10 Reasons I love Traveling Europe

There are more reasons to travel to Europe than we can count. Why? It’s a destination like no other in the world. Vivid scenery of the snow-capped Bavarian Alps, or ancient ruins of Pompeii to Notre Dame its beauty at its best. Food is so incredibly delicious you savor every bite. It’s no wonder more tourists are flocking to Europe every year. You couldn’t contain the all reasons to visit in one single article let alone a book. Instead I will list some of my favorite reasons of why it draws our hearts and imaginations to visit.

10 Reasons

A Man’s Home is His Castle

What do you think of when you hear the word castle? Disneyland? Royal kings and queens? Dungeons and Dragons or historic tales of the past? The allure of European castles are not just about the architecture, but the romance of lives lived long ago. From the time you reach the grand entrance of the castle you know there are stories of historic proportion. Battles, love, hate, intrigue, deception, extravagant parties, conspiracy, scamming and scheming, even murder! These are just a few of the events that have happened over the centuries behind the walls of the hold. Entering the castle you can’t help but notice how opulent the decor is, from floor to ceiling is almost overwhelming. Some castles are built with hand carved woods adorned with intricate golden filigree. Or gleaming crystal chandeliers in the main ballroom with hand carved mythical gods bent over holding up the ceiling. Walls plastered with paintings of the past rulers and top achievements in their lives. While others are abandoned rock and concrete structures behind tall walls of protection. Towers that lead to the ramparts where you can see imposing invaders hell-bent on overtaking the region. Castle’s are found throughout Europe so wherever your destination leads you there should be one fairly close to visit.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria Germany

A hike up the hills behind Neuschwanstein Castle gives you this amazing view . Its worth the effort to see it in its full glory! Now you see why there are many reasons to visit!

You will be ruined for more after this

All you want to do is just run your hands down the tall ancient columns to get a feel of the past. Reaching high into the sky and once very ornate the temple ruins must have been a jewel to see for their time. Deeply etched marble carvings of past battles, mythological hero’s and love stand out along the roofline also called the Pedimental Triangle. Realistic statues sitting in their rounded coves dominate the facade. You need a few minutes to take it all in and imagine what the buildings looked like during their bustling heyday. Walking down once busy hallways its strange but you can almost invasion long robed priests with leafy wreaths on the heads walking through the hallways. Vestal virgins keeping the goddess Vesta’s fire burning for fear they would be put to death if it went out. People lining up outside the temple to give their offerings and vendors selling sacrificial animals to those who didn’t bring their offering with them. But now we look at what is left of a once busy and vibrant city and see beauty and history.

 

The temple of Hera in Agrigento

The temple of Hera in Agrigento.

 

Take Your Pick

When planning your trip you need to make the choice on where to go. That’s half the fun! Are you looking for romance? Paris, Venice and Prague should be at the top of your list. Walking along the River Seine at sunset as the lights in Notre Dame glow onto the smooth water is a good start. Take in the view of the Eiffel Tower from top of Notre Dame Cathedral, or the soaring views over Paris at Sacre Coeur. Rome has a “WOW” factor of 10 when you first set your eyes on the Roman Coliseum, almost crying the first time you look up at Michelangelo’s ceiling masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel. Take a ride on the London Eye and get an eye full of the city. Afterwards fill up on world renown British fish and chips at a local pub or getting your shop on at Harrod’s. Take a nice, easy bike ride along the Netherland’s bike route or be serenaded by a gondolier while floating in gondola at Venice. Ride a funicular up to Anacapri on the Isle of Capri. Mountain climbing for the adventurous, or snow skiing the Bavarian Alps maybe even rafting down the Dordogne River is your idea of a fun trip. You can always find excitement and fun in Europe.

 

Nortre Dame looking over the River Seine at night

Nortre Dame looking over the River Seine at night has to be one of the most romantic views anywhere.

Gondola's tied up along one of the canals of Venice

Gondolas and canals are what makes Venice a desirable destination not to be missed.

One of the many fountains you will find as you walk around the streets of Rome.

One of the many fountains you will find as you walk around the streets of Rome.

 

All Squared Up

Europe has one thing over other continents, the Old Town Squares. Slender cobblestone streets filter into the most historic section of the town where you will often find the city hall, town clock, statues and fountains.Restaurants with umbrella tables filled with patrons sipping a cappuccino sitting back in a relaxing atmosphere. Although it’s probably the busiest place in the city it’s also the closest you will get to the culture of the locals. This is the place where you will see how they react with each other and how they dress. Outdoor concerts are quite popular and can draw a crowd quickly. Quite a few town squares will have a vibrant market with local produce and stalls that sell leathers, clothing, local arts, and foods. Christmas time brings a whole new atmosphere too with brightly decorated kiosks selling colorful and sometimes unusual ornaments, and interesting gifts to bring back home. The aroma of apple strudel, gingerbread and hot mulled wines beckon you to the booth to give them a try. Town squares will have a historic church that was the gathering place of the people when the town began. The bells from the church ring, echoing through the streets let you know that this is Europe.

A Night at the Museum

History buff? Art connoisseur? Statue observer? Europe has some of the most interesting and historic relics in the world. The art we grew up learning about in school are there for us see with our own eyes. Who wouldn’t want to see the statue of Venus or the first machine to create chocolate? One of my favorites is a large Renoir in Amsterdam where the painted glass goblets looked so real you felt you could take one down and drink from it. The original fortress of Paris is still standing below the Louvre Museum in Paris not to mention Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Like a little tech with your museum visit? Deutsches Museum in Munich is dedicated to scientific marvels. Love aircraft, locomotives and vintage vehicles you can see the history of transportation at the Technik Museum Speyer. A trip to a museum will enhance not only your interests but also your vacation.

