Blogs from Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Shropshire » Ludlow June 15th 2019

Last night was a special treat. Many of us went on the optional dinner and entertainment excursion; it was wonderful. We took a short bus trip from the hotel to the Welsh cultural center, the Millennium Center, the home of the Welsh Opera, restaurants, and other entertainment options. It is located right on the old Cardiff docks and was amazing in design. The evening began with a taste of Meade, an alcoholic beverage based on honey and developed by monks. It was sweet and delicious. Our hostess sat us right near the stage so our view of the entertainment would be excellent. The tables were set with red and white wines complimentary of the house. We were given a number of options for dinner. I chose the salmon appetizer, the beef dinner, and the chocolate cake ... read more
King Richard III Castle in Ludlow
Entrance to Ludlow Medieval Church
Tudor Rows Houses

Europe » France » Brittany » Guipry-Messac June 15th 2019

Saturday 15th June My sixth week in Brittany was taken up with the road trip, so now we find ourselves at the end of the seventh week, with only one more week remaining before my placement as a language assistant ends, and I move on. Last weekend, straight after my road trip, here in Guipry-Messac was the Happy Days Festival (Les Jours Heureux), a 1950's rock'n'roll music festival. It was held over three days (Fri-Sun) and included many bands, food and bar stalls, merchandise stalls, classic car display, drag races (at nearby Lohéac raceway), and more. My host family was very involved with the event, being members of the organising committee too. We spent many hours there, setting up, manning the ticket booth, and also packing up and cleaning the venue afterwards. A number of consecutive ... read more
Cloisters of the Abbaye Saint-Sauveur de Redon
Les Mégalithes de Saint-Just
Stunning Buick Eight Coupe

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cecina June 15th 2019

15/6/2019 – Etruskische kust. Vandaag verplaatsing van de hoogte van Volterra naar de nabije kuststreek. Cecina Mare aan de Costa degli Etruschi . Een camping in een een enorm dennenbos langs het strand. We beginnen hier aan onze 4de week van onze Toscane trip. Het stedenprogramma zit er op. We hebben veel gezien en nog meer niet gezien. Dat moet dan maar een volgende keer als het niet zo bakkend warm is. Gelukkig is het hier tenminste vandaag minder heet door het frisse zeebriesje. We gaan het hier nog vier dagen uithouden en misschien eens wat meer fietsen in de vlakkere omgeving.... read more
Cecina Mare
Cecina Mare - strand
Cecina Mare

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan June 15th 2019

It’s Saturday – parkrun day. Today we’re going to Milano Nord parkrun in Milano Nord Park. This morning’s run has pros and cons. Pros: (1) it’s a scenic route (2) it’s flat (3) the participants are of diverse ability, so I’m not on my own at the back and have someone to follow. Cons: (1) there are a lot of other park users to avoid (2) my knee hurts (3) my lack of fitness due to injury (4) it’s bloody hot. But I persevere and make it to the finish line. There was supposed to be water but the fast runners have drunk it all. I hobble off to the supermarket dehydrated and grumpy. For breakfast I buy spoonable Gorgonzola. Cheese you can eat with a spoon! I love Italy. We return to the hotel and ... read more
Milano Nord parkrun
Milan Cathedral
Interior of Milan Cathedral

Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Peñíscola June 15th 2019

Bonjour à tous. Pour vite calmer les esprits curieux, et répondre à la question, à quoi ressemblait elle cette jolie fille?. Dans l'allure générale me vient cette réponse. Carla Bruni jeune, bien avant Sarko. Grande, brune, cheveux longs, une classe certaine. pas jumelle avec Carla, mais peut-être soeur. Ça y est je commence à être régler à l'heure espagnole. Hier au soir souper à 21h30. Le service commence à 20h, c'est un buffet, il doit y avoir 1000 clients, à 80% des têtes blanches, j'ai évité la ruée de la première heure. Ce matin réveil 8h, pdj et vite savoir si je peux conserver la chambre. Réponse revenez vers 10h. J'étais prêt, pour aller prendre un premier bain de mer, mais comme hier en fin d'après midi drapeau rouge. Les vagues sont toujours bien formées et ... read more
de Benicarlo
Peniscola le Castillo
Fiat 500 "pot de Yogourt"

