Monday, August 30, 2010

What I learned in Europe

My two weeks in Europe were an amazing experience that I'm so thankful for. I hope I can return one day soon and see Spain, France and more of Northern Europe. To conclude my vacation recaps, I thought I'd put together a collection of my thoughts, lessons and tips.

What I learned about myself...
  • One thing I am excellent at is deciphering light rail and train maps. I think this is due to my year and a half working for a transit system.
  • I cannot drink enough water when walking around all day!
  • I can easily adjust to 8-hour time differences :) Both arriving and coming back home were a breeze.
What I learned about bathrooms... (Yes, I learned so much about bathrooms that it needed its own section!)
  • Don't ask people where the "restroom" is, because they'll have no idea what you're talking about.  "Bathroom" has a better chance of being understood, but call it the "toilet."
  • Look for signs that say "WC" if you're searching for a public toilet. This is more common than the man/woman icon. I never would have known this!
  • Don't expect to find seat covers. You're not going to, so just get used to the germs.
  • ...and when in the Greek islands - don't even expect toilets! The public restroom in Fira is a hole in the floor that you squat over. Just call it an adventure!

Other things I learned...
  • In Greece we were a little worried that no one would speak English and furthermore, all the signs would be in Greek. In Italy, even if signs are in Italian we at least know the alphabet and enough Spanish to figure it out. Greek is completely different! However, wherever we went, signs were mostly in Greek and English, and most people spoke at least a little English.
  • They say the time differently in Europe. 4:30 would be "four thirty" in the U.S., but in Europe it's "half four," "half five," etc.
  • Many hotels and hostels only accept cash - no credit cards so you need to be prepared for that.
Read all of my vacation recaps...
Day 1: Travel
Day 2: Dublin, Ireland
Day 3: Dublin, Ireland
Day 4: Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland
Day 5: Venice, Italy
Day 6: Rome, Italy
Day 7: Rome, Italy
Day 8: Ostia Antica, Italy
Day 9: Athens, Greece
Day 10: Santorini, Greece
Day 11: Santorini, Greece
Day 12: Santorini, Greece
Day 13: Athens, Greece
Day 14: Dublin, Ireland
Day 15: Travel

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

That's awesome that you can adjust to time differences so well! I cannot. I have a horrible time and feel off for days.