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Something unique about your best city anywhere in Europe

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Oct 17th, 2014, 10:39 AM
  #1
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Something unique about your best city anywhere in Europe

I am looking for input about what made any of your visits unique.
As an example, the next time I visit Paris, I want to experience something completely different to my previous vacation there. It could be an event, an experience or a special restaurant.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 10:51 AM
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In Rome there is a wonderful pizza in frotn of the pantheon with a number of cafes. If you are there in the late afternoon a couple of them offer free munchies when you order a drink (bruschetta, etc - goes wonderfully well with a Campari and soda). And if you're there on the right day (would need to check) you can hear rehearsals of the choir in the church behind one of the cafes.

Incredible to sit there is the warm late afternoon looking at the fascinating Pantheon, having a drink and just relaxing watching the Roman world go by - to the tune of exquisite church music.

Another thing we loved was touring the gardens of the Vatican. One of the small chapels in the garden is very ancient - 400 something and when we were there a local pincipessa was having her ultra sophisticated wedding there. We went over to watch briefly and found from a plaque on the building that it was the same chapel in which - in 800 - Charlegmagne in a brilliant maneuver managed to wrest the crown from the hands of the pope and crown HIMSELF Holy Roman Emperor - so he didn't owe fealty to the pope as an overlord. Making a significant change in the history of europe,
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Oct 17th, 2014, 10:56 AM
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Amsterdam - going to a coffeeshop and buying over the counter all kinds of cannabis products - legally (well not technically perhaps but there are dozens of places with licenses to do so) - gives a nice touch to the ancient canals.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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In Paris, sitting on the fountain in the Jardin du Luxembourg and watching the French children play with the wooden boats in the pond in front of the palace. I love talking to them in French when they very politely asked me if I can move so they can reach their boat as it hits the side of the pond.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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In Barcelona the modernisme architecture is unique to any city. Although the style was popular during fin de siècle Europe, the Catalan variation, especially that of Gaudi and Puig, are distinctive and highly imaginative.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 02:45 PM
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During one of our September Paris adventures we wandered into a FNAC store and noticed an ad for fireworks at Versailles in a Cyrano de Bergerac extravaganza. We bought tickets and headed out one evening on the train.

What a wonderful display it was. We had been to Versailles during the day in the past but this was a totally different experience. Sitting in the bleacher seats in the dark with all French speaking people around us made us feel like we were definitely away from home.

We were a little nervous because we would be catching the last train back to Paris but we got back to the station in pleny of time.

I have no idea if fireworks are a regular thing at Versailles but it's definitely a thing to check out.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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If it is unique you are looking for you might try Dans le Noir restaurant in Paris http://paris.danslenoir.com/index.en.html Your meal is eaten in total darkness, served by blind wait staff. It is startling what a difference lack of vision makes while dining. I had the "mystery" menu, and was stunned when told afterwards what I had eaten. Nothing weird, of course, just a very different perception based only on aroma, taste, and texture.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 06:14 PM
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Ever been to an evening concer a taste Chapelle, in Paris?

A favorite for us was an evening at Villa dEste - they only offer this in sumner months. It was a great contrast to the heat of the a Roman day....cool, beautiful fountains at night. Beautiful!

Outside Lisbon, Sintra is a gorgeous way to spend a day....Quinta da Regaleira was truly memorable.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 06:21 PM
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What was your previous vacation? Looking at some of things being mentioned here, I did them the first time I went to the cities mentioned, and would have thought nearly everybody does and you did too.

And where are you going specifically? No point in telling you about something singular in a city like Lisbon or Berlin you have no intention of visiting.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 06:59 PM
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I think the OP might just be posting to see his name in lights . . .

He is also the author of http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...er-visited.cfm
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Oct 17th, 2014, 07:22 PM
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He is also the author of the third last post on that thread in which he promised to adjust his question and come back with a new one given all the complaints from many of the Europe regulars. That post was removed.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 07:35 PM
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Thank you. There are some interesting suggestions. For the benefit of Sandralist, I have already made three extensive trips to Europe because my wife and I love it there and we plan more. Each of our trips have been over an almost two-month duration. I can't provide specific plans for our future trips because we don't have any right now and we will no doubt return to many of the places we have previously visited, hence the topic.
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Oct 17th, 2014, 07:52 PM
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Sandraslist, did you ever think people just do these posts for fun?! And that's OK.
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Oct 18th, 2014, 01:01 AM
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An afternoon on the terrace of the restaurant in the corner of the peaceful square in front of the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor in Antequera. Up here it's totally peace and quiet. Next to the recently excavated Roman baths beneath and looking up on the 13th century Moorish alcazaba/fortress. Great views over unique landscapes (the spectacular Torcal limestone mountain etc.). Had the concert experience of my life in this church in 2007, and still it's used for different cultural events. http://www.wild-about-travel.com/201...ing-antequera/

About Antequera, the so called heart of Andalucia: http://www.andaluciacoastandcountry....era-spain.html
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Oct 18th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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I love reading these!

I am reminded of my trip to Paris when our children were with us. We all needed a break while we were in the Louvre and found a terrace cafe that overlooked a courtyard and part of the Tuileries gardens. We enjoyed relaxing and having a little French pastry. I remember sitting there just being happy to be in Paris.
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Oct 18th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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I don't have one best city--and to be fair, Fodor's considers Armenia to be Asia, not Europe--but I have to say that one unique city experiences was celebrating Vardavar in Yerevan:
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...wild-thyme.cfm

It's a terrific festival where everybody throws water on each other. Fun!
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Oct 18th, 2014, 08:55 PM
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Sitting on my penthouse balcony in the Beyoglu section of Istanbul after dark, sipping a few glasses of white wine, looking out to the illuminated buildings of the Old City (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace) and hearing the call to prayer. Almost surreal. Hope to get back someday. Along with Paris, Istanbul is my favorite city in the world.
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Oct 19th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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If I am not incorrect, isn't there a McDonalds in the pizza in front of the Pantheon ?

In Paris, we had dinner in this local restaurant . It is charming, manu is in Fench, in several visit
we never heard English ( the staff does speak it) . An excellent bakery is next door.
Le Square Trousseau
1, rue Antoine Vollon
75012 Paris
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Oct 19th, 2014, 02:39 PM
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I don't recall a McDonald's in front of the Pantheon.

In Rome I attended a "mini" evening concert inside the Castel Sant'Angelo It was in one of the smaller rooms, maybe only 60 people in attendance (tight squeeze) but good acoustics. Very memorable event.
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Oct 19th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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There was but it is gone. It came down to the Pantheon or McDonalds leaving. The vote was close:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncmiller/3781421731/
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