Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

For experienced (older) travelers, has Europe changed?

Notices

For experienced (older) travelers, has Europe changed?

Old Jul 19th, 2006, 03:07 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<"I think the issue of birth rates in these countries should be of prime importance and a feasible solution needs to be implemented immediately.>>

I think I know the solution!



ps there were a couple more jokes but I just couldn't bring myself to type them.

Geordie
Geordie is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 03:14 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 12,848
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nessundorma, your reply was hateful. The op asked a reasonable question and you acted, predictably, like the Fodor's European attack dog. Don't you ever get tired of your shtick?
kswl is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 03:42 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's a bizarre irony that this thread was sparked off by an immigrant to the US complaining her native country's full of immigrants.

And it'd be tempting to ask which "changes" the poster is worried about in England:
- our 8,000 medieval churches, built by French conquerors for a religion imported here from the Middle East?
- our landscape entirely manmade, much in the past 250 years: practically all in the past 700?
- our fine stately homes, almost all built by the descendants of French conquerors to designs mimicking the taste of our Roman conquerors a thousand years earlier. As modified in 17th/18th c Italy?
- our quaint rituals. Like tea, that notoriously native English plant?
- our gardens, stocked with non-native plants like rhododendra and gladioli? (practically nothing grown here is native)

But my suspicion is that it's irrelevant to the original question to point out that England is almost nothing BUT cultural absorption.

Because the poster cites not a single example of a church closed, a concert hall functioning less often, a restaurant serving less food, a vineyard withering, a bookshop less full of new titles. Or any other sign of anything that matters in Europe decaying.

And it's not motorways or air conditioning that worry the poster,

It's Muslims. Apparently some Middle East religions are entitled to spread here and some aren't.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 03:48 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 12,848
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FODOR'S EDITORS: PLEASE CLOSE THIS THREAD. The replies are becoming hateful, political and religious. Isn't there enough of that elsewhere right now?
kswl is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 04:20 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of course Europe has changed drastically in the last 20-30 years. So has the U.S. And so have all of us, personally. I'm glad for some of the changes I've made over the years, but sure, I also miss parts of my youth I had to leave behind.
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the disheartening changes your friend has seen are more connected to changes within herself than changes within Europe. And I'm sure that the Europeans of 20 years ago probably lamented things lost from the Europe of 50 years ago. Sic transit gloria mundi.
But there's lots to celebrate too, many have noted about. Remember those goofy postal reply coupons you had to buy if you wanted to write away for a hotel reservation? And how you had to wait and wait and hope the mail hadn't gotten mislaid somewhere en route?
If you want your children to get a better feel of "old" Europe, don't take them to the touristy highlights. Go to Berry and Auvergne instead of the Loire Valley and the Cote d'Azur. Go to rural Styria instead of Salzburg.

Somehow, I don't think the people of Poland or Slovenia or East Germany or the Czech Republic are longing for the world to turn the clock back 40 years. And there is no way I'd want to exchange the London of today for the London of the 1970s and early 1980s. Bad clothes, bad hair, bad food, bad plumbing. Ick.
BTilke is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 04:32 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kswl:

The thread hasn't "become" political, religious or hateful.

As I said, the original poster can cite precisely one significant change in Europe: that there are more Muslims about these days. The poster said nothing about anything valuable under threat.

The poster didn't moan about proliferating Starbucks or disappearing Routemasters. Just about immigrants.

I agree that's political and hateful. But that's how it started. It's got a great deal more tolerant, liberal and interesting since.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 04:39 AM
  #27  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,700
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Tara,

>..is Europe changing for the better from a traveler's perspective?<

Of course not. Everything has been going downhill since Adam and Eve were ejected from Eden.

I have found that Parisians are much more friendly toward visitors than they were 35 years ago.

I think that Europe is not as different from America then it was when I first visited, but America is less different coast-to-coast than it was 35 years ago.

ira is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 04:43 AM
  #28  
Pausanias
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The two changes most apparent to me since my first European trip in 1971 as a student are increased prosperity, which I believe a good thing, and increased tourism, to which, requiring as it does reservations and standing in lines, I am somewhat less favorably inclined.

 
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 05:39 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good points, ira! I too have found the French, especially Parisians, much more friendly - and less snobby about language.

flanneruk, I think you've misread the OP's statements: It's not she who has those sentiments, but those of her friend. She further explains herself quite eloquently starting with this (about 17 posts above what I'm typing now):
"Author: ma23peas
Date: 07/18/2006, 11:53 pm
Thank you very much for your responses...I apologize for any that construed my intention was to find nations based on heredity and racial purity...not at all my intention."

It might help for you to read her entire post.
ggreen is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 05:53 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 12,848
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't confuse flanner with any facts. It will upset his soapbox.
kswl is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:00 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,590
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the discussion. I realize that in the U. S. and in Europe much is the same but much has changed. And I also realize my mixed feelings. I do want things to be the same if they are places of natural beauty and also certain unique and quaint sites.

