Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gruss Gott!

Ahem. Yes. Well. I've returned from Europe none the worse for wear. Its also very, very difficult to try and distill the sheer sensory overload that three weeks of hard traveling will do. So, instead of breaking it down into a massive succession of posts, here's the nutshell review.

Ireland rocks. The country's booming, cheerful, and has a level of friendliness that makes Canada look like a bunch of curmudgeons. Its also got so many people from all over the world there, living, working or just visiting. Prices are expensive, food's good, the women are beautiful and the beer is excellent. I recommend going there. Dublin and Kilkenny are fantastic places, Blarney, despite the kitch, is worth visiting, and Cork, well, you can probably live a long, fulfilling life without having seen Cork.

Lithuania rocks. The country is recovering from decades of Soviet oppression. Prices are cheap, the food is good and/or interesting, the women are beautiful (Ireland has more though), the beer is very good (and cheap), the country is beautiful (if a little midwestern-y) and its also worth visiting and bringing tourist dollars there to boost up the economy. Vilnius is booming and undergoing a berserker building/remodeling campaign. There's a lot of grafitti and most people drive like lunatics, but the country's a great place to go.

Austria rocks. The Alps are staggering in their beauty. The food is superb, the beer is excellent, the cities are clean (aside from all the cigarette butts), and they have beautiful women (though Lithuania has more). Salzburg, Sound of Music kitsch aside, is a gorgeous storybook city that lives and breathes music (and capitalizing on Mozart). Graz is a quirky university city mixing ancient traditions with the hyper-modern weirdness that grows out of having university professors all over the place, and deserves your tourist dollars.

Well, that's a nutshell of the experience, though completely inadequate to explain anything. The best thing I can do is say travel for yourself, see what you want to see, step outside the lines of where you normally operate, and never, ever forget where your passport is.

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