Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Paris Adventure by Seattle Wedding Photographer Brandi Potter
I got home Wednesday night from my latest adventure and I always like blogging/editing travel photos as soon as I’m able. I want what I have to say about the trip to be fresh in my mind, and to be able to edit the photos so that they’re exactly what I remember. I didn’t really take as many photos this trip as I did in Ireland, but I think a large part of that has to do with the fact that I enjoyed these cities more than I did Ireland. Pulling out a camera seemed less important than enjoying the moment and experiencing these things with my friends. I did take quite a few more iPhone photos than I did “pro” photos, so if you want to follow along on my personal instagram account you can do so here.
Friends on this journey: Lindsey, Nicole, Seth, Torii, Kamra & Michael, Cody & Allison, and Melissa & Andrew
Originally Amsterdam wasn’t even on our list of cities to go to. When it was just myself and Lindsey going we were only going to visit Barcelona and Paris. When a couple of other friends decided to join us we realized we had enough time to add a third city. It was between Amsterdam and Geneva, and I honestly wish we would have gone to Geneva instead. Not because Amsterdam wasn’t cool, but I think the scenery and the amount of people would have been better for us. I was a bit overwhelmed with how many people were in Amsterdam at first, because I was expected a more quaint city.
We flew into Paris and hopped on a train at Gare Du Nord station to get there, and it was a pretty smooth ride. I’ve always had it in my head that traveling by train through Europe would be the coolest thing to do, so I’m glad I had that experience. It’s not the quickest way to travel though so if you’re hopping around a bit it would be better (and probably cheaper) to book a flight.
The food in Amsterdam was one of the best things about the city. They have these amazing fries that you smother in different sauces (seriously try the samurai and peanut sauce), and amazing noodle and Thai food. They also have Primark (other countries do as well), which was a whole experience on it’s own. I think next time I go to Europe I’ll just take an empty suitcase and buy all of my clothes at Primark as soon as I get there, because holy wow is it cheap and the quality is pretty dang good.
I absolutely LOVED the Van Gogh museum. My Mom is an art teacher so I’ve always had a really high appreciation of art, so seeing his work up close was indescribable. If you don’t know anything about Van Gogh and his life/battle with mental illness look up his self portraits. You can see so much in them, and how his opinion of himself changed as his mental state got worst. Not ashamed to say that I held back tears looking through the museum. This was the highlight of Amsterdam for me, and I’m really happy we decided to go.
I do wish that we could have gone to the Rembrandt House and the Anne Frank House on this trip, but I highly doubt I ever go back to Amsterdam. It was a good experience, but I feel like I saw everything I needed to see while there.
Oh. My. God. Barcelona. I resisted going to Barcelona because I’ve never had a desire to go to Spain, and I’m so happy that we went. It was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, and I was completely wrong in not wanting to go. I’m so blown away by this city, and I wish we would have had at least one more day there.
Obviously the food is amazing (tapas for days), and it’s a lot cheaper than I expected it to be. The city is also extremely walkable and it was quite easy to navigate, and I never felt unsafe walking from place to place. The Gothic Quarter is the best part of the city, and I think I could spend days in it just wandering around looking at all of the plants and clothing lines hanging off of balconies. It was extremely beautiful, and I regret not staying in that part of town.
There are several overlooks you can go to and see the entire city. We went to Bunker Del Carmel so we could have a 360 view of everything. It was a bit of a walk after the taxi let us out, but SO WORTH IT. We saw a really beautiful sunset while there, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a more amazing view of a city. When you’re actually walking around it’s hard to comprehend that there are Millions of people in this city, but when you look down on it from a higher vantage point it looks massive.
One of my favorite things to see in Barcelona was the Sagrada Familia. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s literally the most beautiful piece of architecture I’ve ever seen or will see in my life. It was designed by Gaudi and has been under construction since 1882. It isn’t expected to be finished until 2026. This place alone should make you want to visit Barcelona, especially since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I teared up standing in the middle of the cathedral marveling at how beautiful this place was.
Paris and NYC have been the two cities I’ve wanted to visit my entire life. I’m lucky that I’ve seen both in the past year and I’m still so blown away by them. Paris was a literal dream come to life for me, and I just want to pack up my dogs and move. It’s definitely not as walkable as Barcelona is, but their metro is some of the best I’ve ever been on. It was really easy to navigate and I definitely wouldn’t be afraid to use the metro alone when I go back.
We saw so much in Paris that it’s a bit hard to comprehend that we were only there for 3 days. The Eiffel Tower is, of course, amazing. Although as we were standing near the base the police cleared everyone out because of an unattended bag. They definitely don’t take security lightly in Paris, which I’m thankful for.
We also visited Notre Dame, the Arche De Triomphe, and the Louvre. The Louvre is by far the most amazing museum I’ve ever been to, and it’s MASSIVE. We barely saw 1/3 (if that) of the art there, so I’m definitely planning a trip back and spending an entire day there. I also cried while walking through the hall towards the Mona Lisa and seeing so many pieces of art I’ve only seen in books and movies. Actually getting close to the Mona Lisa is kind of hard though. They have barriers and it’s VERY crowded because people push to the front to take selfies with her (one of the most annoying things I’ve ever seen in a museum). Overall, the Louvre was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m filled with gratitude that I was able to visit.