What We Did in Two Months in Europe in a Nutshell
31.05.2004 - 20.07.2004
This is for those of you want to hear about what we experienced, but hate to read. Or maybe you just don’t have much time and want to choose what to read without having to open one chapter, fearing it is too long for your short attention span… Or maybe you are just curious as to which might actually sound good, if anything. Or maybe you are too lazy to read, period- but you want everyone to think you actually read each chapter and are in need of Cliff's Notes, a Reader’s Digest condensed version or just a good old Cheat Sheet to memorize in case it comes up in conversation or if there is a Book Discussion, Book Report or worse- a written exam.
WHAT WE DID IN ENGLAND:
England Part 1 Our Intro to Europe: Guildford & Cranleigh:
We met up with our friends Naomi, Mike, Lottie and Shane, hit some pubs, ate some English grub, drank some tea. People drove on the wrong side of the too narrow roads in backward built cars with steering wheels on the wrong side; the hills were green and the cottages cute. Saw the Omen cathedral hall; Damien was out for the day. Great time, but it was NOT Bloody Hot!
England Part 2: Day Trips to London:
Saw Big Ben & Parliament, rode a red double decker bus, made a call from a red phone booth, saw a bunch of guards changing shifts, saw that the London Bridge really did fall down but the Tower Bridge still stands, took a photo with Sherlock Holmes, saw a bunch of stolen items in the British Museum and lots of fancy paintings in the National Gallery, saw the Picadilly Circus wasn’t a circus and saw Eliza Doolittle’s flower market no longer has flowers- and Eliza wasn’t there, either. It was NOT bloody hot.
England Part 3: The Old World: Dominos of Stonehenge, Salisbury Steaks & the Winchester Cathedral:
Salisbury: Almost slept near land mines. Saw an old church with a big steeple; went inside and saw all the people. Stopped at a pub, ate some English grub, we met a bartender from Liverpool, he had a brother who was really cool, knew the Beatles when he went to school, was their Cavern Club bouncer who sat on a stool. We then slept over an old pub, as it was safer than sleeping over the land mines. It was NOT bloody hot.
Stonehenge: We had special permission to get up before the sun to go see a pile of rocks in the middle of a field on the side of a road and see if the blue rocks were hot or cold. It was NOT bloody hot.
Winchester: Sang the song and saw the cathedral Diver Dan saved from drowning, walked through a castle that had no walls, waved at Jane Austen’s former home, saw King Arthur’s Round Table, but not the knights. It was NOT bloody hot.
England Part 4: The Pinball Wizard in Brighton and the Funky Pavilion:
Saw the big pier, rode on a mouse, ate cockles & whelks and fish & chips, Vidal kicked a ball and won a shark, we walked down some Lanes and saw a funky pavilion; had tea, crumpets and a brownie with a free strand of hair on the palace veranda. It was NOT bloody hot.
England Part 5: A Day at the Races: My Fair Lady Hits Royal Ascot… or Tailgating British Style:
Had a picnic, drank some champagne, rode in a carriage, missed the queen, saw some horses, won some money, wore a Mad Hatter hat. It was NOT bloody hot.
WHAT WE DID IN DENMARK:
Arhus: We drove round and round ‘til we understood Danish. Vidal had a Jack Thompson Special (a hamburger), we sat at a train station.
Snedsted: We met Sandy’s cousins, checked out the Thomsen Tree to see where the Thompsons came in. Went to a bonfire to see the Danes burn and defeat a witch, sending her screaming back to Germany. Ate lots of yummy food.
Thisted: Saw a church Sandy’s ancestors attended and walked the streets, all through the rain.
Sjorring: saw the house that Jack’s ancestors built, church they attended and the lake they drained, saw where a Viking castle once stood on a hill with a drained moat, all through the rain.
Took a peek at the non-drained North Sea.
Viborg: Saw old houses and where a baker no longer lives to bake bread. Forced to eat more delicious food.
WHAT WE DID IN SWITZERLAND:
Ascona: We visited friends Mari, Zenon and Karla, walked to a lake, made rock sculptures, saw an old nudist colony, didn’t buy a painting we wanted, Vidal swam in the ice.
Lucarno: We went to open Swiss bank accounts to deposit our millions, walked around to see some old buildings and searched all over Switzerland because Vidal had to have an ice cold Coke, that spoiled brat.
Alps: We took a rickety lift to the top of a mountain to see Santa ‘Uncle Sepp’ Claus make cheese, drank some homemade gasoline; heard santa yodel and the cows play their bells.
Lucerne: We walked along an old painted bridge then went cuckoo in search of a cuckoo.
WHAT WE DID IN THE NETHERLANDS/AMSTERDAM:
We didn’t go to a coffee house, we did meet Vidal’s cousin Rosalia and her hubby Peter from Germany, we didn’t join the stoned people in the Dam Square, we did visit the city museum with the chopped up Nightwatch, the Van Gogh museum to see how Vincent lost his marbles and the house where Rembrandt went bankrupt. We did see where Anne Frank lived, we did take a cruise around the canals, we did get ripped off buying cheese, and we did stay in a closet.
WHAT WE DID IN BELGIUM/BRUSSELS:
We saw a bunch of old houses with funny names on a big square, and went in search of a peeing boy. Did our impressions of Monty Python's Brian as we ate too much chocolate, waffles, mussels and fries.
WHAT WE DID IN FRANCE/PARIS:
We stayed in a closet, had a glass of lousy wine and a small beer which cost more than our closet, Vidal wore new shoes and got blisters, the French Army went on a stroll. Mona Lisa followed us, DaVinci’s St John pointed to the exit for us, the crowds on Bastille Day stopped us from seeing the Eiffel Tower and then threw M80s at us; the gargoyles at Notre Dame scared us. We hated Paris in the springtime, we hated Paris in the fall, although we were there in the summer-we still were not crazy about it at all.
