I finally did it. I made it to Europe after years of waiting and months of planning. It was possible thanks to my Dad who had a set of conferences in Greece so he asked me, "Shayan do you want to go to Europe with mom and I?"
He was also covering the return flights for my wife and I. It was a no-brainer. I just had to cover my own accommodation, transportation and food when in Europe.
So where shall we go? I can't take many days off from work. I could only get 14 days including weekends so I had to make the best of it.
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Now since it was our first trip to Europe, we wanted to see as much as possible. Kind of like a teaser trip of the main cities. So here is what we decided after a week of pre-planning.
- Fly from Bangkok to Athens. Stay 1 night.
- Take a ferry from Athens to Mykonos for 2 nights. We thought of Santorini first but changed our minds.
- Take a ferry back to Athens for 2 nights.
- Fly to Barcelona and stay for 2 nights.
- Take a train to Paris for 2 nights.
- Take a train to Milan for 1 night.
- Take another train to Naples, connect to ferry and go to Sorrento for 2 nights.
- Ferry back to Naples and then train to Rome for 2 nights.
Bangkok --> Athens --> Mykonos - Athens --> Barcelona --> Paris --> Milan --> Sorrento --> Rome
Now I won't bore you with everything we did in each city so we will just highlight the MOST interesting experiences we had on the entire trip.
Where we stayed: Paradise View Hotel
Apart from lots of partying and drinking, Mykonos is known for some beautiful beaches and a gorgeous blue & white town.
We experienced it all while we were on this island. Partying late night on the beach, exploring quaint alleys and hiking up small hills for beautiful views.
Mykonos town in particular was a dream come true. My wife and I always wanted to walk these blue and white laden streets as they are so dreamy. There were bars and restaurants lined up all along the way so we would sit there to have drinks or grab a snack.
Read more about the beautiful Instagram-worthy spots of Mykonos.
We wish however that we had rented an ATV or car to explore more of the island by ourselves.
Where we stayed: AinB Eixample Sagradia Familia
Barcelona was one of my favorite cities because there is just so much here. Culture, nightlife, gorgeous architecture, art and history. Also it felt like every neighborhood was different.
The narrow alleys of Gothic Square and Born were quite interesting to walk through either day or night. Much like Mykonos we would take breaks by sitting at the cafes or bars along the alleyways.
Where we stayed: at an AirBnB not worth mentioning because it was very bad. The AC or Fan did not work and it was VERY, VERY hot.
In Paris, of course do as the Parisians do. Well of course we did the touristy thing such as see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre but we also walked the streets and ate at restaurants. Yes we did that a lot in Europe.
We also met some friends and drank by the river Seine.
Read about our scary experience on the train from Barcelona to Paris. We were forced off a train and detained by police!
Where we stayed: Hotel Spicy
Sorrento was an expected place we would fall in love. It was quieter than the rest of the cities we went to. I guess most coastal towns are. By quieter I don't mean that there were less people - actually there were a lot. But Sorrento had a more charming feel to it. It was touristy but in a nice way. No scams no hordes of sellers on the streets like in Paris or Barcelona.
Here again we just sat at cafe and people-watched most of the time. We drank Limoncellos and Aperol Spritz as we nibbled on pizzas or pastas.
When we were not doing that, we hiked down to a cove called Regina Giovanna, which features an emerald pool of seawater enclosed by limestone cliffs and a rocky beach. Here people were cliff jumping, swimming or suntanning. A great spot for locals and travelers. It was quite near to our hotel, which was a plus.
We also visited Capri for a day where we did a boat tour around the island. Capri definitely has one of the most beautiful and clear water. It's just REALLY touristy.
You can see how many people were at the beach and the amount of ferries/boats around the island.
Due to lack of time we didn't see or do everything that we had hoped to. Much of our trip was like that in fact.
We heard that if you stay the night at Capri is a lot quieter and you can enjoy it more without the crowds.
By the way, we walked so much in Europe - more than 200,000 steps with an average of 14,000 steps a day!
I have never did that in Thailand. On a good day I'll walk 10k-12k steps.
I MISS YOU SO MUCH EUROPE!
Till next time, au revoir, adios, addio!