Europe is known for its narrow cobbled streets that lead to an architectural discovery.
Europe is known for its ancient ruins that narrate a culture of an epoch.
Europe is known for its grand history of the rise and fall that marks a chronicle.
Europe is known for its singing lanes that echo with a memoir saga.
Beneath all this and more, Europe is a living commentary for thousands who are looking for an inspiration to sketch, paint, curate, sing, narrate, depict, voice or just live.
Welcome to one of the archaeological reminiscences from my voyage journal on Europe.
Salzwelten, Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is like a brief version of heaven that unfolds various elements of ecstasy for an inspiring visitor. Divinity and simplicity is what defines this place the best. With a small old town, Hallstatt has a rich history of existence and survival.
Claimed to be the oldest salt mines in the world and carrying a history of more than 7000 years, the Salzwelten mines describe the origin, reformation and usage of salt over the years. A dedicated tour helps in exploring these mines and takes the tourists through tunnels, slides and the mining train.
Learn more about my experience here.
Fortress Hohensalzburg, Salzburg, Austria
The city of Mozart, Salzburg has everything for a discerning lover of art and skill. Lanes echoing with the melodious notes, streets scented with the charming flowers and alleys enchanted with the austrian dessert delicacies- the city drenches in its own charisma.
According to the oldest.org, Fortress Hohensalzburg ranks amongst the oldest castles in the world that dates back to 1077 and still stands high and with pride. Looks can be deceiving but this fortress can surpass all levels of betrayal. Visit it to believe it.
Demel Pastry Shop, Vienna, Austria
Vienna is that city that boasts of one of the best opera houses in the world. It has a dimensional charm that adds to the spirit and vibes of travelling and exploring.
A rare fact- Vienna is actually the birthplace of croissant. It is named after its crescent shape. Not left much to wonder, Vienna has a lot to offer in terms of history, architecture, music and of course pastries. Demel Pastry Shop is one of the oldest pastry shops in the world that pertains to its originality and authenticity since 1786. My recommendation: just dip in and dig in, holiday calories do not count!
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Who could deny that amusement parks are not worth cherishing? The enthusiastic squads, the mischievous pranks, the infectious laughter- it is a place that brings one and all to enjoy the little moments of life. You see #littlejoysandmore!
One of the oldest of these parks is actually based in Denmark- Tivoli gardens. One can feel the spirit, zeal, fervous, passion, frenzy and what not, even from a distance. With a giant logo roaring out loud all the craziness that it offers, this place scores a peak when it comes to planning the itinerary for Copenhagen.
Pont Sant’s Angelo bridge, Rome, Italy
“Rome was not built in a day.”- and I do not want to argue about that. An epitome of architectural brilliance that narrates the rise and fall of a mighty empire, Rome is blessed with sculptures, obelisks, statues, monuments and bridges- all built to perfection. Every nook and corner has a fable to portray and then there is the Colosseum that has a reign of its own.
Interestingly, one of the world’s oldest bridges is also situated in Rome and easily gets unnoticed if one does not know about it. The bridge is subtle, yet magnificent. The bridge is old, yet contemporary. The bridge is rugged, yet exquisite.
Cave Su Mannau Fluminimaggiore, Sardinia, Italy
Sardinia till date carries my fondest beach memories. With lucid waters and an appealing landscape, this small island can offer much more than expected. Each beach has its own distinctive identity that promises a superlative experience.
Apart from the beautiful beaches, Sardinia has also preserved its history of subsistence. The proof being one of the oldest existing caves on this island. The most striking feature of the Cave Su Mannau Fluminimaggiore is the formation of stalagmites and stalactites that grow by 2-3 cms in millions of years. One of them is 3 meters long, indicating how ancient and primeval these caves are. Mythologically created by an ogre, these caves define a culture of belief and faith.
Read a detailed itinerary for Sardinia here.
The Bertrand Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon can count on its endless cobbled streets, each varying in its design and pattern. With a history that has seen phases of imperialism and then diminution, Lisbon is a storehouse of some unheard stories. Marking its glory since like ever, Lisbon has something for everyone who comes to visit it.
The world’s oldest operating bookshop that is also registered in the Guinness Book of World Records is actually located in Lisbon. The Bertrand Chiado situated right in the middle of the old town is a place to seek solace for the book lovers all around the world. The signage at the entry door says it all.
Glenfiddich factory, Dufftown, Scotland
Scotland is synonymous to ‘illusional landscape’. Far and beyond, it stretches to horizons that keeps the visitors captivated. Castles and bridges, hills and ridges, highlands and oxbridges, the vision is alluring and more.
It is not hard to guess that Scotland is the home to our very own ‘scotch whisky’. And it is no secret that the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky is definitely the Glenfiddich.
Built on an inspiration to provide nothing but the best, the founder William Grants pursued his dream in 1887 to innovate the ideal scotch whisky in the world. Amongst the few single malt distilleries to remain entirely family owned, Glenfiddich has its only and oldest manufacturing plant in Dufftown in Scotland. A guided tour helps in understanding the processes and techniques that are used at various stages of the production, to finally bring a bottle that marks its terrainial superiority. The tour ends with a tasting session, which of course remains the highlight for all its ensued lovers.
Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería, Seville, Spain
Seville welcomes all with its open arms to discover an explicit architecture dominated by muslims and christians over a period of time. The saga of this mystery finds its shape in the form of cathedrals, institutes and forts- few of which are now morphed for modern use. Yet, the archival quotient remains high and spiritual.
Bull fighting is recognized as one of the oldest recreational sports and owes its origin to Spain.
The bullfighting range in Seville definitely provides a glimpse of this ancient source of entertainment. With an extended exhibition hall that sketches the era of the bull fighters- their reign, power and fame, the whole experience is both a delight and a surprise.
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
Vatican City is one of the smallest countries in the world and is strongly ruled by the conviction of truth and belief. The portrayal of the Bible itself, the country describes the virtues of faith, loyalty and morality.
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is actually one of the oldest churches in the world. The house of the Pope, the urge of every christian and a treasure of biblical anecdotes, this church is also the largest church in the world. Completed in 360 AD, it reminds of the renaissance architecture that also denotes the hopes and aspirations of many. The sight in itself is a memoir of a legendary tribute.
“Old is Gold”, and “that is gold which is worth gold”. Inspire and aspire to visit these oldest places in Europe to chase the untraceable footsteps. Also, galvanize yourself to read some of the interesting articles right here on this blog. Follow my voyage on my social media.