Sunday, August 16, 2009

Random memories of Europe

I've been thinking about my past travels lately. Partly out of nostalgia, and partly because I miss the pictures I've lost. Spending a month of my summer for two years in Europe with other high school students enjoying everything it has to offer was one of the best times of my life. (These are just scattered memories, totally not in order, but whatever funny things come to mind)

I miss the friends I made overseas and sad that most of us has lost touch. Then again it's been 8 years. I remember the youth hostel in Austria where the German kids taught us bad words in German sign language. I also remember seeing their band, 12 accordians, a bass guitar, and a singer perform at a festival while we were out there.

I still remember the hilarity of street vendors in Italy that got in your personal bubble without a second thought, or the drunk gondala drivers hitting on you as you walked across a canal bridge.

One disappointing thing I remember was The Mona Lisa. Why you ask? I don't know why, but we all expected it to be a huge painting! When we finally saw it at the Louvre it turned out to be an 8x10 painting surrounded by a huge crowd. Certainly not the most impressive piece there, but getting lost in the Louvre was sorta fun.

Actually, for some reason that also reminds me of our friend John requesting 'Pope soap on a rope' while we explored The Vatican. We were disappointed to find that no such souvenir existed. Rats.

The homestays in England and Ireland were also amazing. It was weird not being together as a group for a few days, but it was fun. I got to live in a quaint little cottage in an English countryside, and also a wonderful house in Ireland with 3 rowdy boys that were a lot of fun to hang out with.

I know we are all going to hell for this one: while staying in dorm rooms at the University of Edinburgh we used bibles to prop open out windows. Mine fell out of the second story window and nearly smacked a friend in the head. Oops.

Wow, hiking up to Arthur's seat was also an amazing experience, the way the sun's rays peaked through some clouds made the view all the more breathtaking.

Our sayings 'England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales' -castle-castles-and more castles. 'Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and France' -cathedrals-cathedrals-and more cathedrals. It may sound dull that way, but each place had unique amazing architecture.

Mmmm swiss chocolates- 'nuff said.

Wales- learning to say the name of the train station that holds the record for longest train station name in the UK in Welsh. I can still say it too! Also this: 'Ok, now the thing to remember here kids, you must stay to the left of the hotel. Do not wander to the right, that area is not safe.' Haha we stayed on the border between 'safe Cardiff' and 'Dangerous Cardiff'

We also had a run in with some Chavs (Brit slang for wannabe-ganstas) that slapped my friends ass and they were nearly jumped by 30 angry teens hah.

I miss Europe.


Brahmin in Boston said...

Can you see me turning green with jealousy??

well, if not, then please picture it!

I have lived 4 months in France and I too need to write things that I loved/hated abt it...

Thanks for making me remember all the good stuff!

Lauren said...

I am so jealous of you. My lifelong goal and driving force behind everything I do is to backpack through Europe...and I want to do it the right way like you did: in youth hostels.

Ahh...envy consumes me...