Travel - Europe

Update on the coolest & weirdest things from Europe!

So I kind of slacked off on writing about the coolest & weirdest things of each city we went to… I guess I just kept forgetting. I liked the idea of posting differences from the states so I wanted to update everyone on each city I forgot about.

Florence, Italy

Coolest things about this city:

1) You can easily wander around and not get too lost. Which was definitely not the case for every city we went to. They kind of have a grid system in their city but not so structured that it’s obnoxious.

2) The people here are pretty friendly! At least the people we met. When we did get lost, we could easily ask for help and the locals were extremely helpful.

3) More delicious Italian food, obviously… I’m obsessed.

Weirdest/different things about this city:

1) There is SO much history in this city! It’s crazy to see and witness. Between the Uffizi Gallery, the David, Michelangelo statue, the Duomo, learning about the Medici family, and many many other historical sites, I felt like I was cultured on all Italian history just in the three days we were there.

2) We went into a grocery store at one point and got yelled at for trying to exit through the entrance. So there is an entrance door then about 25 feet down the sidewalk there is an exit door, which they’re obviously very particular about keeping that way.

Tuscany (Certaldo), Italy

Coolest things about this city:

1) Up until this point we’ve been getting smaller groceries that we can just carry or put in a backpack, but since we needed to get groceries for the full three days we stayed in the countryside, we had a bit more than usual. So like the couple in front of me checking out, I asked for a bag. The woman then charged me a couple euro cents for the two plastic bags I got. At first I thought it was a mistake but then on the receipt it said “bag” which got me thinking that the U.S. should do this since so many people don’t recycle these bags.

2) The views were absolutely INCREDIBLE. So many vineyards and farm lands which look so cool against the setting sun.

3) They have the world’s best gelato just a twenty minute train ride away. I know sweets, because I’ve tried just about anything that has sugar in it, and this is hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. It takes identical to the flavor it’s representing.

Weirdest/different things about this city:

1) Walking back from an adventure, I noticed that everyone has their clothes hanging out on their porch or a clothes-line. I’m not sure if people hand wash and dry their clothes for expense or energy saving purposes or if they even own a washer and dryer. Maybe these are appliances we take for granted?

Venice, Italy

Coolest things about this city:

1) It’s surrounded by water!! And there are a ton of boats and gondolas riding around. They’ve replaced cars with boats.

2) Because this city is surrounded by water, they say it will soon be UNDERwater. It’s an exhilarating feeling visiting a place that you know won’t be around much longer.

Weirdest/different things about this city:

1) There are NO cars riding around once you get on the island. Great for the environment!

2) This city is a maze. I usually enjoy mazes but not when I’m trying to find my way back to the bus that is leaving within the next 20 minutes.

Innsbruck, Austria

Coolest things about this city:

1) This city is nestled into a valley between a ton of snow-capped mountains. It’s absolutely beautiful. Any time you’re outside you can just look up and see mountains surrounding you.

2) Since there is a university nestled into this city, there are a ton of young people walking around. This also means the night life was similar to a bar in Athens so needless to say, I felt right at home.

Weirdest/different things about this city:

1) The zoo here was much different from a zoo in the states. They have pretty dangerous animals only blocked off from people by a two-wire fence, if you can even call that a ‘fence’. You can also walk into birds cages and be within inches of a crazy bird species. Oh and I definitely shouldn’t fail to mention that there was a CAT at the zoo. The sign said it was some sort of feral cat species, trying to make it sound cool, but really it was just a house cat. Apparently they don’t have cats as pets in Austria.

Munich, Germany

Coolest things about this city:

1) BEER! Tons of it and all tasting delicious! I’m not usually the type of person to ask for a dark beer but I had to try some authentic German beers here! As strong as they were, they were absolutely delicious! I wish my eyes (or tastebuds in this case) had been opened up to this delicious discovery sooner.

2) Everyone wears Converse here. Seriously, 9 people out of every 10 I saw were wearing Converse. It. Was. Awesome.

Weirdest/different things about this city:

1) The city was surprisingly a lot more drab than I thought it would be. The buildings all looked somewhat similar with a brick styled composition. Maybe we just didn’t wander as much in this city because of all the German beer we drank.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Coolest things about this city:

1) Everyone rides around on bikes here. I’m sure it’s the reason the city is so pretty and full of life instead of fumes. Bikers

2) The first point brings me to my second point, this city is just beautiful! Between the pretty canals, the pretty buildings, and the pretty flowers and plants, I just wanted to move to this PRETTY place!! The people are also pretty… did I mention everything about this place is pretty?!

3) They hand deliver mail instead of using mail trucks like in the states. This point goes back to my obsession with how clean this city is!

Weirdest/different things about this city:

1) Weed is legal. And while it’s technically not ‘legal’ to smoke outside, no one cares enough to enforce that law. It was so crazy to witness people smoking on the sidewalks with families and elders walking by. And surprisingly the city didn’t constantly reek of weed.

2) It didn’t get fully dark, like ‘pitch-black’ until close to 11pm! A lot of the time I would look at the clock thinking “we should eat dinner it’s starting to get dark” and it would already be 10 o’clock. So bizarre!

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