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MY Europe trip. (Just photos/story of my adventures)


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#1 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:35 AM

This summer I was pretty lucky and had the opportunity to travel for just over 6 weeks. My girlfriend was speaking in a conference in the Netherlands so we figured we should book our 2 month trip while we were somewhat young and experience the old world. Needless to say it was quite an adventure. We visited 10 countries and took in everything we could, except in Greece, we just laid around like lazys and baked in the sun. I'll try to limit the number of photos the best I can.

Let's get acquainted, my gf and I (before our flight, leaving Canada).
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First up,
The Utrecht Netherlands (Holland)

The Dom tower. Quite beautiful, scaled to the top and got a look over Utrecht. The mid part of this church that joined the cathedral and the tower together caved in and it took close to a 100 years to clean up due to funding (lol cheap Dutch).
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So many fucking bikes in Utrecht! It's crazy. They also drive these old beaters that look like grandma bikes from the 1920's. At least where I'm from people either drive top of the line road bikes or your typical mountain bike, so the scene was a bit bizarre. (Yes this is a bike parking lot)
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We went to Amsterdam but unfortunately our camera got stolen in Hamburg Germany before we were able to upload the photos. Too bad, because that city was a blast.
Holland ratings Food: Cheese/bread amazing, Fine dining 7/10. Women 7/10. Architecture 5/10. Nightlife 7/10. Ambiance  8/10.

Had an overnight stay in Hamburg, Germany. Did not get to see anything unfortunately.

Enter Switzerland.
We had relatives living here so our accommodations were free. Good thing because Switzerland is the most expensive country I've ever been to. People talk about London and Paris being expensive, I guess they have never been to Zurich or any part of Switzerland for that matter. Avoid this place unless you have a good bundle of cash to blow. Lucky our relatives were....well ...$$loaded$$. We enjoyed our stay in a massive house upon a hill overlooking the town of Zuficon, having a clear view of the Swiss Alps from the balcony,  an indoor pool, and downing 3-5 bottles a night of $100-400 bottles of wine (I guess being a swiss banker pays off).
Those snow capped mountains.
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And me some ~7000ft above sea level (St.Bernard pass). You have the option to go through the mountain or over it.....we chose over it (This is the end of May by the way, and on our way to Italy).
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Food: Chocolate/Sausage/Beer(best beer ever), Fine dining 9/10. Women 6/10. Architecture 5/10. Nightlife 4/10. Ambiance  7/10.

To be continued.
I'm always right.
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#2 Breadstic

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:41 AM

+rep

also it's stupid posts have to be 3 words

#3 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:46 AM

Also kind of on topic. In the fashion thread they were talking about man scarves and I mentioned the Dutch (particularly Utrecht) wearing scarfs in +20 Celsius weather. My gf and I actually made a game out of calling out people wearing scarves. I won the first game after about 45mins....the count was 62 lol. Pretty ridiculous.
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#4 Imnotop

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:47 AM

Awesome, please share more!

#5 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 08:28 AM

We left Switzerland with our relatives to embark on a road trip via an Audi A8. Our goal was to visit as many towns along the coast line and take in as many views as possible. So after passing over the St. Bernard pass and taking in some of the most breathtaking mountains the world has to offer, we entered Italy. The landscape changed dramatically within 45mins worth of driving. From hilly/mountainous terrain to rolling hills and almost prairie like landscape. Unfortunately, our first stop was Milano. I'm sorry, but avoid this city. It was dirty, smelly, had graffiti all over the buildings, and the city just didn't feel safe. We walked around for hours and did not find anything of interest, except for the main city square (this may have only been due to ignorance since we did not research this city prior to arrival).
That being said, the Cathedral in Milan was one of the most beautiful we witnessed on our trip. The photos really don't do it justice, the detail is just stunning in real life. I cannot imagine the money/time that went into building this work of art.
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We visited I think about 4-5 other villages/towns along or near the shoreline, all of them beautiful (blue water, palm trees, cactuses ect.). One of the spots we stop was actually hosting the Giro D'Italia (a big ass bike race), so we stayed around to watch it. The energy of the crowd was something else and we just had to cheer when the leaders round the corner. Later we found out that the leader was actually Canadain!(as am I) and he ended winning the time trail, which I guess hasn't happened for decades.
[will add photo later]
We ended up staying a night just outside of Sienna in the Tuscany region. I may be partial since I am a bit of a farm boy but this was one of the most romantic locations we stayed at. The villa  did nothing but reinforce this. Check out this view.
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In Sienna there was also a very beautiful Cathedral. It hosted 2 colours of Marble and very similar to the cathedral in Florence (so I may have gotten the pictures confused). As you have already guessed we visited Florence as well. Another beautiful and romantic city. This was my second favourite cathedral second to only the one in Barcelona (unlike anything else presently).
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Unfortunately the city is VERY touristy. I'm talking like a 2tourist:1native ratio, regardless it was a good time but I don't think I could've spent more than two days here.

