I am a Europhile. Unsure of the spelling, but you get the jest. I love the place and while they aren’t feeling the same with our current government, they are cordial, well most of them. And be ready for their opinions..
Here’s a few things to know when you visit:
- The first floor in Europe is “0,” the second floor is 1.
- When you enter a hotel room put the room card in the plastic holder next to the door. It turns on the lights.
- Keep hydrated.
- Take trains.
- Ask a millennial. They know English. Recently got scammed by a senior in a train station so watch out for those old ladies and men. I can say this I am one, a senior that is..
- Take pictures of street signs rather than writing them on a piece of paper.
- Bring an umbrella.
- Wear your clothes to the airport, it lessens the luggage weight.
- Have coins available for the bathroom.
- Get GPS on your phone. European Sim cards are cheap, usually about $20 and are available in airport kiosks, and vending machines. I like going to the kiosk and having service but you can do it yourself. Remember to store your American Sim card safely.
- Know the exchange rate.
- Use ATMs for currency exchange and do this transaction in daylight.
- Bring an empty water bottle with you through airport security, refill.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Those stone streets are killers.
- Bring a listing of phrases in the native tongue. Learn hello, thank you, and I’m sorry. Even if they throw the book at you as was done to me in a Spanish train station let it go. We all have bad days. 🙂
- Make eye contact. It helps.
- Layer clothing. In Brugge this year I brought what I thought was appropriate clothing. It was May and frigid. Finding a clothing store was not easy and luckily the train station had one. Tights and a hoodie embroidered, “New York City Original,” was purchased. Not the souvenir sweat shirt I expected but it was the warmest.
- Go with the flow.
- And let me close with that.. traveling is a learning experience and fascinating to meet folks of different lands and tongues.
Sculpture Outside a Portugal Rest Area. Isn’t it great.