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He Said/She Said: The Best of EuroTrip 2012

Okay, I think I’m FINALLY done with writing about my trip so Spain, France and Italy in September and October. It took me longer to write it up then it took to actually travel the damn thing, but that’s just because Europe is so rich in interesting places, stories and foods.

Instead of just hearing my opinions, this time I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison between Mike and I. So I sent him my little questionnaire to fill out separately and I’m hanging up my answers to us to compare. Turns out they are only a little different- I guess that’s why we travel together so well?

Total Days: 24

Total Days it Didn’t Rain: 18 (much better luck this time around! Maybe I won’t be the rainy day girl forever).

Harbor in Marseille

Amount Spent: It’s a little too hard to say considering the sponsorships we were lucky enough to have. I will say that even with comped accommodation and transportation Western Europe still drained our wallets.

If you’re going to backpack in Spain, France and Italy and want to eat well, see the sights and stay in dorm roomsI estimate you will need to budget on average $70 a day (more if you prefer private rooms).

Places Visited: Barcelona, Girona and Besalu, Spain. Avignon, Arles, Marseille and Nice, France. Genoa and Florence, Italy.

Favorite Place

New friends at Il Fontanero

Steph: I thought Girona, Spain was just beautiful. It’s not as popular a place to visit as the major cities but it was so lovely and photogenic. Makes me wonder what other small cities I’ve missed out on.

Mike: My favorite place would have to be when we were in the Tuscan farmhouse in Italy out in the middle of nowhere. The weather was near perfect which is rare for us and the food was one of the best we had on our trip.

Least Favorite Place

Steph: Will everyone hate me if I say Florence? I didn’t dislike it, I just wasn’t as wowed by it as many of the other places we visited.

Mike: I think it might be Avignon. There’s limited amount of hostels to choose from within the city walls and required a heck of a lot of walking around.

Biggest Surprise

Steph: Well I already wrote about all the ways that France surprised me, but I was also surprised to learn how different Catalonia is from the rest of Spain! Pretty cool.

Mike: The biggest surprise was from the small city of Besalu in Catalonia. The minute the bridge was in sight from our bus ride, everywhere yelled out wow, including me.

Favorite Food:

Steph: Jamon Crudo in Spain. I started getting tired of it by the end of the week but I miss it now. Also the fresh foccacia and pesto in Genoa.

Mike: The Tuscan farmhouse had this delicious beef. It was on the same level of quality as it was in Argentina. Second favorite was how much gelato we ate throughout Spain, France, and Italy. It was becoming normal to eat gelato once a day.

Least Favorite Food

Steph: In Avignon we tried what was basically a steak sandwich with french fries wedged on top. Heart attack in a bun- not a fan.

Mike: I was getting sick of eating bread and cheese all the time. It was cheap so we ate it often but I often craved for something unique and local but it was far too expensive to explore the food.

Best Ice Cream

Steph: Probably the gelato we had on our last day in Florence with our friends from Over Yonderlust and Beers and Beans. So creamy.

Mike: The best ice-cream I had was in Nice, France. It was a random find so we don’t remember the name of the place. There was a small fountain nearby and we sat there watching the world go by with one of the best ice-cream’s I’ve ever had.

Most Memorable Moment

Girona

Steph: Eating a home cooked meal under the warm sun in Tuscany, staying up late making new friends at the Blog House in Besalu and wandering the streets of Florence late at night when all the crowds disappeared.

Mike: It would have to be the first few days in Girona, Spain. It was our first stop in Europe and we were on the bridge late at night with the city and river all lighting up reflecting against the water. We stopped for a minute on the bridge and took it all in. I finally made it to Europe after all these years traveling and there’s no one else in the world I would have wanted to share it with (Editor’s note: awww).

Biggest Regret

Steph: Not having enough time. We only had one day in Barcelona which deserves at least week, so we’ll need to go back there soon. I also would have loved to have had a couple extra days up near Genoa to go to Cinque Terre.

Mike: It would have been nice if we could have traveled Europe slower. I’m so used to taking it a day at a time and going slow that the one month on constantly packing, unpacking, and sightseeing was getting tiring. There was a few places I just didn’t enjoy as much because I was exhausted.

