23 March 2010

10 Things to Enjoy in Europe

This is a bonus project I did for Cultural Geography. I like talking about my Europe trip so much that I want to share my project with you. Yep, I'm that kid.

10 Things to Enjoy in Europe

A quick trip across the pond by Julie Morrison

#10 Fun Hotels
This is a picture looking out of a hotel room window from Hotel Residence Foche in Paris, France. There are tons of fun, unique hotels around Paris. Yes, some of them are a bit sketchy. This one in particular, was quite nice. It is along the Tour de France route. The back side of the building is surrounded by a courtyard filled with flowers. On the other side of the block it’s located on, there is a Catholic church. While we were there, the church choir was practicing and my family and I could hear them singing hymns as we fell asleep. Flowers and nice architecture do add to the beauty of a city, but the people add a lot to it, too.

#9 Stolen Egyptian Antiquities
Europeans have gone through many interior design periods, one of which involved Egyptian artifacts. This mini-Sphinx is located in the Louvre. Both the Louvre and the British Museum have tons of Egyptian artifacts. The Louvre has a lot of statues and some small pieces. The British Museum has several complete mummies and wall decorations from burial sites. Even though it isn’t in its native country, it's amazing to be able to be face- to- face with an Egyptian statue that has been around longer than most countries.

#8 Giant Light Fixtures
They’re giant, gaudy and gorgeous. This chandelier can be found in one of the many common rooms of the Palace of Versailles. Having been built in 1682, the palace has been through a lot of history. One time it was almost destroyed due to a fire. This chandelier is not an original, just a close replica. There are, however, a few ornate chandeliers hanging around Europe that are from way back when.

#7 Breakfasts
Many Europeans take their time eating meals. This picture shows just a few things served at a 3- course breakfast. The first course included beverages and fresh fruit cups. Then, they brought out fresh croissants with various jams and jellies. The third and final course included all of the meat stuffs. It was all wonderful, and spaced out nicely time-wise, since breakfast is usually a “take your time” meal. Surprisingly, most of the ingredients were very fresh. Since European countries are much smaller, than say the United States, travel time between the farm and market doesn’t take as long.

#6 Movie Sets
Even though movies are filmed in Europe all of the time, I managed to miss seeing one. Thankfully, there are little sites all over that serve as a kind of historical marker. Here is a little Harry Potter shout out at the King’s Cross Train Station in London. Most of the tour guides know all of the hot spots, and manage to work them into their tours. London tour guides talk about Harry Potter sites, and Ireland tour guides about Braveheart.

#5 Scary Cab Rides
Adrenaline rush, anyone? Traffic laws are a lot different over the pond. French roads, for example, do not have any lines on them. The cars make their own lanes, but also meander wherever they please. Motorcyclists are allowed to weave through traffic, which can be rather startling when looking out of the window. As in America, no one goes exactly the speed limit.

#4 The Locals
People have stories wherever you travel. Staying at a B&B is really nice, because quite often the owners are actually onsite. This couple owns a B&B in Athelstaneford, Scotland. They were pretty fun to get to know. When we first arrived, they invited us to their church for a soup and sandwhich lunch. We went with them and their epileptic terrier, Jamie.

#3 Really Old Places
There is nothing quite like seeing a building that has been around for a long time. This is a picture of a Roman Bath in Bath, England. This one has been around for about 2,000 years. It was covered by English developments for a while, but was uncovered and renovated, so that people could once again walk through it. The water still comes from the original springs. Inside, there is an exhibit of untouched Roman saunas and private baths.

#2 Paying with Foreign Money
The Euro and British Pound come in the same increments as the United States Dollar, but are completely different. The bills come in different sizes, colors and aren’t completely paper. The USD one- dollar unit comes in a bill, while both the Euro and Pound one- dollar equivalent come in a coin. If you aren’t used to them, paying with these can be tricky. Some of their coins look like United States coins, but are different amounts. That can throw you off when counting out bus or tube fares.

#1 Quirky Things Only Found in Europe
There are some things that Europeans find offensive or odd, and the same with other cultures. This picture was taken in the Café in the Crypt in London, England. Café in the Crypt is exactly what it sounds like, a really nice café in a church’s crypt. At first, the floor just seems like a regular concrete floor, but when you take a closer look, it is made up of headstones. Some of them date back to the 1500s.

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