Back in the summer, I had written a post titled “My Bucket List for Europe,” in which I listed cities and places that I wanted to visit while abroad in France.
Now, two-and-a-half months later, I can say that I have satisfied two out of the ten places on my bucket list! Whoohoo…yeah… 😛
Yes, yes, I know. I haven’t been to many of the places that I wanted to yet. But I still have another six months in Europe to go out and check the rest of the places out! And as you already know, I have already traveled a lot throughout the Upper-Normandy region, visiting both the big cities of Rouen and Le Havre, as well as smaller ones like Étretat and Fécamp. And my grand adventure throughout Belgium and in Prague during les vacances de la Toussaint was a blast! 🙂
However, despite it all, I have taken it upon myself to come up with another bucket list of places to go– on top of the ones that I haven’t even been to yet! These past two months living in France has helped me discover new potential places to visit, both domestically and abroad, as well as made me more, well, ambitious.
Seriously, the wanderlust is real.
In any case, here is my (updated!) list of places that I want to visit in Europe. I’m starting with those that I want to see while in France, then expand it to those throughout the rest of Europe. Brace yourself! 😉
1. Strasbourg, France. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this city: from the travel videos that I have seen on Youtube to people’s personal opinions of being there, Strasbourg sounds like a fantastic place to visit. Situated near the border of France and Germany, this quaint city has a blend of French and German influences, from the food to the architecture to even the dialect (which I heard is called “Alsatian”). I am pushing to visit there during le marché de Noël in a couple of weeks, so I really hope that I can go! *fingers crossed
2. Caen, France. I mean, seriously: look at that photo. Isn’t it absolutely majestic? 😛 In any case, I would like to visit Caen, especially since it is so close to where I am! While I am in the Haute-Normandie region of France (Caen is in Basse-Normandie), it is not as far of a way to get there compared to, say, the Provence region in the south. If I were to go, I would choose to couple my visit to Caen with other cities or places in the region, including Honfleur, the landing beaches of Normandy, and Le Mont Saint-Michel. Should be fun! 😀
3. Toulouse, France. While I don’t know much of what this city has, I have heard that it is pleasant, both the atmosphere and the people. Also heard that the locals have a distinctive “Toulousian” accent, which I have also heard is quite charming!
If any of you have ever been to Toulouse, please offer me some suggestions on what to do there! 🙂
4. Provence region in France. About five to six hours north of Toulouse, the Provence region is famous for its countryside, filled with fields and fields of bright lavenders. Not only that, but it contains a host of charming towns like Avignon (with the well-known, unfinished half-bridge), Montpellier, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille itself. I wouldn’t mind hopping from town to town and frolicking in the gorgeous purple fields! 😉
5. Giverny, France. From the two times that I have visited Paris, how have I not been to Giverny yet?! After all, it’s only about an hour or so from Paris, which would’ve made an excellent day trip to. Especially since I am crazy when it comes to Impressionist art, I would have loved to see the gardens and ponds that Monet had painted, as well as have taken a tour of the very same house that the great painter himself had lived in. I suppose that, being in Normandy, I still have the opportunity to go visit Giverny as a day trip; it’s fairly accessible, about an hour and a half away from me. One day, though!
6. Salzburg, Austria. Birthplace of the genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as the setting for The Sound of Music, Salzburg is definitely the hot-spot for all things musical! Not only that, but its baroque architecture looks absolutely fantastic. Whether I choose to stay there for a couple of nights or make a day trip from Vienna, the city of Salzburg is definitely on my bucket list!
7. Budapest, Hungary. At first, I didn’t have much interest in visiting Central Europe while I was in France. But after having spent a good amount of time in Prague (and enjoying it) during my paid vacation, I am now interested in hitting up other cities in the area. Budapest is no exception. To be frank, I don’t know much about it, but just like with Prague, I will be sure to learn more about the place when I decide to go visit! 🙂
8. Lisbon, Portugal. …then again, anywhere in Portugal is fair game. Just like with Budapest, I didn’t have much interest in visiting Portugal beforehand, just because I didn’t know much about it! But from the photos that I have seen on Tumblr, the country looks truly beautiful. Especially since it’s near the sea, like with Barcelona, Spain, or the islands of Greece. Perhaps I will go there during my Spring vacation, when the weather’s warmer!
9. Stonehenge, England. While not a city in itself, Stonehenge has interested me ever since I learned about it in my history class during middle school (aka a long time ago…). Some people see the monument as just a pile of large rocks, but I, like many historians, believe that its layout has a meaning. Perhaps it was once used as a place for burial or for worship. Maybe it was even used to tell time with shadows from the sun- who knows? In any case, checking out a three thousand-year-plus monument would be excellent as a day trip from London.
10. Edinburgh, Scotland. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to visit Scotland, especially since it is rather a long drive from southern England (i.e. London, Canterbury, Dover). But after checking out photos of the Edinburgh Castle, I was immediately captured by its brooding, melancholy beauty. Worth a shot!
11. Cinque Terre, Italy. Although I have hit the hot-spots of cities like Rome, Florence, Naples, and Venice, I have yet to experience the wonders of the Cinque Terre. Basically, it is coastline, consisting of five villages and filled with terraces on its rugged hills. Its geography makes for a perfect hiking opportunity- why not? Plus, the warm Italian weather doesn’t hurt, either!
12. Istanbul, Turkey. All the way over to the east is the transcontinental city of Istanbul (considering that it’s straddled between Europe and Asia). Again, the architecture just fascinated me as a kid, when I learned about the Byzantine Empire and the stunning Hagia Sophia. Seriously, the former basilica, ex-mosque of the Hagia Sophia is breath-taking. While it will be rather a stretch to travel all the way over there from the west of Europe, my stay in France is an opportunity for me to check out such an amazing-looking place!
Where would you like to go for your next vacation? Let me know!
— The Finicky Cynic
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