Top 5 Experiences in Europe

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Top Places and Experiences:

  1. Top 5 Places We Visited in Asia
  2. Top 5 Experiences We Had In Asia
  3. Top 5 Places We Wished We Spent More Time in Asia
  4. Top 5 Places We Visited in South America
  5. Top 5 Experiences We Had in South America
  6. Future Trips to South America
  7. Top 5 Places We Visited in Europe
  8. Top 5 Experiences in Europe

Continuing on with the Europe Top 5, here are our best experiences in Europe this past summer:

Our state visit with Obama

Our state visit with Obama

Honorable mention: Seeing President Obama in Warsaw, Poland

We had a couple of days in Warsaw, and were quickly surprised that nothing we wanted to see was open because of “government functions”. After asking around, we eventually learned that President Obama was in town for a speech and talks with Ukraine. We ended up spending most of our day waiting around for his motorcade, and eventually catching a glimpse (and a wave) from our own President. Unfortunately we didn’t stay in the Marriott to work out with him as well.

Number 5: Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary

Ahh, Sziget. We went on the opening day of this week-long music festival, and the experience was just crazy. There is so much to see and do, and the music was pretty great. Budapest was one of our top places, and Sziget was an awesome complement.

Number 4: Outdoor Activities at Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

2014-06-29 15.34.57Durmitor is absolutely beautiful, offers a lot of diverse activities, and is not completely overrun with tourists like most things in Europe. While we were there we went on some beautiful hikes, white-water rafted, and enjoyed genuine Montenegrin hospitality (and World Cup watching) that we’ll always remember fondly.

Number 3: First-Hand History in Sarajevo and Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

2014-06-24 18.04.05Bosnia was the unexpected gem out of whole trip to Europe. Growing up, we had heard of the conflict in the Balkans, but it was always confusing, with multiple sides and countries we couldn’t pronounce (it still is, for the record). But the conflict here, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, has had profound impact on the development of this region, and the situation here is still very fresh and tense. In both Mostar and Sarajevo, we were able to connect with tours that told us about what it was like before, during, and after these wars, and how it still affects the people there today. I think because this is a war from our generation (unlike WWII or even Vietnam), it had a more profound impact on us.

Number 2: Biking to Breweries in Westvleteren, Belgium

We rode bikes around beautiful country side and drank the best and some of the most rare and tasty beers in the world. The best birthday present I could ask for!

Number 1: Visiting Friends all around Europe

When we initially compiled our list of top experiences, over half of them were things we did because our friends took us there. Things like the Swedish underground rock club, or eating a hearty Danish dinner, or trying smoke beers. We are fortunate to have many friends around the world already, and after our travels, that we have many more. Meeting up with friends, and having a local to show you the hotspots and the “real” side of their city really transformed our impressions of certain cities. We just hope we can show some of our friends the “real” side of the US one day. Thank you all again!

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