A trip around Europe is a backpacker right of passage, especially if you’re an Aussie. Staying in hostels, bumping into the same people on same route and exploring the other side of the world.
Most enter through the gateway of Amsterdam, a city whose liberal attitude may appear shocking to most, intriguing to some and even normal to others.
I remember the flatness of Holland and the smallness of Belgium where you could pass through it and be in 3 countries in one day. There is the beauty of the canals of Bruges and the discovery of Italy, where every city is different.
There is the history of Rome and Pompeii, the craziness of Venice and the little gems you find along the way, like Verona. And then there are more ruins in Athens.
It’s the Asian culture of Istanbul that leaves you wanting more and the bleakness of Eastern Europe on the cusp of Russia. Closely followed by the opulence of Vienna.
Then there is the gothic wonderland of Prague, before finishing off with party time in Berlin.
My first trip to Europe still lives brightly in my memory, even though it was taken a lifetime ago. Each country had a different culture, language and even a different currency.
No matter how many times I go to Europe, there always seems to be more to see.
I have never been to Scandinavia, Liechtenstein or Poland. I missed Ghent in Belgium and countless other places in Italy.
Like Cinque Terre, Siena and the Amalfi coast. I never got to properly taste wine in Tuscany, see the fountains at Tivoli or go to the island of Sicily.
I missed out on visiting an island in Greece, I’m sure Eastern Europe is quite different now to what it was then; and the Cesky Kromlov seems to be the place to go now instead of Prague.
I know there is more to Germany than just Berlin, like Dresden, seeing Sleeping Beauty’s castle and shopping at a Christmas market.
I can’t wait for my next magical European experience even if it is not in the near future, because a continent this diverse is definitely worth waiting for.