Just back from Europe

Hootie

Old Skool
Hey everyone! Just back from my five weeks abroad. I really wasn't prepared and didn't know what to expect, but I had a blast! It really lets you know that there is more to the world than your little local network. Way too much to talk about so I will try to consolidate. Barcelona is hands down the best city I have ever been to. I changed plans on my whole trip once I went through there just so I ended up spending two weeks there. Paris was cool, traffic is not bad at all for a city that big. Doug and Kristie, can you believe that three weeks after you visited Paris it is now freezing cold? I wore three t-shirts a dress shirt, a sweater and will still so cold that I went against everything that is sacred Eurosheek and threw on a hooded sweatshirt. I wouldve just bought a coat but didn't want to lug it around when I went back south. Rome was soooo interesting (probably my second favorite of my mediteranean + France tour of Europe). Venice is only romantic if you don't mind the whole city smelling like stagnant water that gets the whole cities sewage dumped into (I wouldn't want to honeymoon there). Dubrovnik and Croatia was a pleasant surprise, very underated. Beautiful country, simple life, low cost , clean, very humble, unreal beaches. Honorable mentions: Madrid, Greek Isles, Livorno, Alicante, Monaco, Lisbon. Worst places: Pompei (italy), Naples (italy), and 90% of italy. Most overated place: The "French Riviera" ooh la la. That has to simply be French politics saying that the dogsh*t is actually caviar. Why even bother talking about a beach that is 85% rocks when you can go to a beach with sand right next door in Spain. In my head I always had the midwest theory that Spain is just the daddy of mexico (despite three years of hs spanish and a college spanish cultures class). Man was I wrong they have almost nothing in common. That was the best education of the whole trip. I cant wait to go back and spend a month backbacking exclusively through Spain. The food is great, its clean, cars wont run you over, people are super helpful, easy to get around, cost is very reasonable, the girls are muy caliente and friendly, and the beaches are the best I saw. Also I got bit by a dog in Italy, but it was an AWESOME time and I highly reccomend it to everyone.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Wow, thanks for the trip report!

But here's the question. Whenever I go to Europe for a week or so, I have a little trouble adjusting back to the restaraunt norms (here's your check, get out!), loud people and screaming babies norms of the US.

After being gone for so long, what was your biggest challenge reajusting to the US?
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
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Also I got bit by a dog in Italy, but it was an AWESOME time and I highly reccomend it to everyone.


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Huh, last time I got bit by a dog I didn't recommend it to anyone. Well, maybe Italian dogs bite differently. HA, just kidding. Welcome home.

BTW, the beach gets better on either side of the Rhone delta. If you are too close the river it is not great. The beaches up towards Nice are nice (ha), and down south of Beziers.
 

secretapproach

New Member
I live in Lisbon. The next time you or any of you JC heads come over here make sure to send me a PM beforehand and I'll show you what I know. Ok, so I'll just take you out for a tasty cold Portuguese beer (really!) because I'm a terrible tour guide.
 

Hootie

Old Skool
Doug, Since I was over there for so long, it just seemed like a dream when I came back. But the first hard part readjusting was trying to understand what the Newark folks were barking at me (Id been grunting and pointing in broken spanish and french (I call it Franspaniol) for so long). Being an immature college kid the second big adjustment was going from skinny dark Spanish chicaritas in jean jackets and gucci shoes to ghostly white farm girls in hanes sweatpants all while carrying a 12 pack of busch light, that was big culture shock. Iowapilot knows what I am talking about, right? even if I am exagerating a bit, lol, but I love it here,
What was your favorite site though in Paris?

Ophir , I did go to Nice, and your avatar rules.

Secretapproach, I thought Lisbon had some pretty heavy traffic for a city under a million. Was I there at the wrong places at the wrong times or is it that slow and heavy?
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
Secretapproach - If we were to come into Lisbon, what would be some of the cultural things we could see/do/eat??
 

aloft

New Member
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I live in Lisbon. The next time you or any of you JC heads come over here make sure to send me a PM beforehand and I'll show you what I know.

[/ QUOTE ]That's probably true of everyone on the board. Seems like a good reason to fill in the "Location" box in your profile!
 

Adam4884

New Member
Glad you had a good time in Europe! Sounds like you visited some of the same places I did. I spent 3 days in Nice. It was pretty cool but those rock beaches hurt my feet.
Paris was my favorite part of the trip just because I thought it was such an exciting and different city!
Oh, and did you happen to ride the TGV while you were in France? One word to describe the TGV...AWESOME!!!! It was especially cool when another train passed you.
When you were in Spain did you visit Seville? I've always heard that people love Seville or Barcelona the most when they go to Spain.
 

triplec76

Well-Known Member
HA! Yes, that is very funny. I didnt notice it until now, but that was supposed to say welcome back to no man's land. Its not even the middle of November and I already hate winter. Ugh.
 

secretapproach

New Member
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Secretapproach - If we were to come into Lisbon, what would be some of the cultural things we could see/do/eat??

