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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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
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!