Saturday, 15 March 2014

Summer's Adventures Through Europe

Meet Summer Bercenas, a traveller to seven states, seventeen countries, and three continents in the past two years.  In 2012 she started her blog and writes about travel experiences, tips and tricks for different places around the world. Read on about her adventures through Europe.

Travelling is amazing. Travelling for two years is incredible! When you travel so often, it's incredible the small things you start to learn about each culture.  I love learning about different ways of life, history, and fun facts about every place I visit.  I have spent the most time in Spain, France, and Croatia throughout my European travels so far.  So I'm going to tell you some of the things that I have learned from each of these three very different countries.

Sugar Cube Villages in Spain
I have spent over six months on and off living in Spain.  Needless to say it is one of my favourite cultures and there are several reasons why. Andalucia is known for its small sugar cube villages (all white villages, usually with red roofs.)  I love these small beauties, I have been fortunate to have lived in one for a short time and adored it.  With orange lined cobblestone streets, perched on a hill, overlooking the Mediterranean, and with so much charm.  There is no way someone could not appreciate these small sugar cube villages. Tapas is a small dish of food that typically goes with drinks.  
Iznajar, Andalucia
It could be amazing with Spanish olives, quail eggs over roasted potatoes and vegetables, or even goat cheese and walnuts in a honey sauce.  Trying tapas is a great way to get a taste of Spain. If you come to Spain in the afternoon, depending on what part of Spain you are in you will find most shops closed for 'siesta'.  Siesta is when most families close their shops and go home for a big meal and some family time.  It's amazing how family oriented Spain is, it's something you can really appreciate.

Anncey, France
France is one of those places that most people want to see.  However, France is very touristy.  I like to find the places that are a little less known, not overrun by tourists.  That way you can see the actual town and not just gift shops and tourist places. Visiting the less known places like Annecy or Tourrettes-sur-Loup is amazing.  The places where you can see small flower shops, medieval maze like villages, places you can visit with the locals and hear how much they love their town.  Places like that are the polar opposite of tourist cities with hustle and bustle, glitz and glam, and no time to stop and smell the roses.
France is a foodies dream land with so much freshly baked bread, pastries that will make your mouth water, and cheeses from Camembert to Roquefort.  There's something about going to a boulangerie to buy your fresh baguettes for the day that makes you so happy!  Stopping by a boulangerie, patisserie, and fromagerie is a must in France. Most of Europe is great about transportation.  With trains, subways, buses, and cabs who needs a car?  While travelling through France, most of the time my family of four took the public transportation to get into the cities.  Each time we were impressed by how good it was.  Fun fact, there are actually cheeses that are banned from being allowed on subways because of how much they stink!

Plitvice, Croatia
Spending the summer in Croatia was one of the best things I ever did.  With the crystal clear Adriatic Sea so close and so much history there is no way you couldn't love it! One of the first things I noticed about Croatia was how much incredible history there was.  The things you learn about each place is fascinating!  Visiting Diocletean's palace and learning about the history between the Romans and Christians, was very interesting. Croatia has an Italian influence. Restaurants will serve creamy pasta, pizza, and gnocchi most with the options of truffles.  No wonder the Istrian cuisine is so delicious!
You will find in Europe that many people speak several languages.  This was very much the case in Croatia.  There is Italian, German, French, English, Dutch, and more!  Even more incredible is that you will find many people speak each language I listed!  It's nice that when you need information, there are many people that speak your language.
I have learned so much about different cultures throughout my travels.  Travel is amazing, the memories you make will last a lifetime.  I have loved travelling and connecting with other travel bloggers along the way. 
I am currently working on a book series about my travels.  My first book, Learning to Fly, will be available soon.  In my books I talk about challenges and funny stories that happen while travelling around the world.  The time our camper broke down in Switzerland, how we learned not to bring stinky cheese onto the subway, and cliff jumping into the Adriatic Sea.

Twitter @SummerBarcenas

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