Postcards From: Portugal, Italy, Spain, Malta, Belgium and France

Joyce Truong

For this post, I decided to something a little different. I just went on a trip to Europe for two and a half weeks where I visited six different countries. It was really exciting, so I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures that I took since I wouldn’t have been able to paint them all with only one week left of the cycle when I got back.We stayed in Lisbon, Portugal for a few days, then we flew to Milan and took a train to Genoa. Our cruise left from there and took us to Civitavecchia, which is Rome’s port, and then onto Valetta, Sicily, Marseille, and Barcelona. It dropped us back off in Genoa and we then took the train to Milan, stayed a few nights and then flew to Brussels. After staying one night in Brussels, we flew to Madrid and stayed for two nights. Lastly, we took the bus to Barcelona and then flew back to SF.

Out of all the places we went to, my favorites were Brussels and Marseille. Although they were both very small places, I would still want to go back and visit because they’re both very beautiful. I loved the Christmas market at night in Belgium, and I feel that I had the best food there. We ate mussels and fries, chocolate (of course!), Liege and Bruxelles waffles, and hot chocolate. There was also a beautiful light show in the town center. In Marseille, I got my favorite souvenirs! They’re known for dried lavender and handmade soap, so I had to get some. I also enjoyed Marseille a lot because I got to see a double rainbow there!

Some of the places that we went to were nice to visit once, but I’m not sure if I’d go back because there isn’t much to do. In Lisbon, we took the cable car tour, but it only takes you around the city, and there isn’t much to see. My highlight there was seeing the Pena Palace and eating Pastéis de Nata, Portuguese custard tarts.In Sicily, we explored the capital and got the best cannolis ever! I did find an Italian lemon soda that I had been looking for, ever since I tried it in Venice during the summer of 2018.  Barcelona and Madrid were more touristy and crowded. Although there was a lot more to do in Spain, I’m not sure I’d go back. But, I got the best latte and churros that I’d ever had in Madrid! In Milan, we went to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery (which is basically just a fancy Starbucks) and I got a pistachio praline latte and an iced smoked butterscotch latte. The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is definitely the coolest Starbucks that I’ve ever been to. If you’re interested, search up “Milan Starbucks” online and check out the images!

This post was the most exciting one for me to create, and I hope you enjoy the pictures I took. This is my last post of the cycle, but I’ll be back next time! Maybe I’ll come back with more postcards, or a different column. Thanks for coming along with me on this adventure as I painted my way across the globe!

Shopping area in Brussels, Belgium
Mall in Milan, Italy by the Duomo
Spanish dancer earrings in Madrid
Handmade Savon de Marseille soap in Marseille, France
Double rainbow in Marseille, France that I was too slow to take a good photo of
Pena Palace in Lisbon, Portugal
The Basílica de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain
View of Genoa, Italy from our cruise balcony