Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bethany's thoughts on the trip

I saw San Marco Piazza. I explored the Louvre. I stood inside Sagrada Familia. I climbed the Rock of Gibraltar.
No matter how often I think these things or look back at the pictures, this month-long trip seems to have happened in another life. But I did do those things, and I did them with my favorite cousins.

My Month Long Family
If you’re looking for knowledgeable and fun tour guides, Uncle Mark and Aunt Cathy are the people to go with.  Because both are veterans to European traveling, they know the best gelato shops, the museums with smaller lines, and easiest ways to get around town. And Uncle Mark’s ability to pick up languages is amazing!  His endearing eagerness to communicate and learn made him a favorite at most of the places we went.

Annie’s intense desire to steer free of actions that made us seem “touristy” actually galvanized us to appreciate the culture more. In each country, especially Italy, she taught herself (and the rest of us) many important phrases. She encouraged everyone to try foods that we wouldn’t find in the U.S.

Brennan was a great source of entertainment and knowledge. Meal times were especially fun with his sharp wit and humor. While sight-seeing at a castle, he would casually tell us of some fascinating, random fact about the city’s ancient inhabitants.

Nate, as has been mentioned before in this blog and exemplified by his many selfies, was definitely the most enthusiastic. His excited, care-free nature was infectious. His exuberant “Grazie!” became his trademark. And most of the natives loved it.
My Favorite Places
When I got back to Georgia, I kept being asked, “Which city was your favorite?” For a while, I couldn’t answer that question. Each city was unique and so much fun to explore! There was no city I did not like.

 Finally, though, I narrowed it down to my top three.

Assisi: The beautiful scenery coupled with a peaceful aura made this my favorite spot in Italy.  It was the perfect place to spend our first few days in Europe. Twice we climbed up to the castle that capped the mountain and soaked in the gorgeous view.

Paris: This city was about the opposite of Assisi, and yet just as special! Paris was full of places to go to and things to see! And everything was either a few minutes’ walk or a metro stop away.  Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, San Chapel, Pont des Arts Bridge, and the Louvre were some of the amazing places we got to visit. I could’ve spent a month simply exploring the city.


Barcelona: purely for the sake of Gaudi, who is now my favorite architect in the world!  Uncle Mark has already posted a great blog explaining why he likes Gaudi, and I agree completely. Where most people see architecture as something purely functional, it’s fun to see how Gaudi played with shapes and drew inspiration from nature to create a completely one-of-a-kind design!

This bassoon playing angel on the fa├žade of Sagrada Familia is a great example of Gaudi’s  fun, yet quirky style.


The Schultz Family said...

My dear, you were a joy to travel with! You are always peaceful and calm, yet curious and energetic. We sure were glad to have your company! And I share my love of all your "favorites!" Great picks!

John Pierce said...

Great post, Bethany! Sounds like you all had a great month in Europe :)