thetravellingsarawakian’s #EuropeBest7

As I’ve come to the end of my 3-month trip, I’ve made a list of my #EuropeBest7.

Clockwise: Edinburgh, Paris, Porto, Cappadocia, Santorini, Gornergrat & Berat

I’ve travelled to 26 countries & more than 50 cities. But the cities/countries that I would most definitely visit again are:

1. Scotland – Particularly Edinburgh & Glasgow & definitely the rest of Scotland. It is so beautiful & there’s plenty of breathtaking places with magnificent architecture. The Scots are friendly, warm & I flutter a little bit when they call me “love” or “darling”. Plus, Scottish accent is quite sexy! It’s definitely the most laid back “country” I’ve been to.

2. Paris, France – I’ve been here twice & I’m still strongly in love with this city. Paris after all is the city of love. How can you not love the chocolates, macarons, baguettes, croissants & the rest of the French pastries? And the amazing architecture & hundreds of museums to visit. The fact that I’ve come across a few people who said Paris is boring is blowing my mind! Dude, are you sure you went to Paris, France & not Paris, Texas?

3. Portugal  – Portugal was an unexpected surprise. If there’s one word that I could describe this country is “Magical“. My heart fills with love as days passed. I met a lovely Portuguese mother in Lisboa who made me feel welcomed & surrounded me with love & warmth. She was the mother I needed as I grew weary from travelling around. Oh and Portuguese egg tart! My God, the most delicious thing that ever existed! The world needs nata! If you want to relax & enjoy a good stroll around town, Portugal is exactly the perfect country!

4. Switzerland – Now I didn’t expect much from Switzerland. I keep hearing people say Switzerland is beautiful but I was like “Hmm. Is it really though?” Turns out Switzerland is THE ONLY country with the most beautiful natural landscapes I’ve ever seen! Now that I’ve seen Switzerland, I agree with those people. Honestly, I cried when I reached the top of Gonegrat because I cannot believe my eyes. I cannot believe how lucky I was to be able to witness one of God’s beautiful creations. I thought I’ve seen the most beautiful view until I got to Stanserhorn. Again, my eyes got watery and my mouth couldn’t stop praising the Man above. Please please please come to Switzerland at least once in your life. You will not experience a country more beautiful than Switzerland.

5. Albania – This country was the most challenging & the toughest one of all the other countries. It was a challenge getting from point A to point B. The buses have no set schedules; hell there are not really buses but furgons. They run & stop whenever the driver wants. They drive like crazy. When they say the journey takes 6 hours, what they really mean is 12. Every town you go, there are steep & slippery hills, uneven roads & broken pavements. Imagine lugging your luggage around those roads! Barely anybody speak English. But I would love to come back! Why? Because despite all of those, the Albanians are the most helpful & friendly people I’ve met. No other country can compare to that. Even though they can’t speak English, they try their hardest to help you & point you in the right direction. Unlike the other countries where you start asking in English, they run off. When the Albanians see me walking around town, they smile & wave. And the little kids come up to me to give me a hug. And the men even bought me coffee! Albania may be a poor country, but they are the richest where it matters most – hospitality.

6. Fira, Santorini – Ah Santorini! Where do I even begin? A picturesque place. White houses with blue domes. I dream of visiting Santorini – the one in postcards all over Greece. And visit I did! If you want to come here, make sure your pocket is fat. The postcard view is in Oia, an island in Santorini. I stayed in Fira & made day trips to Oia & Red Beach by bus. What made me love Fira is the people. They’re so friendly & laid-back, always smiling & some of them even speak Bahasa. I had three people buy me drinks when I was there. I had a great time in Fira, just chilling & walking around town, conversing with locals. They can be crazy when the music is turned on & when the drinks keep coming! Made a few friends there who want me to visit them in the summer next year. Who knows? I just might.

7. Goreme, Cappadocia  – Having spent just few hours in Istanbul, I’ve had enough. I had never felt such strong hostility towards a country before. I had bad experiences in Istanbul. I contemplated & kept going back & forth in my mind whether to go to Cappadocia or not. If Istanbul is miserable, surely Cappadocia is too. That’s what I thought until my mind say “F##k it. Let’s just go.” Bought my flight ticket at the last minute & jumped on the plane the next morning. It snowed on my first day in Goreme, Cappadocia. Imagine waking up, going outside & snow falling down on your head. I had a smile that couldn’t be wiped off for the rest of the day! Second day was even better. The highlight of my trip was seeing over 50 hot air balloons in the sky! That was the most magical view; not even Switzerland can compete with that! Cappadocia is different from Istanbul – people are nicer, friendlier, the views are incredible & overall relaxed atmosphere. I say f##K Istanbul & come to Cappadocia instead.

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