The Beginning of my European Adventure

English: One of the 5 villages known as "...
One of the 5 villages known as “Cinque Terre” in Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My ‘European Sampler’ adventure began on a ski lift at Keystone during spring break of last year. As I was swinging high above the slopes with my Volkl skis, ready for action, my phone rang. Annoyed but curious, I managed to remove my glove and reach into my puffy blue jacket. The phone call was coming from my high school friend Hannah. Our infrequent communication inspired me to answer her call.

We caught up with everyday chit-chat, and then she cut to the chase. “This is going to sound a little crazy, but do you want to travel around Europe with me for two weeks?” she asked. Without a doubt in my mind I responded with a joyful “yes!”

It didn’t matter when. It didn’t matter how, or where, or how expensive the trip would be…I was going!

Feeling excited and ambitious, Hannah and I got together a week later with travel books in hand. We started planning our European adventure.  At first we chose London, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens, Rome, Barcelona, Vienna, Munich, and Zurich, and the list continued to grow and grow and grow. Eventually we ran out of days and places to visit.

We realized we needed to change our plan of action and narrow our list of European destinations.  This turned out to be a very tedious three month process. Eventually we slimmed our trip down to four countries and five destinations:

1. Prague, Czech RepublicTo get a taste of Eastern Europe.

2. Interlaken, SwitzerlandTo experience a classic Swiss town.

3. Cinque Terre, Italy – To encounter an old world Italian region.

4. Rome, ItalyTo be surrounded by the juxtaposition of ancient artifacts and modern culture.

5. Barcelona, SpainTo dine on tapas and sangria while laying on the beach.

We thought we were visiting these places for specific reasons, but we experienced so much more than we ever thought we could in just two weeks.