HOW TO REALLY SAVOR EUROPE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STORY BY GLENN DAVID
Deep-fried Oreos in Europe? You want that? Go to a county fair and save your money. Europe is the place where you want a tasty croissant in Paris, piping hot pizza in Rome, and fine chocolate in Madrid. Easily done, and done well, with a trip on a high speed train from city center to city center. It’s very American of me to compare Europe to the United States, but I think it’s important to understand how easy it is to visit many places on a single trip. Germany is the size of Montana, Poland is the size of New Mexico, Slovenia is the size of New Jersey, Belarus is the size of Kansas, and Greece is the size of Alabama.
Every country in Europe offers unique sights, sounds, food, and people. Our family does two things in each new city: The first morning we quickly adapt to the local way with a bike tour; there is nothing better to orientate a foreign traveler to a new city; the other must-do activity is a food tour. Even with my family’s crazy Californian food preferences, we really enjoy learning about a city with our taste buds. Who knew traditional breakfast in Madrid is churros and chocolate? And, trust me, this is not your stadium churro. All olive oil tastes the same? Not after you sample multiple varietals in an off-the-beaten-path farmers’ market.
By land or by sea, Europe can be experienced in a manner preferable to you. River Boats, premium yachts, or megaton cruise liners all offer a different perspective of these magnificent countries. Train travel is easily done, and small-and-away places are ripe with less touristy communities. For those with nerves of steel, try driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road with signs in a foreign language. That is a European adventure you won’t soon forget!
The treasures we have discovered in Europe will stay with our family forever. History means so much more after going to the places that we have studied in textbooks or seen in films.
It’s impossible to choose a favorite place. How can you pick between so many great cities? There is something unique and beautiful for every type of traveler. The memories we share with our children are so much more important than anything else we can provide them. See you on the train, plane, road, or sea!