WHAT WE DID IN SPAIN:
WE WENT TO BARCELONA:
It was hot. We rode a bus around and around, saw Picasso’s art, Gaudi’s funky buildings, his unfinished church and his funky mosaic lizard; wandered through some old gothic quarter, rambled along a long boulevard lined with living statues and a thousand flower and bird vendors, ate at the Snails place with pork legs dangling everywhere and paid way too much to sleep on a couch on the Rambling boulevard.
...WE TOOK A ROAD TRIP:
Spain Road Trip, Day 1: Granada, Here We Come:
It was hot. Saw a big Moorish palace with lots of tiles, fancy arches, a fountain of lions and enough gardens to fill 3 football fields. We were so busy seeing sights we almost forgot to eat.
Spain Road Trip, Day 2: Help Me, Ronda – Help, Help Me Ronda!:
It was hot; Vidal got a tummy ache. We said no to Morocco, yes to the whitewashed town on the top of a cliff. I ate bull for dinner and Vidal used his prescription for a meal of tonic water and chicken soup.
Spain Road Trip, Day 3: Shades of Chevy Chase In Seville: Look Kids, Its Big Ben! Parliament! … I Mean- La Giralda! The Cathedral!:
It was hot. We circled the historic center 20 times to find our hotel, we saw the cathedral where Columbus may or may not be buried, watched a foot stomping, toe tapping, finger snapping, skirt swirling flamingo show.
Spain Road Trip, Day 4: Seville to Córdoba: Through the Frying Pan of Spain:
Écija: Jumped into the frying pan and couldn’t find our way out, so we melted.
Córdoba: It was hot. Saw a mosque that’s a cathedral but still a mosque with lots of candy canes, and went to another foot stomping, toe tapping, skirt swirling flamingo show with a prize winning dancer who danced sideways.
Spain Road Trip, Day 5: Through Central Spain, the Birthplace of Cortez and Fighting Quixote’s Giants:
Medellín: It was hot. Saw the town where Cortés the creepy conquistador was born, the church where he was baptized and the castle he never lived in. The people all disappeared, and so did we.
Consuegra: It was hot. We watched salt and pepper shakers on a mountain turn into Don Quixote’s Giants, then we fought them. We looked for Donny boy in his castle, but he wasn’t there. We left, and we weren’t there any more either.
Spain Road Trip, Day 6: Toledo to Soria: Heading North Through the Medival Cities of Avila, Segovia and Burgo de Osma
Toledo: It was hot. We searched for a sword instead of sights.
Avila: It was hot. We saw the walls, the walls were big. They went all the way around the city. And then we left.
Segovia: It was hot. The Romans left an aqueduct and the Jews hid their synagogue; we saw a fairy tale castle and Vidal bought lethal weapons.
Spain Road Trip, Day 7: Soria to Olite- A Knight in a Shining Castle
It was hot. We stayed in the old castle and paid to check out the new one. We wandered through medieval streets, ate some cheese and bread with our wine.
Spain Road Trip, Day 8: Olite to Pamplona-Let’s Get This Party Started
We got to hear rockets, sprayed some champagne, danced in the streets. Sandy fell and twisted her knee chasing bulls. Then we saw some giants, guys with really big heads and men with horse butts bashing people with mallets.
Spain Road Trip, Day 9: Pamplona: Running With the Bulls to the Finishing Line
The bulls ran and got confused; Sandy’s twisted knee slowed her down. Then we did a cross country race.
WHAT WE DID IN ITALY:
Venice and the Thousand Bridges
We saw a bunch of bridges, stayed in a broken down palace, ate some good food, rode on a ferry ‘cause we’re too cheap to ride in a gondola.
Florence: The City of David:
We saw a dome, climbed a bunch of stairs, saw a bunch of old buildings and another old bridge, lots of old paintings and an enormous statue of a naked man without a fig leaf; tried to see Dante and Mickey Angel but they had left their buildings with Elvis.
How Vidal Straightened Out the Leaning Tower of Pisa
We saw a tower. The tower was leaning. We leaned as we walked up the crooked tower. Vidal straightened the tower. We went home.
Pizza with the Camorra (Neopolitan Version of Cosa Nostra) In Naples; Conductors and Chefs of Sorrento
Naples: We were followed by the mafia, ate some pizza then rode a train with a certifiably insane conductor.
Sorrento: We found the only cash machine in Italy that had cash. We waited for a bus and then ate some good food.
The Isle of Capri: The Beautiful People vs. the Well-Read Tourist
We passed out Band-aids as we walked to the villa of an insane Roman emperor; he wasn’t home so we went to go find a cheap sandwich.
Pompeii: City of the Dead
We saw a bunch of ruined old buildings, hid from the volcano and took a train home.
When in Rome…
We rode in a car with a madman who tried to kill us, saw a bunch of fountains and really old buildings then saw some that were even older, saw a bunch of really crowded piazzas and a big flight of stairs; ran into a Roman soldier and tried to see a gladiator fight. They were all gone. Then we ate some really good food. Again. And again.
WHAT WE DID IN THE STATO DELLA CITTA DEL VATICANO:
THE VATICAN MUSEUMS
We saw a bunch of paintings and lots of vendors selling once in a lifetime deals- special deals just for us that day; couldn’t find the popenopener so we left.
Admired the Paint By Numbers version of the Bible painted on the walls. We looked up and saw what Michelangelo did, and we saw that it was good; then our heads nearly fell off from staring at the ceiling.
We went with our clothes on, took the elevator to see the dome and the inside of a fence on the roof. We found an angel and he gave us a tour of a really pretty church.