In early June, my sister and I embarked on a spectacular trip: 2 weeks in Europe and the United Kingdom. After planning for months, the anticipation was at an all time high. Our itinerary was as follows: 4 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Sorrento, 4 nights in Venice, and 4 nights in London.
I really don’t know how I’m going to lay out everything we ate on this trip, but I’ll do my best. We tasted, smelled and inhaled so much; many of our activities were centered around good coffee, wine, and food. There was always time to go to the bar close to our hotel in Italy (which is a coffee shop) before we hit the sights, always time to sneak in a happy hour in the early evenings, and always time to take an extra few minutes to Yelp/TripAdvisor a good neighborhood restaurant. You could say that by the end of the trip, we were a tad bit concerned about the extra weight we were carrying around on our bodies….but no regrets.
Looking back, Rome was one of our least favorite cities in Italy. I know, I know. How could you hate those beautiful pebbled streets and the absolutely gorgeous buildings? Here’s how: tourists and vendors. Hoards of them. They made maneuvering the city difficult and hectic. However, we did manage to squeeze in some moments when we just stopped moving and took it all in: we sat down in Piazza Navona and the Pantheon and just relished the thought that we were in beautiful Italy. The historic sites in Rome were breathtaking and it was surreal to see buildings that our fellow humans had built thousands of years ago. And of course it was here we had the best pizza and gelato of the trip. Here are the highlights:
Ahh, Sorrento. The best of the Italy we saw on our trip! Sorrento is located in the south of Italy, and to get there from Rome via public transport, you need to take two trains: one train to Naples, and then another called Circumvesuviana, from the underground station in Naples to Sorrento (note about the Circumvesuviana: this train is really grimy/janky, and filled with locals. Watch out for your bags!). This was a draining journey; our original plan was to catch the bus and hydrofoil to Capri after reaching Sorrento. But, after seeing Sorrento’s beauty and feeling so exhausted from the trains, we decided to take it slow and relax in Sorrento. The next day, we had the chance to drive through the towns of Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi. Highlights from Sorrento:
With heavy hearts, we left Sorrento. In hindsight, we really should have spent one more night in Sorrento; next time definitely! We had a great itinerary for Venice and I was excited to see the city through which the Grand Canal ran. Again, early morning trains made us cranky travelers, but Hotel Capodimonte was sweet enough to pack us a breakfast to go! At 5:45am we made the mile long trek to the Sorrento train station where we caught the Circumvesuviana to Naples, and the Italo train to Venice. Venice was pure magic: tiny streets with tall buildings, gorgeous blue-green canal waters with historic bridges connecting the islands. Venice highlights:
London, United Kingdom
After 10 days of pasta, pizza, and wine, we landed in London ready for tea, Asian food, and beer. London was like San Francisco, but more polished, better looking buildings, and more parks. Our Costco package hooked us up with a very nice hotel which was located near the Holborn underground stop, which made for easy commuting around the city. London’s Underground is wonderful: fast, easy to understand, and very convenient! While in London, we were fortunate enough to enjoy the first couple of days in sunshine. We didn’t eat much “English” food in London, but we did experience an English tea service and I tried a roasted vegetable Cornish pasty at the cafe outside Stonehenge. Like I said, we were focused on getting our fix of Asian foods. We heard rumors that Indian food in London is unparalleled, so we went to Brick Lane our first night there. This street is filled with not Indian, but Bangladeshi restaurants! This was a disappointment because it means the traditional Indian dishes we’re used to did not taste the same. So, unless you’re in the mood for Indian food with a strange twist, I recommend staying away from Brick Lane. Here are the rest of the highlights from our gorgeous 4 nights in London:
By the end of the trip, my sister and I wanted nothing but to detox and drink gallons of water. That’s the one thing we noticed: our water consumption went down significantly because there was always something better to drink. Don’t let this happen to you when you travel!
I am glad to be home now, but I am more convinced that I have yet to travel so much more, see so many more people, and take in more of the world. If you have any questions at all about my trip, the places we went, or need advice, let me know in the comments below!
P.S. If you’re on Instagram, search the hashtag #eurogram2k14 to see more photos from this trip!