Best Advice

Steph: Go to Europe in the fall! It’s so lovely. Take more money then you think you’ll need. There’s a million worthwhile splurges in Europe.

Mike: There was too much to see and do all within just a few miles. For anyone planning a trip to Europe, I think it’s best to remember that you won’t get to see it all even if it’s just a few blocks away.

Would I Go Back

one afternoon in Barcelona

Steph: Absolutely 100%. Mostly because there is SO much to all three of these countries I haven’t seen- and so many foods I haven’t tried!

Mike: I definitely want to go back to Spain, France, and Italy. I especially want to go back to Barcelona. We had only one full day there and didn’t get to see much of the city. It’d be nice to explore some more.

Do you agree? What are your favorite parts of Spain, France and Italy? Where did I miss?

Special thanks to Eurail.com and Hostelworld for sponsoring our European adventure!

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15 Responses to He Said/She Said: The Best of EuroTrip 2012

  1. Hannah Margaret December 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM #

    Sagrada Familia is divinity. Literally just blew my mind with the light and the space and the colors.

    I didn’t like Italy very much though. I was very disappointed.

    • Steph December 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM #

      You are the first person I’ve ever heard say that!

    • DanYC December 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

      I’ve only been to Rome, Florence, and Venice (and twice for each city), but I didn’t have the best experience either. Being of Chinese descent, I kept getting “Eyyyyy! Ni hao! Konichi-wa? Annyeong hasaeyo?” every day. I don’t doubt the people were just trying to be friendly, but it was VERY tiring.

      • Steph December 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM #

        Oh gosh, that would get old REAL fast.

  2. Christina December 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM #

    I agree with going to Europe in the Fall – the weather was perfect everywhere we went, and it is much less crowded!

  3. Ashley of Ashley Abroad December 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM #

    What great places! I’ve been to most of them over the years and I have to say my favorite region you wrote about is Catalunya… though I’ve never been to Besalu and your trip there made me want to go! I totally understand what you mean about the bread and cheese overload while traveling Europe as well, haha.

    • Steph December 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM #

      I know, it’s hard to believe you could get tired of bread and cheese (the most delicious things ever) but a month in Europe will cure you real fast.

  4. kami December 5, 2012 at 4:16 AM #

    Western Europe became crazily expensive lately… but autumn is a perfect time to travel – weather is still good, there’re less people around and prices are lower! Believe me, you wouldn’t like to travel to these places you’ve just visited in the middle of summer, it’s insane in every aspect then!

    • Steph December 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM #

      I have no doubt about that! I avoid summer in Europe like I avoid summer at disney world.

  5. Adventurous Andrea December 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM #

    Such amazing experience! It sounds like y’all had a blast.

  6. Julika December 6, 2012 at 5:40 AM #

    Reading this, I still can’t believe I made the typical “Ryanair-Barcelona-Girona mistake” a few years back! All I saw of Girona was the airport and it looks like a really missed out on a lot!
    I totally understand how you could get sick of bread and cheese! When I was road tripping through Southern France with a friend, we completely ran out of money, and the only thing we could afford was baguette! I couldn’t eat white bread for months afterwards!

  7. Cassie December 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM #

    I love how you did this, my husband and I need to start doing this informally or not to share our opinions after our trips. I bet there would be some surprises!

  8. Alexandra December 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM #

    After living out of a camper van in Europe this summer I too got irked of bread and cheese! Hard to believe considering how much I was craving it after 7 months in Asia. It got so bad that one night I was craving Chinese delivery. Oh, the grass is always greener 😉 fun post idea!

  9. Jessica Marie February 20, 2013 at 5:17 PM #

    We are traveling to Berlin in two weeks for 5 days , then flying (through Easy Jet) to Madrid!
    This was a wonderful help– We will be going to Barcelona, hopefully for 3-4 days ..and I am hoping we can check out Girona while we’re there!

    I have never been overseas, so I am SO EXCITED!

    Thank you for posting this!

  10. Veronika February 28, 2015 at 6:59 AM #

    great places, I haven’t been to all of them, but I have been to Barcelona once, I loved it.

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