Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Last Look at Europe

Hey all,

Here it last blog from Germany.  We've had a marvelous time over the last year touring through all the wonderful countries of Europe and while we could spend many more months here, we're looking forward to our next adventure...

South America!!!!  And Brazil!!!!

We've heard both wonderful and scary things about this country.  There are beautiful sights to be seen, things to do and people to meet.  There is also a lot of poverty, crime and ugliness.  But then can say that about many places we've visited.  As long as we're careful and keep our wits about us AND remember it's a whole new world out there, we should do fine.

But this blog is about Europe.  As I said, we've enjoyed this place.  Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Switzerland and Germany.  Six great countries and we've had wonderful times in each of them.

I've seen wondrous art, gorgeous scenery, and interesting cities.  I've gazed at architecture older than anything we have in the USA and enjoyed listening to music and plays from a totally different perspective.  I've tasted beers and wines from different regions and eaten many different foods.  In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to try dishes from each of the countries we've visited.

We've stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and kissed with the City of Light behind us.  We've walked the sandy beaches near Barcelona, Spain along the Balearic Sea.  I've snacked on "space cakes" (marijuana filled brownies) during our time in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  In Antwerp, Belgium I learned how to make Belgium chocolates, beer and their famous lace.  And in Zurich, we didn't spend much time there...but traveled all over Switzerland, one of the highlights of our trips was seeing the famous Matterhorn!  
And in Germany, we lived in Dusseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg.  And we thoroughly enjoyed Octoberfest, the Christmas markets, the Black Forest and all the historical sights there.  The Berlin Wall and WWII memorials, German castles and forts, and the famous waterways that stretch through the country.

I have to say I enjoyed two things more than anything else.  One, is the architecture.  The USA just doesn't have the old buildings you find here in Europe.  Almost every town we've visited or lived in had so many gorgeous and unusual places to see.  Sometimes there were whole blocks of amazing homes, warehouses and public buildings.  Just when I thought I'd seen it all, I'd visit a new town and be astonished all over again.  I'll miss that when we go home.  The age and elegance of Europe's architecture as a whole.  
The second thing is the art.  I absolutely LOVE the statues, the paintings, the frescoes and other artworks I've discovered.  I've appreciated the old masters and sighed over the new artists I've discovered.  I've enjoyed visiting museums of all kinds and wish now I'd done more as I grew up.  I do know I'll do a lot more museum visiting back in the states.

I'm curious as to what we'll find both architecture and art wise in South America.  It won't be the same, since Europe is the birthplace of so many types of art.

In the time we have left, we'll visit Prague, Vienna, and do a tour of Italy.  And I know we'll find even more wonderful things there.

And when I get back from my hiatus, I'll tell you all about them!

Hugs to all and see you in South America!!!!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

We have enjoyed traveling along with you! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Look forward to the rest of your posts. Safe trip.

Ray said...

I really enjoyed your travelogue. You have shown us some really fun stuff about the places you've been.

When you visit Brazil you need to be prepared about personal security.

When I was there thirty years ago I was riding a city bus when an American living there told me to be cautious about public transportation. At the time people were being robbed by gangs boarding buses. He told me which ones to avoid. He also said that wearing jewelry in public was a no no. He said people going to parties would pocket their jewelry before entering the venue and then turning it on. As interesting as it might be, slums are no place to go.

I just checked the State Dept. web site and it says there is still lots of street crime. I love the place. It just pays to use your street smarts.