Besides the history of Europe and the beauty of the buildings, we, as a very young country, could actually learn a few lessons. Example….
Truck stops, as we call them, are called ‘comfort stops’. Here, they have massive restaurants – some with grocery sections, self serve food (HOT AND COLD), gasoline, of course, parking to accommodate tour buses, tourists and, truckers.
Most countries we were in speak English, although there were a couple of places where etiquette was hiding. It was fun to try foods that represent their heritage. I did too, except for sausages.
Entertainment is a major attraction in most of the places we dined in on our tour. Here, many other tour companies as well, are in the same place as we were but other times we had the restaurants all to ourselves.
The quality of the hotels was top notch and some were quirky. No real standard – no coffee or tea in your room in a lot of them….no irons or ironing boards in Italy…..some showers were a test of your ability to figure things out and not drown or cause a flood. We all must remember that everything we have here is new…seriously….we saw things was dated well before 5 0r 6 A.D.
Bathrooms were , to say the least, comical. They charged…from 20 cents to a Euro to a Euro and a half. Many groans here. Most of them were down a couple of flights of stairs, and at some comfort stops you got a receipt that enabled you to get a discount if you bought something in the store. When our guide told us the bathrooms were free, a loud cheer came un on the bus. True!
Pickpockets abound, hawkers are everywhere and when girls come up to you pretending to be survey takers and ask if you speak English, we are told not to look at them and ignore them. Great at distraction while their buddies lift your pockets.
Watch for unscrupulous jewelry store operators. This, I speak of with experience. Not everything is on the up and up.
We all agree that the only way to take in such a holiday is to go on a tour like Insight Tours. They are top quality the whole way, you see things and places you might never get to on your own and you are looked after.
Are we tired? Of course we are. Would we do it again? In a few years, yes. Europe is expensive, but if you prepare yourselves ahead of time, it is also fun, educational and so very worth it.
My husband – thank you for a trip of a lifetime…….Insight Tours…..thank you for making it appear easy. I hope by reading my entries over the past month you, to, have enjoyed it. We will post pictures of what we saw – the gondola ride, the trip up the Eiffel Tower, the breathtaking scenery in each country, trying to pick a favourite and coming up with many.
Until Next time! A la prochaine,..,