Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 2007: European Tour de Force!

The most intense trip I've ever been in: 13 cities in 21 days! I joined my "adoptive family", 7 people total, to undertake this amazing itinerary. Punctuated by cool temperatures and unpredictable weather (jacket and scarf in most cities! in July!!), we travelled by air, land, and sea.

I've put together a photo journal, with a page for each city we stopped at.

Just to give a quick overview:

I set off June 30th, with a flight from Milan to London. A little nervous due to the recent news--car bomb attempts, and major floods--but apart from the most chaotic airport I've seen up to date (Heathrow), and a looong Tube ride into the city, it was actually uneventful. They're as resilient as New Yorkers...!

From July 1st through the 21st it was a constant moving. We didn't stay more than 3 days in any place. We passed from London to Paris with the train that goes in the chunnel. I never knew what vertigo was before this! My ears popped so strongly, it affected my balance for two days! A couple of the others with me felt the same.

In Paris the rest of the group stayed in the hotel, while I was lucky to be hosted by the same friends as last year. Gave me a chance to say a quick hello, even though the trek from one side of Paris to the other of an hour each way was a bit much. I got a bad cold that stuck with me for a week. Too much crazy weather! Rainy and cold one hour, sunny the next... silly nature. While Milan and Southern Europe in general has been suffering the heat and lack of water, north of the Alps it's been a wet and cold season, with some extreme weather all over.

From Paris we moved onwards by plane to Vienna, a too-sterile city, if you ask me. Then we moved about by train. A day-trip to Salzburg, then off to Prague. I loved that city. Definitely want to go back. Another flight then took us to Copenhagen, where we embarked on my very first cruise. It was an interesting experience, and we got lucky with calm sea. I bought tons of motion-sickness pills just in case... but ended up not needing any!

The whirlwind of cities that followed after kinda mushed together... but the pics helped remember it all, and I tried to give bits of info for each in the photo journal.

The flight back from Copenhagen to Milan was scary... I guess it was the passage from cool air to hot... but I don't remember the last time I felt that much turbulence. The young couple next to me was very nice, as soon as they heard my whimpering and saw my white face they held my hand 'til landing... while a group of kids from soccer camp where whooping as if they were at Six Flags! Ah well.

Each city and all the stuff that happened in them deserves a separate whole blog entry... but if I write too much then no one would bother reading it all. So I'm leaving you with the pics, and ask anything if you are curious.

And now, back to the Milan doldrums... *sigh*