Europe Trip 2010: Week Three

You can read about week one of our trip here and week two of our trip here.

Also, if you want to see way more photos then this, feel free to friend me on Facebook!

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I’m going to apologize in advance, as I do the recaps each one seems to get longer and longer with more and more pictures! Whoops!

So, we left off in the beautiful Amalfi Coast. After spending the weekend there, we were back to Rome for one more day before flying to Athens on the Tuesday.

We decided to spend our last day in Rome visiting the Colosseum, this was something that Eric was very, very excited for! Gladiator is his favourite movie of all time.

rome-colleseum

At the Colosseum we decided to spend a bit of extra money and get a guided tour. It was totally worth it. It allowed us to skip the massive ticket line and learn some really interesting information!

We also got to take pictures with this guy for free (they are usually 1 euro!)

eric-roman-soldier

Some things that we learned were that unlike in the movie Gladiator, the emperor would not give a thumbs up or thumbs down telling the Gladiator to kill his opponent, he would either hold his thumb out sideways, which told the Gladiator to cut the jugular or he would curl his thumb in, which told the Gladiator to withdraw his sword.

colleseum-thumb

We also learned that the real victims of the Roman games were the animals. In the eight centuries that they held the games the Roman’s caused three different types of large cat species to go extinct!

After our tour, Eric did some “Gladiator” poses (i.e. preparing for battle) and I almost died laughing when people were staring at him. Tears-rolling-down-my-face-clutched-over-grabbing-my-gut-laughing when I took this photo. It took a few attempts…

eric-colleseum

We had SO MUCH FUN at the Colosseum, it was super interesting and very, very cool to see!

amber-eric-colleseum

After touring the Colosseum we toured the Palatine and Roman Forum – it was so cool! Some of these structures date back to around 70 A.D.!!!

roman-forum

That basically took up our last day in Italy, we were really sad to be leaving Italy as we both loved it, so rather then go to bed we headed to a restaurant, shared a couple of bottles of wine and looked through the videos and pictures we’d taken so far and reminisced about the first two weeks of our trip!

It was a great way to end our time in Italy.

I wasn’t sure how much we’d like Athens, some people said it wasn’t that great and with the riots and all I was a little concerned. But we LOVED it! Definitely right up there with Italy as one of the most fun and most beautiful places that we visited!

We also had a super nice hotel in Athens with a big balcony!

amber-athens-balcony

Oh, and the Greek Food, we can’t forget that. O M G! We ate a lot of good food while we were on vacation (a lot, a lot) but I think the Greek Food tops it. The tzatiki, the calamari, the souvlaki, the pita bread, the greek salad. Yum, yum, YUM!

greek-salad

gyro

Ah-ma-zing!

OK, moving on from the food….

So our first day in Athens we headed up to tour the Acropolis, which was pretty cool!

eric-acropolis

amber-parthenon

It was HOT in Athens though, around 30-35 C (85-95 F). I was a hot mess that day!

One temple that we visited had a totally random turtle chilling there! We have no idea how he got there as there was no water anywhere nearby.

turtle-greece

After the Acropolis we did some wandering around side streets and a lot of souvenir-shopping, there was some great shopping in Athens and we bought a ton of souvenirs and gifts for family and friends there!

Our second day in Athens we did the Athens One Day Cruise, which takes you to three Greek Islands. This cruise was VERY costly, and while it wasn’t worth how much money we spent, it was cool to see some Greek Islands: We visited Hydra, Poros and Aegina.

athens-one-day-cruise

On the island of Hydra there are NO cars, just donkeys! We saw one lady getting all her shopping bags loaded onto a donkey to go back to her hotel because the donkeys also serve as “taxi’s” on the island.

hydra-greece

In Aegina, we went to a fish market and ate some fresh squid and fish!

squidy

fish-market-athens

It was a long day, and that evening on the ride back to Athens we sipped on wine and watched the beautiful sunset.

sunset-athens-cruise

And that night we admired the amazing view that we had of the Acropolis from our hotel balcony!

acropolis-view-balcony

The next day we did a bit more shopping and found a cool costume shop where Eric tried on a Gladiator costume.

eric-gladiator

And then it was back to the airport and back to Paris! We arrived in Paris that evening and we immediately felt… comfortable and “at-home”. Like I said in the week one recap, we really warmed up to Paris our second time back. Maybe it’s because we finally mastered the Metro system or because a place that had been scary and overwhelming after only a few days in Europe felt familiar and comfortable after two weeks of jetting from new place to new place.

