For some reason in my head I thought it was in a bigger area. Definitely crowded with rude people because everyone is trying to get the perfect picture and the perfect picture of throwing a coin in the fountain. I highly suggest if you want this type of picture that you go early in the morning and maybe even possibly late at night before the sun goes down. This is also a good spot for pick pocketers which is a problem in general in Italy and Paris. After that we went to our 4 hour tour of the Colosseum. Oh my gosh that was phenomenal. The tour guide we had was so descriptive. He was really nice too. He really knew his history about the Roman Empire. He pointed out the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered and where his wife cleaned his body. Which is so crazy to me to have been right next to the spot where this all happened and went down in history. We had to buy carry on bag and I was able to buy a nice leather purse while we were in Rome. I can’t wait to go back to Rome again one day with my husband. It is absolutely beautiful. 

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From Rome we traveled to a town called Alberobello. I wanted to visit this town because this is where my family is from in Italy. I am so grateful I was able to have 2 nights in this town. It is small but absolutely beautiful with all the trulli houses covering it. Alberobello is 45 minutes from Bari Italy and is in the heal of the boot of Italy. Alberobello is known for the trulli houses because of the cone shaped roofs and white washed stone. We stayed in one of the trulli houses. Besides my pictures I posted definitely google Alberobello and check out the pictures of the town and the Puglia area. Definitely not as many people who speak English but that’s totally ok. We navigated pretty well but I definitely had a culture shock once we got there because the credit card machine wasn’t working at check in and we were low on euros so my anxiety was going through the roof. Luckily we still had a nice time and the credit card machine was working at check out. We ate local food and wine and tried to adventure around the small town as much as possible. We stayed at Trulli E Puglia Vacanze. On our first night my travel anxiety really set in and what brought me comfort was actually seeing double rainbows. We were checking out the gift shops and it randomly started to rain and it didn’t last long and when we walked out of the gift shop there were 2 rainbows next to each other and I just got so emotional because I never see double rainbows unless it’s something important and I just knew it was my grandma and aunt saying hi and welcome to our home. It was amazing.

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From Alberobello we had a night in Rome that was quick and not that eventful and we just had dinner at our hotel and then we traveled to Berlin Germany the next day. Berlin Germany was very cool. I am sorry if my description of places is the same each time I am trying to branch out with my vocabulary but sometimes I can’t think of a word to describe it besides cool. I found Germany a little depressing feeling because of the horrific history attached to it. I didn’t exactly want to start this section with “Germany is depressing!” but that’s the vibe my husband and I both got. I mean it is a great city but every where you turn you are reminded of what happened. The reason for this trip was for a wedding we were invited to in Berlin so we made it a big trip to travel to other countries besides just Germany.  It was a unique experience to be apart of a German wedding. Yes we didn’t understand everything but it was still a beautiful day. We stayed at the ibis Berlin City Potsdamer Platz. The local food was so good as well as the wine. I prominently had Rieslings. One of the restaurants we went to was Stone Brewing. This location is absolutely stunning how they have it decorated. I couldn’t believe how woodsy it felt and looked. I ate my weight in sausage and sauerkraut in Germany. We visited a memorial for the Jews that were killed in the holocaust which was really moving. We also saw victory tower.

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We were supposed to have one more evening in London but our flight from Berlin to London was delayed and we didn’t get in till 10 and we ended up ordering pizza in. I was so bummed because I was looking forward to one last night but we were leaving the next day. The hotel we stayed in was beautiful. Actually one of the better ones we stayed in.

I can’t wait to experience another trip to Europe. My husband and I love to travel so I wonder where we will head to next! I am off to Oregon this week to visit friends and family.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave comments about your experiences in these cities or questions.

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