Looking Ahead to Europe
Posted on: May 26, 2014, by Jill Murwin
Backpacking through Europe (or Southeast Asia) has become a right of passage for America’s young adults, and I’m anxious to get my fill. I’m headed across the pond in a couple of weeks, and the plans are almost final. Following touchdown in Glasgow, it’s 4 hours via train to London, and then a short flight over to Paris. The goal is 14 countries in 14 weeks!
Traveling across Europe offers the chance to sample dozens of local cuisines, sleep in guestrooms, apartments, and hostels, and get acquainted with new languages along the way. But most of all, I’ll be looking for STORIES. I’ll post about my favorite characters, places, and anecdotes throughout the trip, and blaze a trail to inspire Chasing Atlas travelers . Some potential highlights of the trip:
The Brussels Comic Strip Centre (Stop 4): I’ll be in Brussels in late June, and it could be the dark horse of the trip. Known for its chocolate, beer, chips, and waffles, Brussels is a charming and culturally fervid city. However, unbeknownst to the average traveler, Brussels is famous for something else… its comic history. The Belgian Comic Strip Centre is the seat of that history, but the seeker in Brussels will find that the comic motif stretches its fingers throughout the city. Comic murals are displayed on the walls lining the streets, inviting each visitor to create their own story! (photo courtesy of Belgian Comic Strip Center)
Berlin For the World Cup (Stop 5): Sure, Rio is probably the city you want to be in to really experience the action of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but Berlin is a brilliant second option. Berlin is a cultural melting pot that provides the full diaspora of nationalities. Combine that with a fútbol crazed population, and you’ve got the perfect place to watch the international sporting event of the year. Starting in 2006, Germans changed the way they watched the World Cup by gathering in outdoor venues by the masses (Flag-waving hooligans celebrate around the big screen in local parks…). But that doesn’t mean the Kneipes won’t still be full to the brim with animated fans…
Santorini (Stop 13): My trip will wind down on the white beaches of the Mediterranean, and Santorini may be the jewel center. Steps of terraces and balconies drape the cliff sides of Thira and Oia, where most tourists visit, but I’m headed to Greece to RELAX. The storefronts, restaurants, and pebbled beaches will be quiet on the far sided of the island, and Perissa should provide the perfect chance to reset before indulging in Istanbul’s nightlife on my final leg of the trip. (photo courtesy of Henry Hartley)
I’ll be keeping Chasing Atlas travelers posted all summer, enjoy!