Insta Highlights: Europe

Nothing like a bit of reflecting on your travels around beautiful, colourful, tropical, hot countries…. especially when you’re at home in negative temperatures in England, watching the snow fall outside your window, contemplating your next flight out of here. So here goes a little bit of self-torture!

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I found this old iron fence dotted with love locks as I wandered along the rugged, rocky cliffside that looks out over Monterosso Beach in Cinque Terre, Italy. Monterosso was my first stop on my route around the 5 villages of Cinque Terre and my first taste of what to expect from the others. I love anything a little bit rustic and a little bit coastal so luckily for me, I had just found the beginnings of my perfect place.

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Vernazza was my second and most favourite of the villages in Cinque Terre, especially since their focaccias are so damn delicious. Sitting by the harbour eating one of these with the sun beating down on my skin, watching the world go by was like one of those rare, blissful moments that I could easily imagine myself re-living again and again.

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I loved this cloudy shot I took while in Rome, looking up at the Trinita dei Monti, unreachable for me at the time I visited due to renovations on the Spanish Steps. It takes away from the bustle on ground level at Piazza di Spagna. Oh and there’s a palm tree.

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People say this a lot about places they visit but honestly, I fell instantly in LOVE with Granada the second I arrived there (no exaggeration), which was close to midnight and my surroundings were dark. The following morning I explored the winding streets of Albaicin and then visited the Alhambra. This was my view from the top as I stood there feeling so in awe of how beautiful this place was. That feeling is one of the reasons I love travel as much as I do.

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Another view from inside the Alhambra, peeking through one of the many amazingly architectured arches within the palace.

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Casa Batllo in Barcelona, a Gaudi work of art. Literally. I remember always seeing so many photos of this and thinking ‘I really need to go to Barcelona if this is what the city looks like’. FYI, the whole city doesn’t look like this, but the architecture there is not far off!

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Another Gaudi work of art, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The most amazing church – inside and out. These were my favourite of all the coloured stain-glass windows.

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One of my favourite European countries, Portugal and my favourite place to spend hours roaming the streets, eating gelado and sitting by the harbour; and feeling very at home whilst doing it – Lagos.

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I also have a thing for old doors, windows and tiles (don’t ask me why) and Lagos is the perfect location to find them all!

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Less than an hour from Lagos is Carvoeiro, my first encounter of Portugal (somewhere I’ve returned to 4 times already) and a spot that I’m convinced I will never grow bored of.

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Carvoeiro is FULL of hidden coves and little secret spots like this one, offering snippets of the blue sea through the cracks in the coastline.

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Close contender for my other favourite country in Europe – Greece. I spent a lot of time stretched out on boats as I weaved my way around the Cycladic Islands and explored their various beaches and towns. Ios is the party town of the Cycladic Islands, but this photo was a snapshot of an afternoon of pure, party-free bliss.

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Another shot taken aboard a boat, this time in Santorini. This photo doesn’t show the extremely photogenic town of Santorini that we’re all so used to seeing across social media. It shows the start of my journey away from that part of town and towards Nea Kameni, the volcano of Santorini. But it was also the start of one of my most-loved days so every time I look at it I have fond memories and use it as inspiration to get myself another ticket out of here!

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A contrast to the photos above. I clearly love the sun and spending time around beaches and palm trees. But last year I visited Slovenia and now equally love spending time amongst mountains and pine trees and water as beautiful and clear as this in Soca Valley.

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Not too far from the tourist highlight of Slovenia, Lake Bled is this place – Vintgar Gorge. An amazing walk around tumbling waterfalls and raging riverΒ  rapids against a backdrop of towering canyon walls and trees. My photo doesn’t do it justice – honestly it’s like walking into a Jurassic Park film set.

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It wasn’t just Slovenia that gave me a sample of mountain life. I visited Interlaken in Switzerland and experienced this funicular to Harderkulm, the highest point of Interlaken. This was one of my best photos because unfortunately the clouds joined me by the time I reached the top. Its okay, it just means I have to go back one day. Damn.

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And back on the ground, the town of Interlaken is extremely pretty.

For more, check out my Instagram page: www.instagram.com/lucethurlo_

Thanks!

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