In July 1996, I accompanied my mom to a World Blind Union conference in Madrid. On our way back to the Philippines, we passed by and stayed in Paris and Rome for a few days.
Some of the most unforgettable places we visited include the Fontana di Trevi in Rome. We also went to the Vatican City and visited St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. It was a very memorable and meaningful experience; one that I will never forget.
I had fun at Parc Disneyland in Paris. And, of course, the Eiffel Tower took my breath away! We stayed with Filipino friends, so we were able to eat rice and adobo. The family with stayed owned the restaurant Aux Illes Philippine; the wife was the daughter of the late culinary genius Nora Daza.
I spent my afternoons in Paris walking along River Seine, simply enjoying the sights. It’s an experience I won’t trade for anything else!
Madrid will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s everything I want in a city. I had fun walking around and visiting museums. I did not have a difficult time guiding my mom, who was already 98% blind at that time, because they had facilities for the disabled practically everywhere!
I loved spending time in their side street cafes, eating potato chips and drinking Fanta. I spent more than an hour going around a 4-story bookstore. I’ve never seen so many books in one building! When everyone was having their afternoon siesta, I went out to explore the streets of Madrid.
Before leaving for Paris, my mom and I joined a tour group and explored the walled city of Avila. It was a beautiful adventure!
Finally, we also had the chance to dine at Restaurante Botin, which is said to be the oldest restaurant in the world. It is also known as a favorite dining spot of the great Ernest Hemingway. Anyway, we tried their roast suckling pig (lechon de leche). What a satisfying feast that was!
Our European trip is something I will forever hold close to my heart, especially since it was the last time I traveled with my mom. I wish to go back there one day.
Below are some of the other photos of my Europe trip. I have yet to scan all the other photos in my collection. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add them here soon!
Tour de Eiffel.
Arc de Triomphe.
My mom and Charlemagne.
St. John the Baptist inside the Notre Dame Church.
Fontana di Trevi.
St. Peter’s Basilica.
Arco di Constantino in Rome.
A building in Madrid.
A coffee shop in Madrid.
The walled city of Avila in Spain.