Which is why I support National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Parks Conservation Assoc. and Sierra Club. But I know things do change. Look around where you live for an example. We see restaurants open and close, new subdivisions going up, etc.
Some things should never change even while change is inevitable. That could be a new list.

ozarksbill
(By the way, in years gone by we used to look for those hillbilly shacks. No more...now you see almost all mobile homes/trailers).
Ozarksbill is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:04 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ggreen

We can all use 'friends' as a way of conveying a message. I agree with Flanner I think the OP did single out a particuilar religious group to make a politcal statement.

Why not substitute the word Muslim that was used with the word Jew or Blacks and see how you feel about the statements made by the OP.

I know what my feelings are!

Geordie
Geordie is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:34 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A big reason I want my children to see London/England and Europe is that from what I hear it's changing quickly.

This is the scenario put to me by a dear friend of mine native to Holland and now a US Citizen after living here 10 years. She was disheartened at how her country had changed. Her country had an "open" policy on Jews and their approach was to house and feed many Jews not requiring the same from them as from natives. Meaning, she saw many living off the state while her native friends and family were struggling to make ends meet and find opportunities. She also saw a huge influx of blacks over a period of time and had noticed that it was now not politically correct to have "Dutch" days in school or in public arenas because other cultures said it made them feel alienated...she also commented on the child per couple going wayyyy down...in England it's now less than .94 child per couple...less so in Holland. China/Japan also having these issues...but with changes such as these will my children still get the same Holland, Switzerland, France, Austria, England, Italy that was there 10-20-30-40 years ago?

I'm just curious to see how those who have traveled over these spans may have noticed a cultural shift...for better or worse.

I realize the Ottoman Empire collapsed, I know there is no "Prussia" or Constantinople (well by that name)...and things do change...but is Europe changing for the better from a traveler's perspective?

Thanks for insights..it may help us decide where to travel next. Thanks!
nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 5,473
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am 46. I visited Italy after my freshman year in college in 1979 with a childhood pal. I next visited Italy in 1996 with my wife who was five months pregnant with our first kid. One big difference from 1979 and 1996 was that, at least in the tourist towns, the mid-day siesta as an institution is OVER. I believe the EU system has encouraged Italy to give up this part of its culture, part of the EU homogenization process. Another big difference was that, in 1979, the only non-Italians I noticed were Gypsies, most of whom were beggers. In 1996, non-Italians were prominent near tourist areas and train centers. Africans and Muslims(many Albanians) seemed to sell a lot of tourist junk.

Commentators and scholars have mused over the decadence of Europe and its collapse as a civilization since Oswald Spengler at the end of the First World War. I hope they are wrong but it is hard to not see that Europe is experiencing a spiritual malaise. One indicator is the very low birth rates. The demographic revolution in Europe is serious. I believe that London, Antwerp and Rotterdam all have populations that are nearly half non-native. Rest assured, if current migration patterns remain unaltered, Europe will be changed culturally fifty years from now.
GeorgeW is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 07:45 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ma23peas: Your friend could have been describing where we live in California and probably many other US cities. Our culture goes down the tubes for fear of offending newcomers. Very sad.

Our first inkling of drastic change in Italy was during a conversation with a cab driver, who noted that if the birth rate and influx of immigrants continues at its present pace, Italy will soon be without "Italians."

On our initial visits to Italy we walked into St. Peter's Basilica, no lines. Likewise with the colliseum. Strolled through the Forum without crowds. We could sit at a sidewalk cafe without having roses shoved in our faces and sometimes anger when we refused to buy them. Nor were tacky toys displayed for sale (that probably subsequently didn't work).

In spite of what we consider changes for the worse, we love Italy and will return whenever possible. We just remember with fondness what it was like before these changes.

We haven't traveled as frequently to Paris so can't make comparisons. Other cities, Athens, Prague, Budapest, Seville, etc. we've only visited once.

We love Europe, but haven't been there for about four years because of the exchange rate and more expensive prices for hotel, food, etc. We visited Buenos Aires for the first time last November and absolutely loved it. We hope to visit other South American cities in the near future, so Europe may have to wait for our return even longer (unless the money situation radically changes).
Giovanna is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 07:57 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,820
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Giovanna, unfortunately the cab driver statement is so true.

Italy birth rate is almost zero, meanwhile the poor immigrants that come to Italy searching for a better life, are very prolific.

Twenty five years from now the Italians ways of life and culture will suffer a great change..

I feel sad everytime I go back to Rome, because I already can see the change.

My sister that lives in France refuse to go back to visit her native city.
She told me that she wants to remember Rome as it used to be.

kismetchimera is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 08:07 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ttt
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 08:19 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Topping after no activity for 10 minutes!! Give me a break!
wombat7 is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Which is why, GeorgeW, the viability of the "siesta period" is a relic of the past-quaint for tourists but totally inpracticable in the 21st century.

As I pointed out on another post, Italy, for all its economic and population issues, is still the 7th most industrialized nation in the world, and those European countries that continue their quaint traditions at the expense of advancing their citizens' quality of life are going to be left behind, with the advancing Asian economic tiger, and will literally be much the poorer for it.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 08:24 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry wombat7- wanted to bookmark it for futher reading before it became lost in fodorland...
kamahinaohoku is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information