 

Statue of a woman kneeling down from the Renaissance period in a museum in Europe

The artists of the time had incredible talents for their time.

Floating Down a River

Danube, Rhine, Seine, Dordogne, bike paths that takes days. Long lazy delta’s that merge into rivers that pass by tree-lined villages with half-timbered buildings. The town square clock towers dominate the skyline dotted with white puffy clouds. A regional train sounding the horn to let drivers know they are coming into town. Sailing around a wide bend in the river atop a sandstone ridge is a small abandoned castle and if the sun is just right leaves a colorful reflection on the water. Villages lit up at night outlining the historic buildings.

 

River cruise ship on the Danube River

Sailing on a River Cruise down the Danube you see small villages along the way. This one is Durnstein not too far from Vienna

 

The Blue Church tower in Durnstein Austria

You can’t miss the church of Durnstein as you pass by and Richard the Lion Heart’s castle ruins on the hill. This will give you an idea of the special places you visit on a river cruise.

 

Dance Until Dawn

Some travelers don’t get going until the sun goes down. With bars and night clubs in many cities staying open until the sun comes up there is a lot of partying to do. Prague is famous for its jazz clubs, Paris wild rock and dancing, Barcelona has easy to eat tapas and drinks, sit in St. Mark’s Square listening to music with a glass of local wine.

 

Band playing at a bar

A local band playing in a smaller bar brought in a large local crowd. We had to laugh as we were in London and they played Country and were good!

 

Parks and Recreation

No one can do it better than Europe for fantastical gardens. Versailles tops the list for palatial opulence. Wander through hidden coves where the affluent would have their romantic trysts, mythical fountains around every corner, marble statues popping up when you least expect it and vivid florals strategically planted for added effect. Schönbrunn historic zoo lies underneath the Gloriette where you can sit with a local beer up on the hill on a sunny day enjoying the view of the palace and gardens. Sanssoucci Palace Gardens near Potsdam has miles of flat trails in trees and hidden gardens. The Tea House is a nice stop and the Chinese House is a stunner with oriental flare and golden rococo decor. There are so many impressive parks and gardens throughout Europe its hard to pick a favorite.

 

View of the gardens between Schönbrunn Palace and the Gloriette in Vienna Austria

The gardens between Schönbrunn Palace and the Gloriette up on the hill behind. Just this little view shows you how well kept gardens are in Europe

Mountains of Fun

Snow capped rugged mountains call out to sports enthusiasts from all over the world. Winter olympics are not only held in the Alps but training camps for hopefuls are held throughout the year. Although professionals spend a lot of time in the Alps it won’t stop adventurers from having their fun too. Skiing the number one winter sport has half-timbered villages where you leave your hotel front door and you are on the slopes. Summer months cater to hikers, cyclists, fishing in the alpine lakes and fishing.

 

Mountain lake in the Alps

Hiking, fishing, mountain lakes and views. That is why we love visiting the mountains of Europe.

Calling all shopaholics!

Leaving the best for last, you can’t visit Europe without at least one shopping spree! Europe has the most desirable shops with regional specialties you just can’t pass up. Murano glass from Venice, Belgian Lace throughout Belgium, Bohemian Crystal from Prague, hand carved wood from Oberammergau. Students learning the art of wood carving are trained for years in Oberammergau. Cuckoo clocks and drindls from Bavaria or Limoncello from Sicily, inlaid woods from Sorrento, Italian Gold and chic fashions from Florence and Milan. Herring from Sweden and Calvados from Normandy. This is barely touching the shopping market in Europe but you get the idea, lots of fun things can be found on your trip.

Hand carved wooden figures from Oberammergau in Bavaria Germany

Look how detailed the hand carved wooden figures are from Oberammergau! I wanted, I bought!

 

There are so many more reasons to make your next vacation in Europe. I didn’t even get to the foods yet but as meals go I don’t think any place in the world can compete with Parisian Croissants and Macarons. Or spicy Sicilian pizzas and pastas, Hungarian goulash, British fish and chips, Nuremberg sausages, Swiss fondue, Norwegian smorgasbord  and of course fresh made Gelato! But I’ll save these ideas for another time.

16 Comments:

  1. I want to go Europe also!

  2. YES!! Love ‘All Squared Up.’ Nowhere else does city centers/historic squares quite like Europe! Wish I could be in Italy on cobblestone streets eating a gelato right now! 😉

  3. Wow! Amazing place 🙂

  4. Hung Thai [Up Up and a Bear]

    Great list of reasons but for me, I love Europe because of how easy it is to just walk around AND the feeling of community. I love sitting down to have a cup of coffee and just people watch. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

  5. Although my travel radar is now focussed on Asia at the moment, I love exploring Europe’s ancient history and stupefyingly beautiful castles!

  6. Yes, definitely countless reasons to visit europe! I learn to love the basic things in europe : fresh air, nature, and delicious and safe tap water.. 😉

    • Funny you mention the tap water. Its amazing how many people think you can only drink bottled water there. In Rome they are said to have some of the best water in Europe. Even in their fountains!

  7. Great reasons to visit Europe, there really is so much to see and do!

  8. Definitely for me it is because of the castles and you are right, nowhere else really measures up after seeing the sites in Europe.

  9. I’ve never visited Europe before..I’m itching to go! First, tackling Asia while I’m over here and then moving on to Europe, I think! The photos are beautiful, too!

  10. I do love traveling Europe because of its transport system that is not really the best asset in the country I came from. And I love that I can stroll in my way and see both touristic and non-popular yet stunning spots. More safe and travels for you! 🙂

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