• A. Lane

The 32 most memorable experiences about my European Vacation...part 5 (#21-25)


I'm almost finished sharing my memories. Only a few left to go and it's becoming harder to harder to decide what I want to share. I have so much to talk about, but I only promised 32 experiences. Not a problem. I've made sure to include only the best, most memorable experiences that I thought everyone would enjoy. So, for the moment you've all been waiting for..... Part 5 of my most memorable....

#21. A very fond memory, and for good reason, was my experience at a fish spa in Athens, Greece. What the heck is a fish spa, you ask? Well, a fish spa is exactly what it sounds like. You go to the spa, and there are fish inside of tanks, and you put your feet in. The fish then remove dead and dry skin from your feet. I'm not talking about big mouth bass fish, or tuna, or salmon sucking on your toes... I'm talking about little tiny feeder fish that are not more than the size of your average gold fish. There were hundreds of them at the foot spa. I found a quaint little place as I walked around this flee market in Athens. I was encouraged by a friend of mine that I'd met while at my hostel. She told me that she'd done it before, and that there was nothing to worry about. I trusted her. So I asked the shop keeper if it would hurt, and she assured me that I'd feel no pain. I was nervous and a bit skeptical, but in the end, it was one of the most memorable things about my entire vacation. Letting tiny fish eat dead and dry skin off the bottom of my feet. It tickled, tingled, and felt like tiny little nips at my feet. There was no biting as the fish didn't have teeth strong enough to pierce flesh. It was just a really different way of having your feet cleaned. Unlike the traditional way, where someone scrubs your foot with a pumice stone or something like that. Instead, the fish gently nibbled away any callouses, or unwanted dead skin on the bottom of your feet and around your ankles. Overall, I would absolutely do it again as I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I recommend everyone to try it at least once. And if not that, at least try something new every once in a while. It keeps us young at heart, I do believe.

(At the fish spa, in Athens, Greece)

#22. What more can I say about Amsterdam that hasn't already been said? It is the place to be for people traveling to Europe. If you can, I would advise everyone to get to Amsterdam at one time or another during their lives. It's a little something for everybody. They had tons of museums, lots of rich history, lots culture, and lots of pot! Yes, Amsterdam is the most weed friendly place I've ever been to and I'm from California where they just legalized Marijuana. I describe Amsterdam as being the "parent" of California. Like, if you think California is carefree, laid back, 420 friendly, and a cool place to hang out-- then wait till you meet Amsterdam! Amsterdam is like the ultimate experience times 10. It's just that good. They have a legal Red Light District for crying out loud! Prostitution is legal, marijuana is legal, and just about anything goes. You could smoke in any of the coffee shops, the restaurants were designated smoking palaces. You could order food, drinks, and smoke your weed all at the same time. Let's just say that it was a very sociable place. I walked through the red light district and saw the infamous ladies in the windows. I was absolutely amazed at how bold the women were. Just standing there in a bikini or some sexy lingerie, waving and motioning for the passerby's to stop in and spend time (or money) with her. It was beautiful. I learned that women from neighboring countries, such as France, Belgium, and even London go to Amsterdam for the weekends to work at the red light district. What's even more spectacular was that I also read that the women pay up to $150 a day to stand in the windows there. WOW! With no one to tell them how much they can make, I imagine the working women to be pretty wealthy down there in Amsterdam. It was an eye opening experience. Not that I've never seen prostitution before, but to see it out in the open, and so freely was what amazed me. It went on during the day, and night. The red light district is so popular, why would it ever shut down? There were cafes, restaurants, strip clubs, tattoo shops, places to buy marijuana and even a museum of prostitution, I kid you not. I thought it was hilarious and had to visit it for myself. I read some pretty informative things, as well as some things that made me go "hmm." Lol..... I'm serious. It was that entertaining. Besides that, it was a very enjoyable little town. I was able to walk, catch trains, and find local eateries all within steps of my hostel. Would I return to Amsterdam in the future? You betcha I would! In a heartbeat and without hesitation.

