Why Do You Travel To Europe?

Oct 16th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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Why Do You Travel To Europe?

A person asked me recently what drew me to Italy. I'd expect my personal interests are much like the majority of people who travel to Europe as a whole.

The trick seems to be in balancing your limited time and find easy opportunities for many of the interests found below.

I'm still looking for that one trip that hits them all. Take a look at my initial list. First time I typed them out and I'm sure a few good ones are missing:

setting my big flat feet on the ground where history was actually made

viewing impressive town walls/gates/forts/ towers/bridges (think old stone)

seeing how other people live/work/play

being amazed by and often praying in churches/convents/abbeys of all types

eating gelato

viewing unique fountains/monuments/statues

getting my fill of impressionist art

discovering panaramic views

spending time at famous pubs and cafes

eating sweets of all types

relaxing at parks and gardens

finding pretty places to take long walks or bike rides in the country to see flowers, farmland and groves

visiting small villages and hilltowns

buying picinic supplies at outdoor markets

drinking good beer and wine

shopping for unique local products

interacting with locals and other travelers

relaxing at outdoor cafes with views

discovering restaurants where more locals eat than tourists

visiting "period" homes and old palaces and mansions

eating fresh bread and pasta

visiting museums & art galleries

listing to church bells

wandering narrow, twisting old cobblestoned streets

hearing classical music in famous places

taking pictures of street scenes

looking around food & old book stores

riding great public transportation

discovering old doors/signs/street lamps

taking boat rides on famous rivers

collecting postcards and old coins and stamps

Did I mention eating gelato and sweets?
degas is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Hi degas,

Didn't we do this a few weeks ago?
ira is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Great list degas. I would add the following:
Meeting people and getting a different view of myself and my country;
Eating great food and drinking great wine;
Walking where others that I have read and heard about all of my life have walked;
Eating great food and drinking great wines;
Being so far from home that the cell phone won't work and the office can't contact me;
Did I mention eating great food and drinking great wine?
jdraper is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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ira, I really don't know.

At my age, every day is a new day, except for the far distant past which seems just like an hour ago.

Humor me and contribute something I missed. So, what were we talking about?
degas is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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>...listing to church bells<

Lay off the limoncello and the wine for a bit.
ira is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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ira, don't be making fun of my precious church bells - I have many fond memories of being young and silly while listening to them. Actually, being old and silly also,
degas is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Great list degas and I second them all, but I think you forgot to mention eating gelato and sweets
Mischka is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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I have a vivid recollection from June, 1963, when my PanAm 707 descended through the clouds on approach to Orly, and I got my first glimpse of La Belle France. It went something like this:

Wow. This is where it all happened. Charlemagne and the Franks and William of Orange and The Sun King and the storming of the Bastille and Napoleon and the Commune and Eiffel's tower and Verdun and Omaha Beach and...and...
Robespierre is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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I'm quite a bit older than most of the people who respond but I am awe struck by the Effiel Tower, the canals of Venice, The ruins of Pompei etc. These were pictures in my history books 75 years ago when I was in school and at a time only the Astor's & Vanderbilt's went to Europe. Today these great places can easily be enjoyed by everyone and that is why I travel.
picky is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Because the countries are older and have more interesting architecture, because we have made many friends in many places, and we find it all so beautiful. There's alot to be said about the proper behavior expected in European households, that can teach us a nicer way of life.
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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The first time we flew to Italy we flew over the Alps early morning. The sun was rising. The snow/ice covered Alps were a brillant gold. And snuggled inbetween mountains were little tiny villages.
I could hardly breath for the beauty of it.
I still get very excited (too excited probably) everytime I leave for Italy.
Everything, the beauty, the lifestyle, the food, the wine, seeing my dear friends, the culture, meeting new people, hearing the church bells.
I think if people have to ask "what drew you to Italy" they would never understand.
From the time I was a little girl and heard all the stories about Italy, the movie Three Coins In The Fountain, all the travel books all I ever wanted to do was go to Italy.
And yet I have known people that have gone to Italy and dispised it. Go figure!!
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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Hi degas,

I'm not making fun of the church bells. It's you LISTING.
ira is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:20 PM
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This sounds gory but I think what amazed me after reading English history was that we could tour rural England and the ground wasn't just drenched in blood. Seeing Tintagel was magic to me because of course I believe the King Arthur legend hook, line and sinker.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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I think the church bells are one of the great things about Europe (even though I don't go to church). They are almost hypnotic.
jor is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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The church bells, actually waking up to them, remind me that I'm NOT in Virginia Beach but in Europe!
Judy is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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The church bells in New York made me cry.
Stayed in a hotel off Wall Street and I had to lay down with a migraine. And when the church bells (not sure from which church) started ringing it just choked me up. Only then did I realize that bells is one of the things I miss since I moved to the US in June.

And so I have to say: Why I fly to Europe? To see my loved ones!
Kascha912 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:58 PM
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Walking down a street and not understanding what anyone else is saying...but not caring.
Watching the people go about their days, just like we do, but so different.
Always wanting to taste something different ( that they don't have "back home")
Add to that, see something different and DO something different.
Soaking up as much as I can from my time spent in another place and trying to bring it all back with me.

Gelato does nothing for me but I will be happy to talk about the cheese courses, the pastries and the wine ~
Scarlett is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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In 1972, I was on a train in the French countryside, watching the fields go by and thinking this is like being inside an Impressionist painting. I felt like I was on hallowed ground.
Nikki is online now  
Oct 16th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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Hi all,

I find that it's always a bit thrilling to come upon a sign that says "fondee 876", or something like that.

I like it when people argue over whether a building was constructed in 1142 or 1270.

See http://user.intop.net/~jhollis/oldnewsynagogue.htm
ira is offline  
Oct 16th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Ira's posting reminds me of being shown a "new building" in Italy that was constructed around the time Columbus arrived in the new world (notice I did NOT say discovered!) Really got chewed out the last time I used that word. I am learning.
LoveItaly is offline  

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