There are moments we all have when travelling that are truly magical. The moments that we treasure about a particular place and replay vividly in our minds when we reminisce after returning home. And if you are lucky enough, these precious moments are caught on film. During my time in Europe I was lucky to have captured some of the beauty of the places I visited. I have noticed a theme in the photos that represent the magical moments for me and that theme is the absence of other people. When I travel no, matter where I go, I try to find a moment of peace. For me, it is these peaceful moment where I can appreciate the undisturbed beauty of a destination. Below are my favourite European moments that capture my love for each of the places I visited.
It was late in the afternoon on my last day in Salzburg. I was already so captivated with the city and wishing I didn’t have to leave. I had read that there was a look out called Kapuzinerberg with views over the city of Salzburg. It was just a short walk from my hotel so I decided to check it out before nightfall. Reaching the top and looking out was one of the most memorable experiences I had on my whole European trip. I shared this incredible view with my boyfriend and it was a truly magical moment. I know this place is no secret to locals and visitors but the absence of other people made it feel like we had discovered this beautiful spot and it was just ours to enjoy. Our time in Salzburg was so incredible and as we stood there admiring the view we recapped all the wonderful ways in which we had spent out time there. Witnessing that spectacular view on our last night really was the cherry on top!
It was technically Spring in Amsterdam when I had visited but it had not arrived on time. The April mornings were still quite cool but we didn’t let that stop us from getting out early to enjoy the day. We had just stepped off the tram in front of the Rijksmuseum and the area was the first of where we set out to explore for the day. It was too early for the museum to open but I loved every minute of wandering around. There were approximately six other people around which I knew to be a rarity so I decided to just take it all in. Just to the left of this picture was where I enjoyed the best Nutella waffles in Amsterdam. We returned to this spot many times during our week in Amsterdam and none were as peaceful as our first encounter. For me this photo is a reminder of the immense joy I felt during our stay in Amsterdam.
The Reichstag is a popular monument frequented by visitors and often you’ll find the lawns in front of the building brimming with people. I had arrived here early in the morning because I had booked for the first dome visit of the day. The dome on the Reichstag is free to enter but you must book ahead and provide photo ID both when you’re booking and as you enter. By booking the first available visit for that day I was able to enjoy shorter lines and fewer people to compete with for views once in the dome and infront of the Reichstag.
Prague, Czech Republic
This day in Prague was the first warmer day of the whole trip. It was a beautiful day to see the city by foot. My boyfriend and I were walking back down from Prague Castle when we decided to walk along the river for a change of scenery. We came to an opening that looked out over the Charles Bridge and the midday tourist crowd that traversed across it. This photo reminds me of the wonderful time we had slowly meandering the cobble stoned streets of Prague. Wanting to make the most of the beautiful weather we hired a paddle boat on the river, followed soon after by ice cream from nearby the town square. I could not think of a better way to spend a warm sunny day in Prague.
Zurich was a delight and possessed a lot of character. One overcast day we set off on a stroll through narrow streets to see what we could find. We were met with beautiful street facades and those classic Swiss shutters. The streets we walked through showed a quieter side to the city that I had not expected for the financial hub of Switzerland. After walking for some time we stopped for, what we would realise after the bill came, one of our more expensive meals of the trip. But that’s Switzerland for you…expensive, but delightful.
We had unknowingly timed our trip to Brussels to coincide with a multicultural festival being held in the city’s centre. The street was full of food stalls from countries all around the world (even spotted Australia there) and the stage was host to different cultural performances throughout the day. It was a wonderful thing to witness especially given the dark events that had occurred there just 6 weeks prior. My stay was short but I had a taste of what the city had to offer and would definitely re-visit if I had the chance.
One cold Spring morning in Copenhagen, my boyfriend and I set out for Nyhvan for a late breakfast along the harbour front. Nyhvan is as photogenic as it is colourful and time must be taken to appreciate every single feature. We didn’t just take our time as we walked, we lingered over breakfast to take it all in. I feel my stay in Copenhagen (as with everywhere else I fell in love with) was too short. But luckily I have the bright photographs to remind me of my time there.
While the internet is flooded with very similar images of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for me this one is special. Firstly, notice how few people are there. It’s amazing when there isn’t a crowd! Secondly, it is in the park behind the tower where we rested or ate everyday after a full day’s exploring. No matter what we did during the day in Paris it always finished with a crepe and a lay down next to the Eiffel Tower. I treasured my time in Paris and loved taking it at a slower pace this time because I felt that I was able to properly appreciate every moment.
So there you have it, some of my most memorable moments in Europe captured in a photograph. I always aim to find those moments of tranquility in every destination and as you can see, some of my more memorable moments came from wandering down a side street, lingering in a park, or exploring a less visited part of town. While I love all the usual attractions of big destinations, finding the quiet makes you feel that you have found a place just for yourself to enjoy and no one else. Finding the hidden gems of a city makes travelling that much more interesting.
Have you had similar experiences on your travels? Share your thought in the comments below!