Single 'Best' Thing in Europe?

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Jul 11th, 2005, 09:00 AM
  #1
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Single 'Best' Thing in Europe?

If you had to say what was the single 'best' thing to do or see in Europe what would you say?
Mine - A boat trip down Venice's Grande Canale at night
....to see the parade of ghostly old palazzos surrealistically and silently slip by. Dimly illuminated the pastel-hued palaces, built by rich families during Venice's heyday around 1600, and standing on piles are to me the most memorable and enjoyable thing i've done in Europe.
So no runners-up just the one thing that tops you memory bank!
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Jul 11th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Wandering the streets of Rome at night. Accidentally stumbling upon a small, beautifully decorated church where a choir was singing. The doors were wide open welcoming all, their haunting voices lured me in, I sat admiring the beauty of the frescos and sculptures while listening. A peaceful, yet surreal experience. I don't think I would be able to find that church again if I tried but I'll never forget that experience.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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My favorite memory is a very simple one. Sitting on the terrace of a friend's house in the small sweet village of Agordo surronded by the Dolomites Mts. and looking at the beloved mountain Marmolada.

Crisp clean mountain air, brillant blue sky, warm but not hot sun, complete serenity, a tiny piece of paradise.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Watching the sun set and the lights of the Vatican come in the early winter evening from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome. Beautiful colors, such a serene atmosphere, and I sat having a cappucino and soaking it all in.

BC
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Jul 11th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Awefully hard to argue against Venice at night, PalQ. But hiking in the Berner Oberland is right up there, too. Especially when we stumbled upon a colorful group of paragliders taking off and soaring several thousand feet above Grindelwald.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Paris for 2 weeks. Only thing better is an apartment in Paris for a month.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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Walking the streets of Paris. It is just magical.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 03:03 PM
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The warm glow of the old town square at night in Prague when snow is softly falling- unforgettable!

But, really it's hard to pick just "one" moment. That's just one that sticks out for me.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Pal Q - how were those palazzo slipping silently by? Surrealistically? What were they melting like Dali's watch faces or maybe they each of them metamorhosed into Kafka's cockroach?

Do you really mean surrealistically? If so I suggest you stay off the halucinogenics and you'll enjoy the experience even more!

Best thing? Climbing Mt Canigou in the gathering dark on the eve of Festa de Sant Joan for an almighty Catalan bonfire, rave up and general party in the comapany of hundreds of strangers - now that would be a night to remember if only I could... the hangover is still to painful to recall!

Dr D.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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Theres nothing quite like strolling a short distance early in the morning to the streetcorner snack bar anywhere in Italy, having the best cappucino and cornetto in the world while trying to decide on my itinerary for that morning.

Oh heck, I'll just have another cappucino and cornetto. Helps me think.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 05:17 PM
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Sunset, or, sunrise on Santorini
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Jul 11th, 2005, 10:36 PM
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In the winter, when my kids go back to school after lunch, I grab a friend and we go skiing for one hour. Then we go to the piste restaurant, sit outside in the sun and enjoy a Cafe Zwetschgen. Pure Swiss bliss!
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Jul 11th, 2005, 11:59 PM
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"Best" thing: arriving and looking forward to all the wonderful things you haven't done before, and perhaps a few you have inlcuding (and this is just for YOU, Pal: being able to hang your head out the window of a train, illegal and dangerous or not!).

"Wost" thing: leaving!

Next "best" thing: planning a return trip.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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ttt
I want to hear more!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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I'd put in a plug for the Keukenhof in the Netherlands. It's a large, amazing tulip garden. I believe the high season is late March to late May. It's simply unbelievable. The artistic layout of the park and the dazzling array of tulips made the trip well worthwhile. I've even tried growing tulips after seeing the Keukenhof (my results were a bit less spectacular).
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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Wow! That's a hard one. Maybe St. Chapelle on a sunny day. Or the Black Forest in the snow. My personal favorite, I guess, would have to be the Musee d'Orsay...I love the building, I love the art.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:10 AM
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For me it's also the Grand Canal at night. Sitting at a quiet canal-side cafe sipping vino, grappa or limoncello while watching a lone gondola glide by every once in awhile. Sigh.....
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:10 AM
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What an intriguing and fascinating question! A while back the European travel magazine ‘hidden europe’ (www.hiddeneurope.info) asked exactly this and came up with the following list, which I shall cut and paste in below. I hope followers of this forum will find it interesting. The ‘hidden europe’ list is very much Europe ‘off the beaten track’ – a series of images that evoke Europe’s grainy reality rather than just the soft focus lens view of Europe so beloved of tourists from other continents who tend to flock to the main sights. But I hope it, by posting this here, the list might encourage a few visitors to leave the crowds and seek out the Europe that lies beyond the reach of the guidebooks:

the slow train that grinds over the Danube plain in the summer heat

the sparkling moment in some unsung spot where we catch a glimpse of another world

the woman in black, in an Albanian speaking village in southern Italy, who stands in the spring sunshine outside the village church

a Sicilian quayside late at night where a ragged group of migrants estranged from hope and home nervously wait

Sarajevo, Srebrenica, and all the half remembered places from the news

the plane circling over the bay at Barra before landing on the beach

the sound of music from a bar in the back streets of Seville

the old hotel by the abandoned station in Karelia where the trains no longer stop

the magic of arriving on the post boat on the Faroese outpost of Svínoy

the group of men in a café eating slices of salo with black bread and raw garlic, washed down with vodka, on a cold January night in Ukraine

polenta in Bergamo, pierogi in Poland or struklji in Slovenia

Enjoy!
Nicky Gardner
www.hiddeneurope.info







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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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So far, my favorite "best" thing in Europe would be the entire city of Rome. I couldn't just pick one thing because I believe Rome is best savored as a whole. Walking the streets with a cup of gelato, ducking into various churches, and people watching in the piazzas of Rome are all Heaven to me.

Great post!
Tracy
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Jul 12th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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Paris...2nd, wandering lost in Venice
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