Montreux, Swizterland

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Montreux, Swizterland

I am posting this one because as far as gorgeous scenery goes, it doesn’t get much better. It’s no wonder Freddie Mercury made Montreux his home. I also enjoyed the French speaking aspect as that’s the only language I can really get by with. I arrived about 7:00am the first day and had the privilege of walking the promenade without many other people around, and I was blown away. It was my first time seeing the alps, which are stunning and seem to surround you from every view. The colour of the water here though is unreal. A light turquoise/green colour that shimmers under the sun in a way you need to see in order to comprehend fully. It was recommended to be by my aunt and I squished it into an already tight schedule (as I also took a day trip 3 hours away the second day). I’m so glad I made room though; it is a picturesque place that no picture can really do justice. I highly recommend a boat tour, if you do make it here, to fully experience the stunning views. Definitely take more time then I did though, as Montreux has lots of things to see and do (including their famous jazz festival every year).

June 20-22, 2013

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

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Ayia Napa, Cyprus

The famous Nissi Beach is famous for a reason and from this picture, I think you can see why! My favourite beach day this entire trip happened when this beautiful creature came to visit. I’d never seen an actual pelican before and this one had the prettiest pale peach colour to its feathers. I followed it around for a solid half hour and felt like a happy little kid. The water was also the clearest turquoise I’d ever seen (even more than Caribbean waters) and litterally you could walk out forever because of the sand bars. I spent the entire 4 days I was here on this beach and did not want to leave. I know there is much more to Cyprus then this one beach and I did make it into town for corn on the cob and to visit the converted monastery; but this beach really is incredible and if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend a visit. If you haven’t already noticed, I am partial to beach towns. I think I might have been a fish or a mermaid in a past life…

September 27-30, 2013

Eze, France

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Now, I don’t say this lightly and considering the nearest beach is a 45 minute hike downhill from the actual village, so to say this is my favourite place is a large statement! It is true nonetheless (that’s why I’ve included mutiple photos) and if I could live inside the stone walls of this adorable medieval village, I would. There are a few places, I’ll admit, that I would want to live in Europe. Eze is magical though. I first went as a compromise almost 4 years ago on another trip, but instantly fell in love with this place. It’s actually very small and can be completely visited in half a day. It’s also quite expensive, even the exotic plant garden at the very top charges to go inside. However, the view is absolutely worth it! I also recommend visiting one of the restaurants at the sea view hotels (there are a few), but go at a slow time of day and you might just get as lucky as I did and receive your own private terrace to have a drink on. I returned twice on this last trip and would have gone more if the bus wasn’t so infrequent to get home. There is just something special about the little paths, stone walls, nooks and cranies and shops that line the scenery of this quaint village. Even the tourists couldn’t deter me from loving it here, which says a lot if you know me. Lastly the cemetery and church are so peaceful, looking out at the view from here, you want to whisper as to not disturb the serenity. It’s a mere 30-40 minutes from Nice and a must see if your in the area.

Twice during July and August, 2013

Lake Alpsee, Bavaria, Germany

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Lake Alpsee, Bavaria, Germany

This photo is top 3 for favourite pictures I took on this trip and trust me, it doesn’t even do it justice! Located below the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, this lake is unbelievably gorgeous. You can’t see it at first, but as you get closer and you finally catch a glimpse, the scenery literally takes your breath away. The swan is very significant symbol as King Ludwig II of Bavaria (the crazy castle king) was also known as “The Swan KIng” and translated Neuschwanstein literally means “new swan stone”. Not only can swan designs be seen throughout the castle but also on many royal Bavarian artifacts. Although the area is an overdose of tourists with the inclusion of the Museum of Bavarian Kings and Hohenschwangau Castle, as long as you are prepared, purchase your tickets prior and follow the advice for visiting the castles, it can be a very enjoyable experience. Finally you MUST definitely get a pretzel as it will change your life!

August 12, 2013

Positano, Italy

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Positano, Italy

As far as favourite places goes, this cracks the top 5! Not just for the scenery either, as this was the first time on my trip that I made friends and where I learned that the people I met could make a place. Even without my new friends though, Positano was everything I had hoped and more. The way the towns travel up the side of the hills, the windy roads, the small town beach vibe, the food and hospitality; it’s unparalleled, truly. It’s a great base point as well to visit Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri and Pompeii. I would love to go back one day, and while there is a backpacking/party scene, if I ever went again I’d want to have family or significant other to share it with.

June 24-28, 2013 (also visited Pompeii and Capri)

Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Ireland

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A truly amazing experience, this bridge was a nerve racking adrenaline rush to cross! This photo (which require much patience in waiting for people to get out of the shot) is one of my favourite pictures from this whole trip! While it has been enhanced, the original had just as much purple! I couldn’t believe the magic I felt in Ireland… This was the final stop after a trip to the Giant’s Causeway which was absolutely incredible and something I highly recommend to see before you die!
August 31- September 5, 2013
Taken September 2, 2013

Barcelona, Spain

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When I posted this one to Instagram, I captioned it “So this is what it feels like when your dream comes true!”.
Barcelona was 95% of the reason I wanted to return to Europe. Originally, I had planned to do an internship or language class here. I chose France instead because of my Canadian citizenship and prior knowledge. While I wouldn’t change my time in Nice for anything, I do feel I didn’t get to spend enough time here so, once again, I will be back!

September 9-12, 2013

Nice, France

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Home is where the heart is.. My heart will always be here. This place put me back together. I was beyond sad upon arriving, and while I had already been travelling for two weeks, I had yet to fully embrace this experience. I met some wonderful people here and slowly chipped away some negativity. About half way through my stay, I can honestly say, I stopped caring so much what people thought and started to discover who I really am. I loved everything about this place, including its proximity to neighbouring site seeing towns. Everyday on the beach was heaven and something I don’t think I could ever tire of. Nice will always hold a very dear place in my soul and I will definitely be back again.

June 30- August 10, 2013