That Time I Spent a Month Seeing Europe by Train

What were you doing August 9, 1999?

Me, I was on my way home from a month in Europe, riding trains from Copenhagen, Denmark to Rome, Italy, and a bunch of stops in between.

Along with two of my best friends, I spent the summer after graduating high school experiencing some of the world’s most incredible and iconic landmarks. Canals of Amsterdam, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre in Paris, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, St. Mark’s Square in Venice, the rolling hills of Tuscany, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Basilica in Florence, the Coliseum in Rome, St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vatican City, and many more.

It’s amazing what 20 years can do to film negatives (not to mention one’s figure). I have all the original photos in a scrapbook, but unfortunately digitizing negatives doesn’t always turn out as well as an original print. As I’ve been slowly making my way through the process of preserving the images as best I can, I’m reminded of how significant this journey really was in my life. If for no other reason than it instilled me a permanent sense of Wanderlust.

At a time when there were no smart phones, no Google to help translate, or GPS to guide us, we managed to make our way from city to city by train and bus and the occasional car ride from distant family friends. We had paper maps and pay-phones, post cards and rolls of film. We couldn’t share stories as they happened, or livestream what we were seeing. Each day was its own adventure, full of wonder, surprises, and mishaps. I consider myself extremely lucky to have learned an incredible amount in a very short time, simply by traveling a small part of the world at such a young age.

I think it would take a book for me to write about every one our experiences on this trip… So for the time being, here are just a few of these old photos digitized thus far. But as soon as they’re all done and the stories are all down, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

Hygge & HavnJulie Kanta