Sunday, February 22, 2009

Travel Experiences: My Best of List

After I returned from my Europe Trip in 2005, I sat down and wrote a "Best of List". I thought it would be fun to re-visit my old list and then write down my current "Best of List" three years and three trips later!
Best Moment: Watching the sunset in Vernazza while sitting on a bench eating my favorite Gelato (Coco)

Most Embarrassing Moment: Accidentally stepping into a lake late at night near our hotel in Fluelen Switzerland. Me and my friend laughed so hard.

Best View: Tie between Cinque Terre Sunsets and the top of Mt. Titlis (and the Swiss Alps).

Best Activity: Hiking the trails in Cinque Terre, Italy - 2nd Best: Eating Gelato.

Best Gelato: Vernazza, Italy Best Flavor: Coco

Saddest Moment: Lighting a Candle and saying a prayer in the Duomo in Florence.

Most Hairy Moment: A tie between lugging our luggage to our apartment in Vernazza and the drama of making our two train changes traveling from Siena to Vernazza.

Most Interesting Person: A local Italian gentleman taking a stroll in Lugano Switzerland who stopped to tell us that the best views for our pictures weren't where we were standing but a few blocks further up the road. When we got there we realized that he was right!

Most Surprising Moment: Renting a SMART car for the day in Siena and driving the Chianti Loop then bumping into a couple and their son whom we had met briefly at a Metro Station in Rome a few days earlier. I remembered them so clearly because I overheard them speaking English and looking just as confused and lost as we were at the Metro station stop. We both immediately recognized each other. What a small world it is!

Best Meal: A French Restaurant in the Theatre District of London!

Most Fun Memory: At the top of Mt. Titlis, Switzerland and having a snow fight with my tour mates! - Second Most Fun Memory: Sitting in St. Marco Square and having a cup of cappuccino while listening to classical music and soaking in the experience of being in Venice, Italy!

Best Historical Monument: Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Best Architectural Building: Duomo, Florence, Italy

Best Visual: Tie between the Swiss Alps and coastline of Cinque Terre.

Best Looking City: Venice, Italy

Best Enjoyed Big City: London, England

Best Stay: Vernazza (Cinque Terre), Italy
Best Moment: Add, watching the Sunset for the first time in Venice, Italy while sipping a nice glass of Prosecco after a wonderful meal.

Most Embarrassing Moment: I have a couple of new moments to add, which I'll have to save for another post! :)

Best View: In addition to watching the Sunset in the Cinque Terre, add the Puente Nueve in Ronda, Spain.

And the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

And the view of the Prague Castle late at night

Best Activity: Add hanging out in the small Campos and visiting the lessor known churches (Thanks to AnnieNC) in Venice, Italy.

Best Gelato: Add, Venice, Italy Best Flavor: Add, Pistachio

Saddest Moment: Add, leaving Venice, Italy after spending two entire weeks there. I didn't want to leave!

Most Hairy Moment: New, Climbing down the dark and wet stairs down to the Tajo Gorge in Ronda, Spain.

Most Interesting Person: New, meeting a local who lectured me in Seville Spain because I was drinking a cup of Coffee Americano Grande instead of their delicious Spanish Coffee! I loved that local for taking the time to teach me a good lesson.

Most Surprising Moment: Add, experiencing "High Waters" in Venice, Italy .

Best Meal: Add, my first dinner (and glass of prosecco) in Venice, Italy in 2007.

Most Fun Memory: New, watching my first live Flamenco Show in Seville, Spain, Sitting in Campo Santa Margherita in Venice, Italy, going tapa bar hoping in Madrid, Spain and taking the Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria.

Best Historical Monument: Same Colosseum, Rome

Best Architectural Building: Add, The Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

Best Visual: Add, seeing the beautiful mosaics in Ravenna, Italy and the beautiful art in the churches in Venice, Italy.

Best Looking City: Same, Venice, Italy (what can I say, I love Venice)

Best Enjoyed Big City: New, Prague, Czech Republic & Madrid, Spain

Best Stay: In addition to my stay in the Cinque Terre, Italy, Add Venice, Italy; Prague, Czech Republic; Salzburg, Austria; Seville and Ronda, Spain.


  1. These are both great lists. I was very surprised that your best meal for your first list was in London. How long did it take to do? I would have a difficult time narrowing most categories down to one or two things. Thanks so much for sharing your best of lists. They were really fun to read.

