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What unique souvenirs do you bring back from Europe?

What unique souvenirs do you bring back from Europe?

May 24th, 2006, 12:40 PM
  #1  
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What unique souvenirs do you bring back from Europe?

We are all used to the many photos, tiny souvenir trinkets, etc. that many bring back on their trips abroad. But what is a unique souvenir that you know even before you arrive, that you will be bringing back home?

For me, I know I will be bringing back a unique or specific foreign cosmetic item from my travels.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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I brought back a sink and faucet for my powder room when we went to Paris a few years ago. We were redoing the small room and I knew that I would find the perfect sink in Paris. It was a small corner sink and it fit in our suitcase. We got a few odd look from the security folks. It worked well, but we unexpectedly moved out of state a few months later and sold the house - sink and all.
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May 24th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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I brought back a rock that was from the tower on my ancestorial castle in Scotland - Edzell Castle - the home of the Lindsay's. The tower had fallen a 100 years ago.

Stuart Lindsay Dudley
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May 24th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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A friend brought back a beautifully carved, ornate wooden chandelier from a store in Bamberg, Germany. It was quite large, but he was able to get it through as carry-on. This was in 1997, he knows he'd never get away with that today.
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May 24th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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I collect make-up compacts and love finding really old ones over in Europe. Most of them have been given to me by friends and family, but I do occasionally buy.

I am always on the look-out for really exceptional paperweights.
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May 24th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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It was Georgian silver serving pieces until the dollar went down the tubes. Usually just one creamer or stuffing spoon.

I'm impressed with bringing a sink back! I always get a year's supply of tea no matter what the dollar is doing.
And I bring back all the newspapers because my friends love reading them here. (Our newspaper is awful.)
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May 24th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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I am totally impressed with bringing a sink back as well. Wow!!

ilovetotravel29 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Now, if it were the kitchen sink, then there are even better jokes to make!

When I was a kid, I brought home all the do not disturb signs.

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May 24th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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I like to bring home small bottles of unique spirits (alcohol) from the place I'm going. For example, absinthe from Prague, flavored grappa from Venice, calvados from Normandy or special flavors of schnapps from Germany.
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May 24th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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a never published 500 edition of Sempé's animal cartoons.
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May 24th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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vcl
 
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We once brought back an 18th Century gentleman's street sword we picked up at a flea market in London. When we discovered it wouldn't fit in our luggage, we just wrapped it in one of the hotel's laundry bags and stuck a wine cork on the tip. We then carried it onto the plane. That should give you some idea of how long ago we made that purchase. And we still smile when we look at it hanging on the wall of our study.
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May 24th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Business cards from the restaurants we visit - we have 2 clip frames full of them hung on our dining room wall and are working on our 3rd

Free, easy to collect, some are very artistic, all have memories and theyare easy to display.
alya is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 11:31 PM
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Weird, I posted a reply to this thread criticising the person who removed a stone from a historic site and asking them to send it back - but my post seems to have disappeared. Do fodors think it's perfectly ok to vandalise historic sites then and wrong to call people to task for it?
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May 29th, 2006, 02:35 AM
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Quite right Nona!
I remember visiting the Petrified Forest in the US and was interested to see the exhibition of bits that guilty people had returned.

If everyone took bits from their "ancestorial" (sic) castles, there'd be precious little of them left.
BTW, isn't it interesting how many people assume that they are descended from "the rich man in his castle".
The vast majority of members of the Scottish diaspora will be descended from "the poor man at his Gate"
Josser is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Melissa -

(BTW, I have a daughter with the same name.)

Be careful with the absinthe. This is from the Customs & Border Protection web site (www.cbp.gov):

"Absinthe (Alcohol)
The importation of Absinthe and any other liquors or liqueurs that contain Artemisia absinthium is prohibited."

I wouldn't want you to get in trouble.

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May 29th, 2006, 09:37 PM
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ha ha thanks Toupary! Actually--I'm not sure, but--I think it's the importation for sale, not for personal consumption. but I've brought back a lot of those kinds of things.....hemp-infused vodka....unpasteurized cheese...cuban cigars....so far so good. Not that everyone should do it!
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May 30th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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I brought back vegetable seed packs from Italy for varieties that are hard to get in the US. I did not know if they would be allowed through customs, but after about a 45 minute inspection, they were cleared. I had a great Italian veggie garden last year and am looking forward to another one.
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May 30th, 2006, 05:36 AM
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My wife can't seem to leave Venice without ordering a Murano chandelier. We've got three hanging in our house now. I keep joking that when we sell our large house and retire down south that we'll have the only 'double-wide' trailer with Venetian chandeliers !!!
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May 30th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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A pair of largish, metal dragon bookends. Not good for the weight limit!

A piece of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when it was "opened". Bought on site and some small pieces picked off with my own hands.
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May 30th, 2006, 05:56 AM
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The only thing I bring back from our travels are small flags of each country. I recently used them as center pieces for a party given in honor of a couple making their first trip abroad.
They are a conversation piece in our den.
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