European Travels

Five years ago this month I was traveling through Western Europe with a good friend of mine. Fresh out of college and in love, I was full of optimism and eager to do something memorable before starting law school that coming fall. This being 2003, the U.S. was not the most popular country at the time and I remember being a bit concerned regarding safety and how we, as Americans, would be regarded while in Europe. But we luckily had no problems throughout the journey.

We began in Paris and spent a few days there before taking the train overnight to Venice. One of the memories that stick out the most while in Venice is walking down a centuries-old alley only to come around the corner and find a Foot Locker blaring 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”. We made our way from city to city on overnight trains that are popular in Europe. The sleeper rail cars were always an adventure and a great way to meet people from all over the world, not to mention being forced to share tight sleeping quarters with them. We stayed in youth hostels while traveling and I found the experience to be fine, so long as you go into the adventure not expecting a five-star hotel (or any privacy).

From Venice we traveled to Rome and the on to the French Rivera (where Monaco will make anyone feel dirt poor) and then down to Barcelona and over to Madrid. We spent one night baking in Seville in southern Spain due to the heat and a few more days in Madrid hanging out with the friends we made on the road before returning to Paris for our last few days. Needless to say, Paris was incredible. But Barcelona and Madrid also left strong impressions on me. I would immediately return to either city again should an opportunity arise.

I have a photo from that trip that I keep in the journal I started while in Europe. It shows me standing alone on top of the hill in which the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur sits in Paris and overlooks much of the city. Montparnasse looms in the background of the photo, and I am alone, marking my last summer as a bachelor. It was a good way to spend such a summer.

2 Responses

  1. So timely to read your post today! Summertime always reminds me of my European adventures in the past! Today i was lamenting the days of being carefree and letting me go wherever my Eurail Pass would take me. How fun to explore a continent rich in history and aesthetic beauty! Someday that time will come again but for now I have to enjoy the pool and beach and the giggles and screams of 3 children for the summer!

  2. ah, europe. your trip sounded incredible.

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