Whatever it was, we decided that we actually do really like Paris on this second trip back and we hope to return one day!

Our very last day in Europe we took a day trip out to the Palace of Versailles. Of ALL the tourist attractions we went to in three weeks this was by far the busiest. We must have waited in line about 1.5 hours to buy tickets and then get inside the palace.

palace-of-versailles

After spending about an hour wandering through the palace we saw the Hall of Mirrors:

hall-of-mirrors-versailles

And the King and Queen’s Bedroom:

queens-bedroom

We then headed out to see the star of the show, the gardens:

versaille-gardens

Since we were there on the weekend, we got to see the fountains going off and as we wandered through the gardens they had classical music playing. It was so fun wandering through the gardens with our arms linked pretending that we were dukes and duchesses from the 18th century 😉

amber-eric-versailles

Versailles was definitely very cool and I’m so glad we made the time to go out there!

On our way back to the train station Eric insisted I take a photo with this giant container of Nutella since we all know I have a bit of a weakness for Nutella…

amber-giant-nutella

Once back in Paris we decided we were going to go for a nice dinner to celebrate our very last night in Europe. So we headed out to the Il St. Louis in search of somewhere great to eat.

Here I am on the other side of the Notre Dame Cathedral during our walk to the Ile St. Louis.

amber-notre-dame

We decided to eat at a Medieval Times themed restaurant that had a set amount for each person with unlimited starters, cheese and wine. Yup, unlimited wine! That may have been the main reason we picked it…

inside-restaurant-medieval-times

medieval-food

And three, yes three, bottles of wine later…

all-you-can-drink-wine

…we decided it would be a good idea to go see the Eiffel Tower one last time. So we giggled our way to the nearest metro stop, got off when we saw the Eiffel Tower come into view and found ourselves on some random bridge staring at the Eiffel Tower, goofing around and taking photos for about an hour.

It was so worth it!

eiffel-tower-night

amber-eric-eiffel-tower

A little blurry… Blame the wine…

blurry-kiss-pic

The next morning, bleary-eyed and hungover-as-hell we trekked to the airport for our 10-hour journey back to Canada!

paris-airport

Whewie, I hope you guys enjoyed reading these recaps because I sure did enjoy reminiscing about our trip! It was seriously the BEST TIME EVER!!

I saw things that I’d heard about my whole life (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Colosseum etc.) and made memories that I’ll never forget. Oh, and I laughed. A lot! I hope that we make it back to Europe one day but even if we don’t I’ll know that we did it once and it was amazing.

It’s a long weekend in Canada and we are heading out of town for the weekend. Eric is a groomsman in his cousins wedding! I’m not really looking forward to spending two more nights in a hotel – we’re hotel-ed out – but I’m a sucker for weddings so it should be fun!

Have a great weekend everyone! Oh, and it’s great to be back to blogging 🙂 XO

39 Responses

  1. Hezabelle says:

    The oldest structures in the Roman Forum date back to 600 BC! It was my favourite place in Rome. 🙂

    We saw the turtles too, in a bunch of places in Athens. My professor said they were land tortoises and they actually don’t need water.

    I agree with you on the Greek food – so amazing!!! And LOVE the giant thing of Nutella!

    • MissAmber says:

      Oops my bad. 600 B.C. is even more impressive!!

      Also, you have no idea how RELIEVED I am to hear that about the turtle! I was kind of freaking out about him and worried that he was going to dry up in the sun and die up there! That is SO neat that it was a land tortoise!

  2. Caz says:

    omg! I HAVE to send you a photo. Eric will be so jealous… expect it in your email soon.

    xoxo

  3. Nicole says:

    Your trip sounds ammmmaaazzzzziiinnnng!!!!! I am sooooooo jealous of your adventure!!!!!!!!! It looks like soooooo much fun!!! I want to go to Europe sooooooo bad now!!!!!!

