This could sound ridiculous, but the answer is......someplace that I haven't been. There are so many appealing places in Europe that I haven't visited that I'll never get to them all as it is. _________________ The goal is to fit it all in.
Your answer fits right in with your 'signature' line, Chicago Bear.
I suppose for lifestyle I would pick Greece, but jenyfari this really is an impossible question!
I agree which is why I had to pick three destinations. Impossible to pick just one. Even three was difficult. _________________ Paula (and sometimes Wanda) from Only Cookware
London, definitely. It was amazing to see how many different cultures can share a big city, and make it work as precise as a clock. The food is not bad, by the way...
I have been to London twice. The first time was just after a royal wedding so the city had been cleaned up and was looking great. The second time I went was I think in 2001 and the city was dirty and just looked very drab.
I still love visiting though and would go back in a heart beat. There is just so much to see and do. _________________ Paula (and sometimes Wanda) from Only Cookware
Well I left my heart in the South of France, lost amongst the harsh landscapes and fields of vines with a sky sooooooo blue and food so earthy I felt at home from the first day there. We returned 2 more times and each time fell in love all over again.
But the current "hot" spot for people I know around here is Croatia! The number of Ottawans who have been trekking over to Croatia in the last year is amazing and they are coming back with very tantalizing tales of good prices, beautiful scenery and excellent food--especially seafood. I'd certainly consider giving it a whirl myself! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
My father was Croatian and always said how beautiful the country was. I am yet to go but it is on my to-do list. _________________ Paula (and sometimes Wanda) from Only Cookware
Joined: 09 Apr 2005 Posts: 85 Location: Berkeley, CA
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:02 am Post subject:
1. Budapest, because I think it's a city in flux, old but modernizing, something like what I imagine Prague was before it was the trendy eastern European place to go.
2. All of Italy, for the food and the scenery and the art and the fact that I am distantly Italian.
3. Spain, to which I've been twice and would go back in a heartbeat for the food, the architecture, and the totally different pace of life.
On a related note, I had an interesting experience in Vienna: the bizarre feeling of coming home to a place I'd never been. It was because of (there's a theme here...) the food. I'm an Ashkenazi Jew, and I grew up near New York City eating a lot of classic American Ashkenazi food - bagels, bialys, roasted chicken, rugelach, coffee cake, babka. The predominant savory flavorings are onion and garlic and chicken fat, and there are lots of flaky pastries, many filled with apple, others with poppy. I was startled to find that Viennese food was really similar, with the addition of lots of pork (which I love). It was like coming home for dinner a from continent away.
Couldn't and wouldn't choose because each and all are so very different.
LISBON - because it's built on hills, has wonderful food and when I first went there ( 1979) it was like going back in time. Nice people, melodious language, good wine. would like to go back ( last time 1995)
MADRID- Actually I'm not a big Madrid lover, though I could spend a life time in the Prado because ll my favourite painters "hung" there. Especially Bosch.
LONDON - It's complicated. It's my first European city ( beside Bucharest , my birth town) and in 1971!!! London was the center of the world!! I still have a two-three years crave for this city, and just Yesterday I told my H that it's time for London again. There is something still very civilized and traditional about this city, side by side with a great array of cultural choices and opportunities I long for. I never associate London with food or cafe sitting. I'm always in a rush too go to museums, plays etc. Yes, London is coming soon.
PARIS - it's my ( literally) second home, and obviously my beloved one.B From all the eastern European capitals, I prefer PRAGUE, it's more mysterious in my eyes than BUDAPEST or even imperial VIENNA.
BERLIN , which I knew well in the 80' was a pleasant revelation two years ago. ( And SRK - Berlin will also appeal to your Jewish Ashkenazy tastebuds, like it did to me).
ROMA, oh ROMA - yes, definitely Rome too.
ATHENS - no, definitely no, a two days tour is enough. The Islands, that's something else of course..
AMSTERDAM - have good memories from the 70', memories unfit for this respectable blog...So I love it, every five years or so..
Scandinavian cities are nice, but for me, once was enough.
If you count ISTAMBUL as Europe ( technically it is , of course) I'm in love with this city, it's so not-European...and the food ...OOOOHHHHH
So, waht I'm left with is TIRANA (ALBANIA) . So close and so ... unexistant on the tourist map.. Anyone about TIRANA?
I'm decidedly a non decided person. Especially as I adore New Yorktoo. But that's not Europe, isn't it...
Next month I'll be spending four days in a spa hotel in the lowest point on the globe-the Dead Sea. Anybody wants to join for a floating and mud session ?
No more war, I want to travel to Damascus, Beyruth, Bagdad, Teheran and Ispahan, Rabat and Dubai. ( I was in Rabat Amon and Cairo) , so silence those d... cannons and guns.
Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 159 Location: San Francisco
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:17 pm Post subject:
I love Simona's list of cities ...................
PARIS is the one for me. I've always had this craving for Paris ever since my first overseas trip to Saigon when it was still very french in atmosphere.
Finally made it in 1979 - there I was at the Cathedrale de Notre Dame and tears started flowing out of me - overwhelming emotion overtook my whole being. Never have I felt anything close in any other cities I've been to. It continues to this day. I was at Saint Sulpice one Friday afternoon about three years ago and I started crying " sans cesse" for what seems like a long long time. What's with that? _________________ "A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry."
Joined: 08 Oct 2007 Posts: 3 Location: Washington, DC
Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:26 am Post subject:
Lilia-I had the same reaction as you my first time at Notre Dame-I was there on 15 August 2000, and I had just walked across the Pont Neuf from the hostel I stayed at on Rue de Jean Jacques. It was about 5 in the evening, and there was a huge procession of people going towards Notre Dame, reciting the Rosary in French. I joined the procession, and it was then that I realized it was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. I went with the procession to the cathedral, and was lucky enough to make it into Notre Dame for Mass. I was overcome with tears, and lit candles for my mother and grandmother.
As you can see, Paris is a very special place for me. I hope to go there with my husband. For now I will have to settle for a beautiful little shop in Arlington, VA called Le Village Marche, a store with all things French, which makes me feel as though I am right back in Paris.
I also love Rome, as I went there on my honeymoon, and DH and I spent 5 lovely, leisurely days walking around the city eating wonderful food and drinking fabulous wine, while seeing amazing sites.
Interlaken, Switzerland is where I "found myself" at 25-I spent a week there, and actually conquered my fear of heights by going paragliding in the Alps![/quote]
Greece! I loved Athens, so much history. It was my first overseas destination, so was very exciting for me. The Greek islands are amazing, and the fery rides between are something in themselves. The main islands are so far apart, and there are smalls ones spotted throughout the ocean.
The greek people are so friendly, and gorgeous! The women are so stylish, and I love those white outfits the men wear.
In Greece I rode a donkey up a hill, climbed a volcano, and bathed in hot sulphur baths. My friend and I drank free cocktails for hours, pretty much for dancing on a bar. I ate Gyros everyday (greek lamb kebab), and accidentally threw a shot of ouzo in my eye. Don't do that, it hurts.
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