5 weeks later, and I think that we are probably home by the time you are reading this, but I couldn’t help but gather together just a snippet of my very favorite places we visited while we were in Europe. It was a FAST whirlwind trip full of driving, good food, laughter, tears on my part, hard days, good days, up days, down days, and SOOO rich with the grace and power and forgiveness of God through the Lord Jesus.
We visited these countries in this order, and I wanted to share tidbits of places we visited (just in case you might want to visit a few or all of these countries):
1) Germany (I know this isn’t considered Eastern Europe)
2) Czech Republic
15) Austria (Getting back into Western Europe)
17) back to Germany….
First I have to say that the mountains all over Eastern Europe are SOO beautiful. They’re pretty unlike Colorado mountains in that they are covered (you can’t see the ground in many places) with trees. The fall colors were so diverse (in Colorado we have mostly gorgeous yellow aspens, but you don’t get as much of the variety)
#1) The Mountain/Hill Roads in Bulgaria (They’re really narrow) – But a thick layer of fog hangs over them, and it makes it kind of mysterious and magical all at the same time. You can also get a really cheap B&B in the mountains (they are not super easy to drive to), with a wonderful breakfast.
#2) The beaches in Croatia. – Then we went to Croatia. Wow. Can I just say that I have never seen more beautiful beaches? The sea is so clear. The water is warm. The beaches at this time of year were still warm but not crowded. And the cliffs contrasted against the sea is just a version of majestic that I had never seen before.
#3) Visit at least one old castle that has some significant history to you or you can just visit it because it’s old and popular? – We found a really old castle ruins that dated back to before Jesus came to the world. I’m sure they had reinforced it since then, but I think a good bit of it was somewhat original. It’s incredible to think that these castles had lords and ladies and kings and queens in them so long ago, and now they are empty and quiet.
Truly it does remind me that kingdoms of men rise and fall, but Jesus’ kingdom just keeps going and going and growing.
#4) Magnificent Architecture.- I think Budapest, Hungary and Rome, Italy have some of the most stunning buildings you will ever see. If you go to Rome one of my favorite parts is seeing that Christians are no longer persecuted in Rome, and that the Colosseum is no longer full of people watching Christians killed for sport.
It’s also just AMAZING to see how God gave man all these natural resources like stone and the ability to make glass, and they mold those into these buildings that are so intricate.
#5) Places where history happened. – It really does make that history come alive in your mind and heart. When my family visited Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it made me so excited to think about how God used one small monk to make such a difference. The glory of God through the Reformation spread to SO many places, and you can still see the effects today.
#7) The Parks in Europe. – The parks are so peaceful and full of sweet older people walking hand in hand. There are groups of friends talking, kids playing with their dogs, animals romping, and in general the parks are really clean, neat, and beautiful. Also if you’re staying in a city, but you’re not a huge city person, they make a perfect place to escape to for some quiet and peace.
8) I don’t want to be pushy about this, but one of my favorite natural wonders sites we saw was Plitvice National Lakes Park in Croatia. – IT IS STUNNING. It has a bunch of terraced lakes, and if you go there earlier in the day you might have the opportunity to hike around all of them. They are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The lakes are kind of like stair steps, so each one has little waterfalls that pours down into the next one. There’s also a big waterfall at the very end of the lakes.
Psalm 150:6, ‘Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.’
This month has truly been unforgettable. It’s not been pretty at many times because of so many of my struggles with eating that have resurfaced, but it’s been a good month of re-learning God’s goodness, kindness, grace, mercy, love, and majesty.
I would love to know:
What are some of your favorite places that you’ve traveled to?
If you’ve been to Europe, where would you return to?
Which one of these places would appeal to you the most?