  4. eemusings says:

    WHEW! Epic post. Bahaha – loved your description of Eric doing gladiator poses! I can only imagine. I was a little surprised at how many other tourists there were at some of those spots, but I suppose they are pretty popular.

  5. lisa says:

    Makes me want to visit Greece…

  6. Becky says:

    Thanks for doing all these recaps! I’m goingto just write my thoughts as I had them throughout the post (you trying to figure out what I’m talking about can be kind of like a Friday game!)

    Such a cute pic of you two at the Colosseum
    Ohhh that dress! Ohhh that balcony!
    Holy nutella!
    The shots of the last night were my fav!!! All the lights!

  7. erin says:

    *sighs* that whole trip makes me miss the time i went!

  8. LG says:

    Awesome awesome awesome blog posts! SO interesting to see the pics from your trip!!! Makes me want to plan one with hubby…thanks SO MUCH for sharing so that we can live through you vicariously. :0) I went to Italy on a high-school trip so it brings back memories of Rome and Sorrento. (The best Lira I spent was for a pay toilet in Capri…had to go SO bad lol!)

  9. Lindsay says:

    I think I had approximately 2948 billion greek salads when I was in Greece. It was a little ridiculous, but I could not help but to order them!

  10. That guided tour of the Colloseum sounds great. I have found that all the guided tours I have done have been well worth the money spent as you learn so much more than you would have just walking around on your own – at least that has been my experience!

    The pictures were all so great. My heart aches a bit when I see pics of the ET all lit up in her glory. 🙂 I know Paris is hit or miss for people, but it will always be a sort of 2nd home for me.

    I do really want to visit Italy after hearing all about it!

    Oh and once again, Eric looks fabulous in that hat! You 2 make such a cute couple. I bet this trip brought you even closer. Traveling together tends to do that!

  11. Amanda says:

    I lived on the Ile Saint Louis!! 😀 For 6 months, that itty bitty island was my home…love it.

  12. This part of your trip far surpassed mine! 1) We did not pay for the guided tour of the Colosseum and I’ve always regretted it; 2) We were in Rome the week after the Pope died. Can you say crowded? Um, yeah. Biggest understatement in the history of Catholisism; 3) All my pics of Greece mysteriously dissapeared off my camera and 4) you got to hit up cooler islands! And saw donkeys! Soo cool! 😀

  13. Kathleen says:

    I’m so glad you loved Athens. I spent a vacation there awhile ago and it is probably my favorite place I’ve ever been. The history, the beaches, the food, the weather – all amazing! I would go back in a second.

  14. Nora says:

    that bridge you’re standing on in the last few photos looks a lot like the one in the Sex & the City series finale.

    LOVE all the pictures. You two are such a cute freakin’ couple.

  15. Emily Jane says:

    Once again, STUNNING photos. You guys are so gorgeous!! Except EWWWW — squids and tentacles are my BIGGEST FEAR lol!!!

  16. Jess says:

    I love your top (or is it a dress can’t quite tell) in the pic on your on the balcony. Seriously it is so pretty!

  17. You silly goose — don’t apologize for all of the pictures! The more photos, the better! Yeah loading photos takes forever so thanks for all of your hard work in getting your pictures on the blog right away!

    I loved reading all about your trip and seeing all of your beautiful photos! Sounds like you guys had an amazing time! YAY! Man, what an adventure! That’s so neat you were able to see so many different countries!

    We went to Paris for our honeymoon and I loved the gardens of Versailles! SO beautiful! I wish we would have spent more time there!

    I forget if you said this in your posts — but what was your absolute favorite place you visited? Also, I’ve been dreaming about going back to Europe (we only stayed in Paris, didn’t travel to any other countries) — would you recommend Italy or Greece?

    You and Eric are so cute together! I loved hearing about how his gladiator poses were cracking you up — and how you did a lot of laughing throughout the entire trip!

    All of your talk about drinking wine on the trip really makes me wish I enjoyed it! Maybe I should give it another chance! When we were in Paris we bought a bottle of wine — and never even opened it! What the heck, right!?

