Thirteen steps to Europe

Up the stairs we went, settling in for our adventures.

This week, it was Romania from Transylvania to the Black Sea, followed by Zermatt in the Swiss Alps to Lake Geneva. Before that, we took the finest trains from Sofia to Istanbul, Vienna to Trieste, Pisa to Lake Garda, Athens to Thessaloniki, the Black Forest to Hannover and Barcelona to Mallorca. 

Not for real, of course — although Barcelona, Switzerland and Germany are on our wish list for … someday — but the room I once pretended was a portal to sporting events is now our passport to some of Europe’s greatest sites.

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There are worse jobs than Rick Steves’

When I was a kid, sixth grade I think, our teacher used to show us films from foreign countries — mostly, if not all from Europe.

Our teacher made sure to tell us that countries, including ours, produced them to promote themselves — lest communist Eastern Europe look too good to us in the Cold War early 1980s — but I loved them.

The Scandanavian countries seemed especially cool, and the always made me want to go.

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If Switzerland is real, it looks spectacular

One of my wife’s and my friends moved to Basel, Switzerland, earlier this year.

She’s a frequent and humorous tweeter, with topics that include the expat life — she misses the Yankees and isn’t really sure about soccer, although she has been to an FC Basel game — but it’s her photos of her travels around the area that have caused my wife to come to a conclusion.

This place called “Switzerland” is not a real place.

Continue reading “If Switzerland is real, it looks spectacular”