Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things I've Learned

I now know why Ireland is typically associated with the color green…the entire country side is so green

In London we heard that if you wait in Picadilly Circus for 37 minutes you would see someone you know. This has held true in every major city we’ve been in with their respective busy areas.
- Picadilly Circus in London I saw a guy I recognized from the day before
- At the main train station we always traveled through Erica saw someone she recognized from the Metro a couple days earlier
- Town Hall in Munich we saw our roommates from the Hostel and the tour guide from Dachau
- Duomo/City Center area we saw a couple of backpackers that we’d already ran into at the beginning of the day
- Barcelona…I know it happened, but I can’t remember where
- The Beach in Nice, France we saw backpackers that took the same train from Barcelona as us
- Milan’s train station on the way to Rome we ran into backpackers that stayed at the same hostel as us a week earlier when we were in Milan for the AC Milan game
- The Spanish Steps in Rome Erica saw a girl that we’d seen earlier that day at The Coliseum
- The Pantheon in Rome I saw another backpacker who I recognized from Dachau concentration camp outside Munich
- City Center in Siena Erica saw a couple backpackers we were in line with at the train station the previous day
- Train station in Florence we bumped into a couple that we met at the hostel we stayed at in Nice
- Apparently if you are in Europe long enough you don’t even have to be in a busy place b/c outside the door to our hostel in Florence we ran into a couple girls that were on the same train as us to Nice
- Driving along the beach in Santorini saw two girls from the hostel we stayed at in Athens
- A couple we met in Nice and bumped into in Florence is staying at the same hostel as us in Santorini

The movie Night at the Museum 2 is EVERYWHERE…literally every country we’ve been to we’ve seen the advertisements for it:
- Night at the Museum 2 (UK)
- La Nuit au Musee 2 (France)
- Nacht am Museum 2 (Germany)
- La Noche en el Museo 2 (Spain)
- La Notte al Museo 2 (Italy)

Paris, France has ruined bread for both Erica and me…there’s just no going back from the bakery just a half a block from Cecilia’s

It’s okay to use sun screen

I haven’t met a French person I feel indifferent about

There are three areas in Switzerland, each associated with a certain language:
- French
- Italian
- German

The saying a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush holds true for backpacking. If you know you’re at some place that’s great, you don’t always need to go searching for something else someone might have told you about.

We get the term “arena” used today for our sports complexes from the Romans. Arena is latin for sand. Sand was used to cover the wooden floor in the Colosseum to soak up all the blood that was spilt on the competition floor.

Apparently I am long time friends with every street vendor trying to sell me anything from knock-off purses and sunglasses, to replica paintings:
“hey, my friend…”
“for you, I give you good price…”

When dealing with street vendors don’t tell them “no, I don’t want that”, I’ve found that “no” doesn’t mean “no”, silence means “no”

Gelato is fantastic

A cruise and a ferry are two entirely different things

While Erica and I have re-discovered the card game “Speed” it would be nice to know some more two player card games.

Salami and peanut butter has gotten me through this trip, not together, that would be gross. Peanut butter sandwiches for the first couple weeks, salami and swiss sandwiches for the past couple weeks...not bad.

Always clarify travel directions given from a local and then add at least 30 minutes to the time they tell you it takes to reach your departure point

I could live off of 2.00 euro gyros…other than fruit and snacks we’ve purchased from grocery stores, I’ve eaten gyros for every meal except for one

We’ve found that take-away food to almost always be better than dining in. The best pizza we had was take-away outside the Vatican, and the best gyros we had in Greece were always from take-away places.

The entire trip we’ve worried about pick pockets, but really haven’t had a problem…little did we know that four little gypsy girls would be our biggest concern

There are “trips” and there are “vacations,” we definitely went on a trip across Europe not a vacation. Don’t take this as being ungrateful; I don’t say this in an unhappy way…we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we planned this whole thing. What I mean to say is this…a vacation is intended to be relaxing where things are easier to come by and are more accessible, e.g. an amusement park or a resort. Our journey across Europe has been work and at many times not glamorous at all; it’s placed us on a crowded ferry deck with no blankets, on hostel floors with a paper thin mattress, on dark streets with maps in different languages, and in unfamiliar places with little or no connection to the rest of the world….but the end result that occurred from traveling to each place has definitely been worth the work. I don’t know if this entire experience has completely sunk in yet or not…all I know is that it was 5 great weeks that Erica and I will never forget.


  1. I see. Salami and Peanut Butter - WOW! I'm glad you partitioned their use ... am impressed with your stick to it tiv ness so to speak.....

  2. Fun stuff. I am smiling as I read. Can't wait to see the pictures and you and Erica in real life and hear more stories. Love ya, Karen

  3. Do you remember how to play Gin Rummy? Two will do for that game.
    Glad to know Sunscreen is something you've "learned." Cecilia would be glad to know that as well. :-)

  4. Our "Lincoln USA" has a place that specializes in Gelato. "The Blend" (4900 N 26) has an Italian gelato machine and the owner learned how to make it in Italy. When you come back you can get some so you don't miss Europe too much.