Early last year I decided to write a post about where I was going when I got to Europe, and the cliche touristy things I hoped to achieve. Now I’m going to fill in those activities with photographic evidence to prove that I actually did kick nearly all of my goals for my Europe Express tour with Topdeck!
DAY 1 AND 2: PARIS, FRANCE
Ahhhh Par-ee, the city of ∼lurve∼. Although kissing someone under the Eiffel tower is 110% not on my bucket list, seeing it definitely is.
1.TAKE A SHITTY PICTURE LEANING ON/TOUCHING THE EIFFEL TOWER
From a distance of course.
EDIT: Ok so my picture really isn’t shitty, but I did manage to take get someone to take a pic of me trying to touch the tip and failing miserably… but I just realised that I deleted the photos????? What is my problem!? They were hilariously bad too.
2. EAT A BAGUETTE, SNAILS AND A CHOCOLATE FILLED CREPE
Because are you even a real tourist if you don’t?
EDIT: I did end up eating all three of these things but only got 2/3 pictures… Believe me or don’t believe me but I lived off baguettes whilst in Europe and I definitely did eat a meat and cheese one in Paris!
3. VIEW MISS MONA LISA
After studying art in high school for 6 years, I think it’s time to see the nightmare of my art essays in the flesh.
EDIT: I saw her! And she was amazing. Even though she was behind bullet proof glass and you could only really see her from quite a distance (standing behind a red velvet rope), I managed to get a pretty good pic. I was hoping she would have eyebrows in real life, and that it was just a running joke that she had none… Sorely disappointed.
DAYS 3 AND 4: SWISS ALPS, SWITZERLAND
Scenic Switzerland looks absolutely stunning. The location of our accommodation allows for many “wow” moments as well.
1. GET A PHOTO AT THE TOP OF JUNGFRAU MOUNTAIN
Top off or top on… That’s the real dilemma.
EDIT: I did both just to be safe. But there was no way in hell I was taking my bra off, so many creepy tourists were actually trying to look for people who were doing the same as me. It was so nice up there though which was surprising as hell.
DAYS 5 AND 6: VENICE, ITALY
The dreamy and romantic sinking city of Venice has always been on my non-existent bucket list. All the more reason to get lost in its beautiful streets.
1. EAT PIZZA/PASTA IN A LOCAL RESTAURANT
Because pizza and pasta is the only thing you should be eating in Italy.
EDIT: The pizza and pasta was delicious. And so was the gelato. I ended up eating four different flavours by the end of the day. This is why the #gapfat was real towards the end of 2016.
2. GONDOLA RIDE
Will only be truly satisfied if the Gondola man/woman is wearing a black and white striped top and a red cravat.
EDIT: So he wasn’t wearing a red cravat, but I’ll take the black and white striped top and run with it, even though some of the other gondola people were wearing cravats AND straw hats along with their stripy tops.
DAYS 7 AND 8: MUNICH, GERMANY
Although I won’t be in Germany during Oktoberfest (☹️), it will be the perfect excuse to live up to the name of my blog and have a giant mug of beer.
1. DRINK A GERMAN STEIN OF BEER
EDIT: Done and done. I didn’t mind it at all either, the beer there is the real deal, no preservatives or something like that. I couldn’t force more than one down though.
DAYS 8 AND 9: RHINE VALLEY, GERMANY
I’ll wait to compare the two… But Rhine Valley is essentially a better/more historical location to drink wine than Mudgee.
Speaks for itself.
EDIT: I was literally so off alcohol at this point that i didn’t drink a drop of wine in the Rhine Valley. The vineyards were spectacular though. They were pretty much vertical up and down and all over the hills of the valley. I’ve never seen anything like it.
2. FROLICK IN A MEDIEVAL CASTLE
As I said before, very historical.
EDIT: We had our accommodation changed last minute (I still don’t know why exactly), so I didn’t get to anywhere near any castles. Disappointed.
DAYS 9 AND 10: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Aside from the fact that I’ll be going to the one and only Amsterdam, I’ll be hanging out for that “The Fault in our Stars” bench seat shot.
1. RIDE A BIKE OVER THE CANALS
I feel like I’ll be needing a bit of a detox after drinking that gigantic beer in Germany. What better way to rid myself of a belly full of gold.
EDIT: I know I looked like an idiot but I was still a little how ‘ya goin’ after the night before’s shenanigans so I really couldn’t have cared less if I tried. It was lots of fun riding over the canals, and there are so many people that do it too. There’s twice the amount of bikes than people (I think), so there really wasn’t that many cars on the road.
2. WATCH A SEX SHOW
It isn’t called the “Red Light District” for nothing.
EDIT: When I tell people I’ve seen some shit, I mean it. I think I’ve seen it all after coming out of this show. Some of it was cringeworthy, some of it was hilarious and some of it was actually cool. Let’s just say the sex show did in fact involve sex, candles, yards of fabric, bananas, permanent markers and several lap dances.
3. EAT CHEESE
I didn’t know cheese was a thing in Amsterdam, but apparently it is. So, naturally, I’m all for it.
EDIT: I ate so much delicious cheese. We stopped at this little Dutch cheese factory and clog making workshop to eat this amazing stuff. The amount of cheese there was incredible, some of it was up to a hundred years old.
4. TAKE A PIC ON “THE FAULT IN OUR STARS” BENCH SEAT
I was a sucker for that movie. And Ansel Elgort.
EDIT: I was lucky enough to be friends with someone who had been to Amsterdam a few times previously to this trip, and she also had this awesome map app on her phone which took us straight over the canals to the bench seat. It was so perfect there and I’m glad I got to see it.
DAY 11: AMSTERDAM TO LONDON, ENGLAND (VIA BRUGES, BELGIUM)
1. EAT A WAFFLE COVERED IN CHOCOLATE
I’ve noticed that there are a lot of food related items on my bucket list… However, chocolate smothered waffles in Belgium is a sacred tradition and delicacy for travellers in the city of Bruges.
EDIT: Since Bruges and surrounding areas were just recently the target of terrorist attacks in Belgium, we drove straight through for obvious safety reasons. I was more than upset because chocolate is life, but I’d rather not be bombed too so that’s that.
2. GET A GROUP SELFIE OF MY 11 DAY EUROPE EXPRESS CREW
For the mems. 😊
EDIT: Ok, it wasn’t a selfie but they were pretty epic group shots! I loved my Topdeck fam so much!
All in all, I’m glad I set myself these little goals for my tour. It gave me something to look forward to and gave me motivation to go out and actually achieve them. Although I didn’t get around to doing it all, I’m still pretty content with what I did get to do. When you’re actually over there and doing the real deal, your plans change. Sometimes you feel like doing things, sometimes you don’t. I figured out pretty quickly that most of the things you get up to are spur of the moment activities, which is what made it so much more memorable. I loved my little eleven day tour, it’s given me insight into which countries to go back to, or to skip when I head back to Europe!
I highly recommend Topdeck to anyone who’s looking for structure when it comes to travelling , and is either a first timer, lazy, or isn’t yet confident in organising their own trips and going their own way.