For me, the thing I enjoy doing the most is travelling alone in Europe with my camera, going and stopping whenever and wherever I want. In 2008, I spent the last week of August in France and Italy. Before this trip, I hardly had time to do any research. Wherever I went, I simply asked for direction instead of using a map.
Once I landed in Paris, I flew to Montpellier from where I hopped on the train and hopped off at a few small towns, including my destination Carcassonne, the mother of all medieval towns. Years ago I took a tour of France and stopped there for only two hours. This time, I stayed there one night, in order to see this walled city at night and in the morning. On my return trip I took a taxi to the Montpellier Airport, the driver told me he had lived in Paris for 32 years but would never move back there. I thought he meant it's expensive, but his answer was "The sky is always grey. You seldom see the sun."
I was in Italy for only two and a half days. I used Milan as a hub and travelled by train. When I was on my way to Venice, a family got on the train from Verona. The parents sat somewhere else and let their 3 young girls sit with me. They're 9, 11 and 13 years old, all lovely, cute and friendly. We started to chat, and I told them the next day I would go to their hometown but I needed recommendation. They took a thick book "Italia" from their backpack and turned to the page of Verona and showed me all the photos. They even let me share their candies. The 11-year-old was really remarkable, telling me how to walk around town. I was lucky to have her as my tour guide. When we reached Venice we all hugged and kissed each other good-bye. Now, from time to time I still miss them.