    The picture of you and the giant tub of nutella was too cute!

    Have fun at the wedding! 🙂

    • MissAmber says:

      I’m SO LATE at answering these questions! (doing some reminiscing tonight! haha)

      My absolute FAVOURITE place we visited was definitely Italy. There is just something about the Italian culture/food/wine/people that I absolutely adored. Cinque Terre is by far the most beautiful place I have ever seen!

      Though Italy is such a quick hop, skip and a jump from Greece, if you’re in Italy I would recommend checking out Athens/Greece for a few days as well! We only went to Athens for 3 nights, 2.5 days and it was great!

  18. shoshanah says:

    Out of all the countries you visited, the only one I’ve never been to is Greece. So I especially love those pictures!

    I also love your picture of the hall of mirrors. Because even though I’ve been, there were restoring it while we were there, so I wasn’t that impressed. But looking at your picture it looks amazing now.

    And how crazy to think that they killed of some many types of cats at the coliseum. Who would have guessed?

  19. Glad you two had such great experiences. A Europe trip like this is seriously a life changing experience. Makes you realize how much there is out there you still want to explore. Have a fun weekend!

  20. Kelly says:

    It looks like you guys had such an amazing time. I totally agree about the Colesseum being awesome and the tour being worth it- i hate lines haha. I’m so glad everything worked out for you guys (minus that Rome hotel haha). I am so impressed that you liked the Greek food- Eric and I hated it and I think we just didn’t find the right places at all! But thats okay because it was the first part of our trip and we went to Italy next- can’t complain about pizza, pasta and gelato, right?
    Have fun at the wedding this weekend!

  21. oh my god that food looks delicious!

  22. BostonRunner says:

    Amber you are so gorgeous : ) And I looove the Eiffel tower pictures!!

  23. Carissa says:

    I just caught up on your three weeks all at once! 🙂 thanks for sharing all these great photos with us! it looks like you had an amazing time! hopefully one day I can make it to Europe, but until then, these pictures will have to suffice as I live vicariously through you 🙂

    glad to have you back! xo!

  24. Katie says:

    Sorry if I got drool all over your blog, I’m totally coveting that container of nutella. I just want to bathe in it.

  25. Athens looks SO beautiful, and the Notre Dame Cathedral – OMG!!!!!!

    I am so happy to hear that you had a great time!! What amazing experiences you have had!!

  26. Jessica says:

    Ahhh, Italia..what a beautiful site.

    Athens is so cool, right? The food in Greece is INCREDIBLE….I could live there based on that aline.

  27. Sarah says:

    I loved the Colosseum pictures! I totally agree with you that tours are so worth the money when it comes down to things like this, they just bring the whole thing to life.

    Greece sounded amazing! Admittedly I think if I were you I’d have spent a whole lot of time EATING. lol. I’ve had a thing for Greek mythology since I was a kid, and would love to go there. And how great was the view from you hotel balcony?! As for the turtle (tortoise in Brit English) it probably isn’t a sea/water-dwelling type. I have a pet tortoise and he HATES water (except to drink), when I give him a bath he tries to get out!

    I’m really glad that you had such a great time away, and thanks so much for sharing your experiences and your lovely photos.

  28. ens says:

    Hello there – I’m new to your blog and was just skimming through and had to stop here because i absolutely LOVED Greece – i went a few summers ago and it just stole my heart… *sigh*

  29. Isaac Drivas says:

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  32. […] You can read my recaps here, here and here. […]

  33. Melissa says:

    Your Europe posts are getting me so excited to spend 3 weeks in Greece this summer! I heard a lot of negative things about Athens as well which made me nervous, but I’m glad to finally hear about someone who actually enjoyed it.

  34. ldem says:

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  35. Janine says:

    I just read all your Europe posts and they are awesome!!! So happy you and Eric went!!! Def on my things to do list!

  36. Kathryne Galardo says:

    At first I thought this was going to be some sort of a glory-hole story…

  37. Katelyn Leza says:

    Janet Napalitano could not punch her way thru a wet paper bag. She is a coward.If I read you correctly, get some help, try to mature, you suffer from liberal illusion.