  2. Oh that was a great read! I did that in the back of my travel journals for the first few trips. :)

  3. What an amazing trip you had thru Europe, despite living here I am very jealous.

    It is even more wonderful to read a personal anecdote, such as the story of the old man who stopped you to tell yo about the better view. Sometimes as tourists we are too quick to pass thru places without really stopping to talk to the locals.

    I must say I love the photo of the Puente Nuevo, and with your permission I'd love to use that on my own website which is all about Ronda for tourists and expats.

    Hope to hear from you, Andy

  4. Do you notice how your travel memories seem to have 'slowed' down over the years? Your 2008 list speaks to a far more relaxed way of seeing the world. I think it is the same for us. Great post!

  5. Kathy, what a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading both of your lists and also looking at these beautiful photos (I am cracking up at the one of your wet footprints!).

    It's really pretty incredible how many amazing places you've been in a few short years.

    I agree with Girasoli, it's interesting that you had a great meal in London (a city not known for its food) but you know, it happened to me too. I had a great breakfast in Gatwick airport coming back from Venice one time - I still remember how good it was!

    I'm looking forward to hearing about the latest additions to the "Most Embarassing" list!

  6. Hi Everyone and thanks so much for your comments!

    Girasoli, I was surprised too with that London meal. I thought my favorite meal would've been in Italy. I started this post I think a couple of days ago. I actually love all of my experiences so far and these are just the few that really jumps out at me! It's fun to remember! And also to think about potentially new experiences too! :) Have a great Sunday, Girasoli!

    Leslie, I love hearing that you also did the same thing in your first few trips. I like summarizing my trips because there is always something to be learned from them and also it allows me to relive some special moments. Glad you liked reading it. Thanks for your comments and have a great Sunday!

    Ronda Today, thanks for your comments. My contacts with the people I meet along the way in my travels are always very special. And til this day I can actually visualize our encounter with that nice local. I remember he wore this really cool hat and had a walking stick and was just so cool! Oh the memories. You have my permission to use my photo on your website. That's one of my favorite shots of the bridge because of that mist flowing through it. Very beautiful. I went to your website to leave you a message as well. Cool website. I wished I would've known about it before my trip! Didn't realize there was an expat community in Ronda. That is very cool. Thanks again and have a nice day!

    Jdeq, I looked at my two lists again and realized that you are very right. It's amazing how slowing down has changed my experiences! I do have a tendency to run when I should walk. I have to really thank ST and the ST community (and I can't forget founder Pauline) for my new more realaxed experiecnes! Have a great Sunday and Week Jdeq!

  7. Hi Annie, you must have typed your comments while I was typing! :) I just had to take a photo of my wet footprints! I can LOL just thinking about it. I actually dropped my little flashlight in the lake... we were literally in tears laughing all the way back to the hotel. What was even worse is that was my only pair of shoes so we had to blow dry them before the next day.

    Isn't that funny how we can have some very memorable meals in the unlikeliest of places. That's so interesting that you had a great breakfast at Gatwick airport. Goes to show that you just never know!

    I'm still debating on whether I should write about that 2nd embarassing moment. But I loved reading Sandra's and your church stories so much and you were so cool to share your moments that I was thinking what the heck. I'll work on it and post it sometime this week. :)

    Thanks again for your comments Annie! Hope your day with your nephews was a blast! Have a great Sunday!

  8. Kathy,
    Great lists! I also loved Vernazza, and yes rolling the luggage all the way up to our room,(who knows many many steps later) was a fun challenge. I loved Coco gelato too.And loved hiking the CT trails. Ah, great memories, I can't wait to go back.
    Now Venice, is sure beautiful.

  9. Hi Candi, excellent another traveler who loved Vernazza. I totally understand the luggage rolling (and lifting)! Our apartment was up two long steps then an almost 90 degree angled set of stairs to our apartment (which was beautiful). Fun challenge is right! We had gelato twice daily. And the hiking was one of my fondest memories in Italy. I really love that whole area and want to visit there again too!

    Thanks again for your comments Candi and have a great Sunday!

  10. Kathy, this was a great post. I enjoyed both lists. I, too enjoyed sitting in St. Mark's Square listening to the Classical music. I think that Venice is truly magical!


  11. Hi Sheri, thank you so much for your comments. I feel the same way about Venice! It's the only place that I have visited the most over the years (three times in total) and I don't think I'll stop either.

    Have a great week!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.