Tag: france

Louvre Museum - Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

Three Days in Paris

Paris is as much an idea as it is a city. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to come here, my mind filled with images of shimmering lights and elegant city streets. I was not alone; Paris shall likely always remain one of the most desired destinations for international travel. The romanticized idea of the city is so pervasive that the disappointment many experience when it doesn’t live up to unrealistic expectations is a catalyst for a condition known as Paris Syndrome, an extreme culture shock best described in the New York Times article, “Chinese Tourists Find a Movable Feast Best Left Behind.”

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Visiting the Mediterranean – Italy, Greece, Turkey, Monaco and Spain

Girl Resting in Amsterdam Airport

The strangest part about returning from a long trip is the reintegration back into the familiar. Life comes back, only, in the back of the mind, there are now memories of places and people one didn’t have before leaving, as if someone implanted them into the head.

During the last three weeks of September, I went off to various cities along the Mediterranean with my family, several family friends and a big group from Hawaii (where I grew up). We traveled aboard a Princess Cruises ship—the masculine Star Princess—from Venice to Athens, Kusadasi, Istanbul, Mykonos, Rome (docked at Civitavecchia), Capri and Pompeii (docked at Naples), Pisa and Florence (docked at Livorno), Monte Carlo, and Barcelona. I initially had reservations about traveling via cruise liner on my first trip to Europe, but the experience was wholly positive: We spent the days out until we were dead tired, returned to the ship to eat and sleep, and woke up each day to a new amazing port.

I’m fortunate for the opportunity of seeing such beautiful places. Everything about the trip worked out wonderfully, from spending time with my family to the fun people in our group and meeting an online friend I had never met before in Rome. These are the things that really highlighted my experience—the people that made the adventure more meaningful than just simply being in nice places.

Prettiest city: Venice
Least pretty city: Athens
City I most want to revisit: Rome
City I least want to revisit: Monte Carlo
Best view: The Acropolis
Prettiest panorama: Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Most random: Saying “Go Giants!” to a guy wearing a Giants cap at the Temple of Zeus
Most adventurous: Squeezing into the Blue Grotto on a little boat off the coast of Capri
Most awkward: Magician on the ship reminded me of Gob from Arrested Development
Favorite moment: Quietly admiring the inside of the Sistine Chapel with a pretty Roman girl

Below are my photos from the trip. I focused on capturing people, street art and basically anything that could describe life in each city. They mean a lot to me, so I hope you enjoy them. Continue reading “Visiting the Mediterranean – Italy, Greece, Turkey, Monaco and Spain”