(Memories of Amsterdam)

#23. I had such a great time in Oia, in Santorini, Greece that I couldn't do this blog without including it. But I will say this for anyone planning to visit, there are approximately 250+ stairs that you have to climb in order to get to the top. There are donkeys, and donkey crap all along the way to watch out for. You can rent a donkey for the climb for about €5-€10 euro. If not, you MUST wear comfortable shoes to get to the top. Bring plenty of water, and sun tan lotion for the hike. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more to reach the top! It's hot, and there are few shady spots to rest. But, it is so worth it once you make it to the top! I almost tapped out a couple times, but I saw grannies and kids climbing up there with no effort and couldn't be put to shame by them. Also, I had to get my selfies up there, or at least die trying. Once I made it to the top, I was taken away from the breath taking views of the Ocean. The sunset was captivating, and the water was beautiful. The blue and white buildings are what really make Oia a great place to visit. The scenery was amazing. While there, I saw that many of the buildings in Santorini were blue and white. I didn't ask the significance of it because I was too busy enjoying myself. My first hotel on the island was absolutely the best. I had a room that overlooked the pool area, and my hotel staff did a wonderful job to make me feel comfortable. No detail was overlooked. My second hotel was equally as nice, as I was just steps to a black sand beach called Perissa beach. The sand and the views were to die for. I will definitely return to Santorini for a more luxurious vacation in the future. You can't go wrong with Greece. It was a beautiful place to be. The food, the atmosphere, and the locals were all worth visiting again. So much to do and see on such a spectacular island.

(Oia, Santorini, Greece)

#24. Rome, Italy to me is a place that I never could have imagined going. Not even in my wildest dreams. It was one of those places that you only see in movies. But I was there! I was really there, and even still I'm in disbelief. Being there was more than words can explain. The history behind it, the culture, the food, the sights, the Colosseum, Vatican city, the Pope, and so much more. One of the highlights of this vacation was being in the right place at the right time and getting a chance to see and hear Pope Francis speak at the Vatican. It was an unreal feeling. Being surrounded by thousands of tourists from all around the world, and being blessed with that moment! To hear the crowd yell, cheer, and applaud as Pope Francis spoke was a memory that'll stay with me for a lifetime. Talk about timing. I was simply going to explore the city, and ended up walking to the Vatican. I stood in a line, got in the main square of the Vatican, and suddenly I look up and there is the Pope, standing in a window, speaking to his loyal and devoted followers. Although I didn't understand a word he said, the moment was something worth cherishing. I also visited the inside of the Vatican and it was truly a sight to see. From the gold infused murals on the walls and ceilings, to the marble floor, and incredible statues- the Vatican was truly a magnificent piece of art. It was bright, airy, massive, and detailed. It really is a memory that I'll never forget.

(The Vatican, and Colosseum in Rome, Italy)

#25. On the hunt for a gondola ride in Venice, Italy is something that I think about and instantly crack a smile. It was one of the most important things I wanted to do while in Italy, and I'm happy I got the opportunity to do it. It took about 3 days for me to get one, but it happened. It was raining for the first 2 days that I arrived. And just when I thought that all hope was lost, one the 3rd day, the sun appeared. It was such a nice day, and I was finally able to find a gondolier to take me cruising down the Grand Canal. It was an amazing experience. My gondolier was nice, and the ride was smooth. The day was beautiful and nothing in the world could spoil my mood at that moment. How many people can say that they've ridden in a gondola, in Venice, in Italy, while in Europe? Well, I can. The ride lasted about 30 minutes, and I paid 80 euro for it- but like I always say, I'd rather pay for experiences than things. And while 80 euro was a hefty price to pay, it was 100% worth it for the experience. Would I do it the same way again? Absolutely!!

(My gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy)

Once again, thank you all for taking the time and reading my blog. I do this to inspire the uninspired and let them know that they can also travel the world. If I can do it, you can it! Travel is out there, you just have to want it bad enough to go after it! If you enjoyed reading this blog, please feel free to share it with your friends. Everyone deserves a chance to explore the world, even if it's vicariously. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog. Be the first to know when a new post is released, and so much more! I appreciate you all!


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