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Kristie - Well as I said I'm a terrible tour guide but Lisbon has some really nice things to look at. It is very nice to go up to the castle grounds overlooking the city. There are lots of beaches, of course. I'm not a beach person (growing up in ND, how could I have become one?) but the Portuguese all are! I've only lived here for a few months so I'm no expert yet. My girlfriend is a lot better at showing people around because she's Portuguese and has lived in Lisbon for quite a few years. Here is Fodors Miniguide to Lisbon.

As far as eating goes, the Portuguese are proud of their food and one of the things people always ask foreigners is what they think of Portuguese food. They eat a lot of fish but I don't like to eat fish more than once every couple weeks and I get by just fine. The Portuguese love to stop off at cafes and drink coffee. During the day people who are working stop just long enough to slurp it down but in the evening the cafes become more relaxed.

You may have heard of Fado, the melancholy singing Portugal is known for. I've heard it once and it was really good. It was in Coimbra, about 2 hours drive (or one hour in a 172) north of Lisbon.

If you guys come to visit Lisbon I'll do my best to show you around and the things I don't know I'll explore with you.
That offer is for everyone here.

Hootie - You're right about the traffic. I live it every morning on my way to work. I actually commute against the traffic for most of the way but the beginning of my drive is with all the people lining up to get on the highway into town. We're moving into the city in a few weeks and then I'll have a classic reverse commute so my drive time should hopefully go down.

sa
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
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Its not even the middle of November and I already hate winter. Ugh.

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Yes I hate it too! I was in Des Moines this AM and it was 18 degrees, with a 9 degree wind chill. I'm still cold thinking about it!
 

GaTechKid

Well-Known Member
Coming back from Germany I had trouble adjusting to the size of drinks here in the US. In Europe you had to pace yourself when eating dinner because you had to pay for every 250mL soda you drank.
 

triplec76

Well-Known Member
Yep, its colder than a well digger's [expletive deleted]. Once I get enough hours that someone will consider hiring me, I wouldn't even bat an eye accepting a job in a warmer climate. Winter and I do not get along at all. I lived in Houston for a year and loved the weather. Hated the big city, but something in that region or towards Arizona (lived there as well) would be great!
 

stultus

New Member
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In Europe you had to pace yourself when eating dinner because you had to pay for every 250mL soda you drank.

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SODA? If you're drinking soda in Germany, you deserve to pay through the nose. They have this great new thing over there called BIER! And it's a lot cheaper than ordering pop or water with your food.

I'm not a lush or anything, but my first European adventure was a month long trip to Germany...but I've never been so dehydrated--or happy--in my life
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
MMMMmmmmm... AFELWEIN & Spaten (my favorites)!!!!! I can find the spaten, but not the afelwein over here...

where in germany did you go? what was your favorite spot? we've only been to frankfurt/mainz.. we're planning on traveling over there again, just not sure what city to hit next! haha
 

stultus

New Member
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MMMMmmmmm... AFELWEIN & Spaten (my favorites)!!!!! I can find the spaten, but not the afelwein over here...

where in germany did you go? what was your favorite spot?

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Hey Kristi, If your asking me...

That trip to Bavaria, spent most of the time in this AMAZING little town an hour north of Munich called Eichstaett. It's small, but a great place to go because the only toursits you'll bump into are German. I think you really get a better understanding of the people, culture, et al, in small towns--Munich was nice but we were always bumping into (drunk)Americans and pretty much everyone spoke English.

On that trip, also went to Prague (my second favorite city in the world! really awesome, if you haven't gone, GO.), Vienna (wasn't that great), the Hungarian and Austrian countryside (nice), Salzburg (very scenic, the hills are alive...), and Amsterdam (uh, a nice city, great museums, but quite a culture shock with the ladies and hash on display in the storefront windows.)

Last year I went on a quick trip to Baden-Wurtenburg, Konstanz, to be precise, and Zurich. I liked Zurich better than Munich but on the whole, I think Bavaria is where it's at for going to Germany.
 

stultus

New Member
Oh and by the way, dunkelweizen is my favorite, but any German beer rocks the haus.

If you ever end up in Eichstaett, make sure to go on a brewery tour...its free (and in German) and you get free beer at the end. And if you like the "harder" stuff, there's a shop in town that makes schnapps, and they will try to get you drunk on the tour.
 

GaTechKid

Well-Known Member
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SODA? If you're drinking soda in Germany, you deserve to pay through the nose. They have this great new thing over there called BIER! And it's a lot cheaper than ordering pop or water with your food.


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There was plenty of that too...
...but I believe the example of the soda that I used got the message through that one drinks a lot less in Europe because you have to pay for every beverage...
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
Is AFELWIEN the same as APFELKORN? I thought it was. Applewine, Apple Schnapps? If so, I bought it frequently here in the states, also with some great german beers.
 
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