Exploring Europe’s Elegance

Shambhavi Sanghi Shetty is a 25 year old whose two biggest passions in life are music and travel. She recently travelled to Europe, where she visited Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Malta. “Travelling has taught me a lot. I’ve met so many different people during my travels and I’ve slowly learned how to make myself comfortable talking to complete strangers,” she tells us.

Shambhavi tells us of some of best places that she visited during her trip. “Lake Maggiore, in Italy, is a large lake near the Alps and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It’s surrounded by exotic flora and fauna that provides a breath-taking backdrop for the still blue waters,” she reminisces. “Montserrat, in Spain is another beautiful location to visit. It is a multi-peaked mountain range that is amazing to look at and even more amazing to climb,” she goes on, “and if you’re in Barcelona, you must visit Bunker del Carmel. They used to be Spanish Civil Bunkers where anti-aircraft guns were installed, so if you are history buff, it should be on your checklist. But the really amazing thing about Bunker del Carmel is the breath-taking bird’s eye view of the city of Barcelona!”

Being a solo backpacker in Europe, Shambhavi has learned quite a few things that she shares with other travellers, “If you’re landing in a capital city, you really shouldn’t miss checking out the smaller towns in its vicinity. Capital cities, just like our own, tend to be very fast paced and commercial. It’s the smaller towns that really hold the charm of any country,”she says,“Also, when you’re travelling within Europe, I would recommend taking public transport. It is always fun to meet locals, travel with them, and really soak in the culture and vibe of a place. This one time, I accidentally took the wrong bus in Malta, and while I could have gotten worked up about my itinerary getting messed up, I decided to make the most of it. I ended up stumbling across the Popeye Village, a theme park that is also known as sweethaven. There is also a little hill overlooking the village and I must say the view from there was to die for!”

“Malta is a largely underrated country,” Shambhavi tells us, “It is an archipelago that is known for its rich history and stunning architecture. With a large number of temples, fortresses, and the well-known Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers; literally every street and corner in the country is an absolute beauty!” She also has a world of praises for cities in Italy, “Milan is a very popular in the world of fashion but I must say that the city has a certain style of its own that one must visit to understand, and you cannot leave Italy without seeing Venice!” She continues, “The coastal city of Porto in Portugal is another pretty city. With its magnificent bridges, quaint cafes, and cobbled streets; it’s a city straight out of a postcard!”

“Europe is filled with hidden gems of beauty and old-world charm,” Shambhavi concludes, “I fell in love with the continent and definitely intend to visit again and explore other places I might have missed the first time around.”   - as told to Tanya