Europe because Bollywood
As Indians, most of us have grown up with the Euro Trip topping our travel bucket lists. We can thank Yash Chopra for making us fall in love with the ethereal beauty of Switzerland. Or Shah Rukh Khan for taking us across the continent- sometimes in the Swiss Alps, sometimes on heist in Germany, or just randomly dancing and romancing around the European locales. And of course, we got to thank the bwoys- Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar for giving us goals of an epic road trip across Spain. But of course, with all the sky diving, scuba diving, running with the bulls, La Tomatina and Senorita! And this is just Bollywood. There is no undoing the magic of Before Sunrise or Midnight in Paris or all those out-of-the-world locales of Iceland shown in Interstellar and Game of Thrones. We could go on and on with the list. But it all just boils down to one point.
E for Europe
Think E and we’re already thinking EU!
At the beginning, a Europe trip was all about the aspirational travel for us. But we have been fortunate to get not just multiple opportunities to travel across Europe, but to travel for long and spend a considerable amount of time exploring the continent. At this point, collectively we have traveled across over 25 European countries. We deep dived into some, exploring multiple cities and towns. Some were a matter of touch and go. But here’s the thing, falling in love with European travel and staying in love with it was inevitable. Europe is practically at the center of the world, and has cemented itself the top spot when it comes to tourism. And rightly so!
Europe in Summers
European summers are absolute bliss. Long days, pleasant weather, the pleasant sunlight makes everything look better. The streets are packed with buskers, adding a cheerful vibe around. Europe in summers is a traveler’s dream. You can spend your days endlessly exploring!
Europe in Winter
European Winters were not the most appealing to me at least, given my low tolerance for cold. The days are shorter, the cold is often unbearable and oh! It rains. Not the monsoon kind of rains, just annoying rains in the middle of European winters. But what is rather surprising to me is how I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the winters too. Chilled beer was replaced with Mulled Wine, coffee or hot chocolate. Pizza remained a constant. So did the fries and the waffles. But the crowds were lesser, much more room and the spirit was festive with Christmas and New Year’s peaking the season. Shorter days means altered work hours, more people heading out to shop, chill and socialize with friends. How can we miss out the snow! Despite my despise for the cold, I cannot get over how heavenly all the snow-covered destinations look.
The plan was to make the most of European winters is to pick the right experiences and adventures!
European Winters are a whole other vibe!
Europe by Train
One of my first memories of falling in love with Europe on screen, includes Shah Rukh Khan handing out his hand to help Kajol get on the train in DDLJ. Coincidentally, without any hand-holding, my European travels have also been led by trains. I’ve travelled almost everywhere by train in Europe. I can count the number of internal flights, buses and road trips that we’ve taken in Europe on my fingertips. The ease, the comfort, the romance and the adventure of traveling across Europe by train is truly the most comforting thing about European travel. It certainly hasn’t always been rosy with train travel for us. We’ve missed a lot of trains, important ones too. We’ve spent the night at the train station and we’ve spent the night in some terrible trains too!
But even today, there is no other way I’d prefer exploring Europe than by train!
Europe on Foot
There is no alternative to walking. Be it Rome or Paris or the streets of Berlin, it’s criminal to not be walking around Europe to explore. The cobble stoned streets, the gorgeous views, the undeniable traffic etiquette of those driving and the mostly pleasant weather makes this experience incredibly special.
All things Europe
There’s so much more that we love about Europe. The beauty of the continent is the ease, the comfort and the diversity it offers for all kinds of travelers. The range of food, experiences, adventures, cultures is all worth the dime. There’s so much more to explore, each time you think you’ve explored a little more.
Parampara’s top 5 European destinations:
Spain: I’ve been thrice to Spain and none of those trips have been anything like ZNMD. But falling in love with Spain is so easy- mostly for the sunshine, people like sunshine and all the seafood and sangria. In Spain, above all else, happiness is the easiest to find!
The Netherlands: You can always love Amsterdam. But there’s something about the Dutch way of life that makes it so amazing. It’s effortless, chilled and the eye is always on the prize!
Czech Republic: You’ve not seen Czech if you’ve only seen Prague. Having explored various regions and towns of Czech Republic, its mind blowing how diverse the landscapes and lifestyles are across such a small country. Definitely worth exploring!
Scandinavia: I’ve only seen a portion of the Scandinavian landscape, but I’ve loved every bit of what I’ve seen and experienced. Be it the Norwegian landscapes or Danish design and city scapes. All the virtual exploration of Scandinavian Airbnbs is stuff that sweet dreams are made of!
So much of our travels and Awara Diaries has been about Europe, it feels like home already. We’ve not just traveled across. We’ve made memories, gathered experiences, connected with strangers and made friends. Even if it is temporary, we managed to create a life that is worth reminiscing. Can we go back to travelling again sooner? I miss all of it, especially Europe.
Have you traveled across Europe? What are your favorite EuroTrip memories?
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