Europe » Russia » Siberia June 14th 2019

Zur Abwechslung ist heute eine Bustour zum Baikalsee, dem größten und ältesten Süßwassersee der Erde, geplant. Um 10:30 holt uns unsere Reiseführerin Olga am Hotel ab und in einer etwa einstündigen Fahrt entlang der "Baikal-Autobahn" (eine eher einfache Straße) geht es zunächt zu einem Freilichtmuseum am Angara-Ufer. Hier wurden beim Anlegen des Irkutsker Stausees aus den später überfluteten Dörfern die historisch wertvollen Holzhäuser, die teilweise über 200 Jahre alt sind, mit den originalen Materialien wieder aufgebaut, um sie der Nachwelt zu erhalten. So erfahren wir einiges über die Lebensweise der Kosaken, die das Land für den Zaren erobert haben und über das Leben in einem sibirischen Dorf. Nach kurzer Weiterfahrt gelangen wir endlich zum über 600km langen und bis zu 1642m tiefen Baikalsee. Über einen ca. 20 minütigen steilen Anstieg geht es hinauf zu einem ... read more
Historische Schule

Europe » Spain » Castile-La Mancha June 14th 2019

I Don’t Belong Here No matter how hard I try, I don’t really belong here; I am just a visitor. This was made very apparent to me at the Spain vs Sweden soccer game. Standing there with a red, blue, and yellow jersey on, I felt like I belonged, but then they started playing the national anthem and I did not know it. This is another example of my lack of knowledge affecting my cultural experiences. I now know that when I enter into another culture again, I will change my CQ strategy to include more study of the practices that will help me fit in better. I Was Spotted During this game, we interacted with many people rooting for both teams. As with my other posts, I wondered what they were thinking of us. I ... read more

Europe » Spain » Castile-La Mancha June 14th 2019

Inner Conflict In trying to decide whether or not to attend the bullfight, there were a lot factors to consider. I knew it was a cultural experience that is very important to the Spanish people. Violence is not something that I handle well, especially when it’s real. On TV, I know it’s not real, so I don’t have a problem with it, but seeing it in person would be too much. It’s hard on this trip in general to balance personal values with desire for cultural experiences. A Rift During this decision, there was a bit of disagreement among the group about who was going and why they were going. Even some people who were not keen on the violence, but wanted to go for the cultural experience. This was conflicting for other people, like me, ... read more

Europe June 14th 2019

For those of you who have never been and planning on booking a tour for your next vacation, understand that vacation and tour are mutually exclusive. Let me explain: a vacation is a time of leisure. You get up when you want, go where and when you want, dine in casual fashion and relax. Touring not so. Touring is regimented. You will get up early; on one tour I was on there was a wakeup call at 3:30am! Most days the wake up is at 6, breakfast at 7, departure from the hotel by 8. If you are not on time, that will cause trauma and issues for the tour director and your fellow travelers. You will not be popular. Dining is delicious, unique, and fixed. You will not have a choice of menu items beyond ... read more
Glastonbury Abbey, the longest church in Britain
Sign marking burial site of King Arthur
Inside the Abbey Ruins

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Monza June 14th 2019

This morning we are up early. Breakfast is served from 8-10, so the old man is on his starting blocks well before 8. We paid £108 for our little motel room, so I’m expecting great things from breakfast. We get a bread basket, some cold cuts and 3 sachets of jam. After breakfast we set off for Milan. At the world’s most complicated junction, we take a wrong turn and end up on the right road in the wrong direction. To rectify the situation, we must pass through the 10 km tunnel again (twice). The issue arose at a fork. I said ‘don’t go right’ and we went right. Apparently, it’s my fault: I should have said ‘keep left’. Finally, we are heading south, or not north, depending on your point of view. Today’s drive is ... read more
Breakfast with a view
Seegarten Hotel
Seegarten Hotel

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