From West to East, I’d traveled through eight countries in three weeks, seeing some of the smallest countries of the world in a matter of days.

I’d started in London, went south to Toulouse France, and east to the snow-covered ski slopes of Andorra.
Leaving Andorra, I  traveled along the coast of Southern France. Passing by the walled Medieval city of Carcassonne, I continued to Montpellier and Nice.
Nice was in fact, very nice and the perfect gateway to another minuscule country: Monaco.

Click on an image to view photos of Trieste Italy up close:

After leaving Monaco, I met some amazing families and got to know more of the local hospitality in Genoa, along the Italian Riviera, and in Lucca. Just minutes south of Lucca is one of the world’s most iconic structures: The Leaning Tower of Pisa. I held up that tower as if I was the strongest woman in the world (or maybe I am the strongest woman in the world!) and took the road west to Florence and Bologna.

The whirl wind tour was nearly done, but I had one more land-locked country left: San Marino.

Click on an image to view photos of Trieste Italy up close:

In order to get there, I stayed two nights in a nearby town of Rimini, Italy. A coastal city, I found out it was Fellini’s childhood home. Imagine my delight! To find out more about his past and his relationship with the city, I stayed an extra night and sought out scenes which influenced his movies and life such as The Grand Hotel and Piazza Cavour.

Having extended my stay past the original plan in several of these cities, I had only a few days left before I was set to meet my family in Croatia. I’d successfully traveled from the United Kingdom to France to Andorra, Monaco, Italy and San Marino. Six countries in two weeks!

Click on an image to view photos of Trieste Italy up close:

My final stop before leaving Italy was a border town on the very Eastern edge of Italy. I passed through Venice en route to Trieste, a city which delighted me with its charm and liveliness. I watched the sun set over the sea and moments later caught the full moon rising in one of my favorite photos of all times.

It was from there that I could easily travel to Slovenia, where I was to stay in the capital city Ljubljana for two nights before excitedly traveling south to Croatia where I was set to see my family. The events to come were unexpected and a bit absurd. Just wait until you hear where I spent my final night! In the meantime, enjoy these photos of Trieste and Florence!

Florence Italy at Night - by Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps - www.MissMaps.com
Florence Italy at Night – by Anika Mikkelson – Miss Maps – http://www.MissMaps.com

PS – Need a refresher on all those cities and counties I mentioned above? Go back through this post and click on the links provided!

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