Big Pimping, getting ready for a night out on the town.
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Enter Rome (will edit/fill in)
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#6 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 08:53 AM

Hmmm, I wasn't even going to post this shit because I'm lazy and thought I would just get super flamed about being ugly. Sorry about the wording/grammar/spelling I'm a bit tipsy and google chrome isn't working on my computer so no automatic spellcheck :(
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#7 droolingmoron

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

old world eh? you really sound like a typical american tourist. anyway thx for sharing, really cute! but in the last photo you don't really look like a pimp with your short trousers and this ugly shirt, your face expression would match though.
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#8 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:27 AM

So Rome! Yes! All roads lead to Rome. This city is the city of cities. We spent  4 days here and we did not see even close to everything and we were fucking running around this city trying to see as much as possible. Do yourself a favour if you visit this city....give yourself at least a week here. The only bad thing about Rome is that once you see it, everything else basically pales in comparison. That and well, all the immigrants trying to sell you umbrellas and toys. The sheer size of some of these monuments, buildings and fountains and the fact they are exclusively made out of marble just leaves you in awe of Italian architecture/design.
At this point I want to apologize to Kawklee. Unfortunately I did not get to visit the ruins just outside of Rome that you mentioned. We would've went but we were just too strapped for time. If/when we visit again it will be at the top of our priority list.
So pics!  My gf before going out.
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It was hard picking a single picture of Rome, there really is so much to see. I would've probably put up a picture of their big ass fountain(I forgot the name of it) but the only pictures I have of it is of me and my gf kissing in front of it (I'm sure you don't want to see that). So by default we have this building/monument (yes I forgot the name of this one too). It's hard to understand the sheer size of this building until you witness it in person but it totally blew me away.
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Goddamn I loved Rome.
We stopped by Bologna on the way back to Switzerland but there was really nothing there except for this, which I found comical (yea...Lamborghini lol)  
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Notes on Italy: Must eat Pizza/Gelato everyday Fine dining 6/10 (service is shit, food is good but nothing spectacular). Women 7/10. Architecture 10/10. Nightlife 7/10. Ambiance 7/10. (This is mostly considering Rome since we stayed there the longest.)

To be Continued...

Disclaimer: I forgot to mention. While in Rome we stayed in a hostel. The fucker charge us on the 2nd night we were there(credit card charge we didn't know about it), we payed in full in cash on the last day. He happily accepted and didn't bat an eye. We had to go through Visa to revoke the charges. Luckily the fucking idiot faked my gf signature so he is fucked. The whole scenario left a stale taste in my mouth though, considering I gave this guy like 3 Cuban cigars and a bottle of wine while we were partying....fucking Italians. I'll post the name of his hostel service later so you guys can be warned. I also have a photo of me and this prick partying as well (will post larter). If you go to his hostel or see him give a good slap in the face for me. Thanks.

Also another warning. Croats and Italians DO NOT believe in lines. You can be lined up well before them and they will just barge in at the last minute. So keep your shoulders broad, your chin high and when they try to do that, stop, turn, look them straight in the eye, and shake your head (as if to say no). Otherwise they won't get the clue and will continue to try and butt infront of you.
Also take a moment to laugh at all the civilized people from the UK that actually respect lines and look like some sort of blasphemy occurred when they get butted (they won't say a word though, PUSSIES!).
To be honest if this type of behaviour went down in Canada/US there would be fist fights(probably shootings/knifings in the US, lol) so if you are coming here(North America) from Croatia/Italy/Spain(not a huge issue there tbh) don't try this shit because you might end up fucked up.
I'm always right.
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#9 Alcohoulix

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:50 AM

thanks for the post.
I GOT 26 REP NOONE FUCKING FUCKS WIT ME

#10 Breadstic

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:20 AM

u are handsome mate and ur gf is a qt, I fuckin love blonds

although chinstrap look is kind of douchy

#11 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:37 AM

Unfortunately we didn't take the scenic route back to Switzerland so nothing much to say about that. We stayed for a few more days in Zuficon(Switzerland) before we embarked on our next journey, destination: Croatia. Vehicle of choice: Porsche! Yes our relatives lent us their Porsche to travel to Croatia. We left Switzerland to enter Germany. We found ourselves on the autobuans ,no speed limit highways. Needless to say (in Syke's words) massive LoLs were had.
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We went through Munich and had a little home sickness since it kind of reminded us of Canada.
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We did not stay the night however, we pushed onto Austria, specifically Salzburg , home of Mozart and the sound of Music. This was my gf favourite town/city. I will not deny it is a beautiful town, but it is fucking small and there isn't that much to do. Three days (probably two) should be more than enough to get your fill of this city.
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We got a really good deal on a 4star hotel so I had no complaints, but needless to say restlessness kicked in and before we knew it we were jumping off mountains....literally.
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So we left Salzburg and went to Halstatt. Unesco ranks it as the most beautiful village in Austria. I don't doubt it is, but just before we pulled up 3 bus loads of Asian unloaded. This area is cottage country  and unoccupied prior  to the summer season, so it quickly turned into lil'China town. Still a nice town though.
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[will add pic of asain filled town later]
(Food @Austria: MUST TRY A BOSNA! Fuck Salzburger (bland). Mozart balls (truffles are better). Snitzel (Germany makes better ones) Fine dining N/A(did not dine). Women 3/10. Architecture 5/10. Nightlife 3/10. Ambiance 9/10.

ONWARDS TO SLOVENIA! We went to Bled. Nice town, locals are awesome. People know how to party. It seems like a place where people go to camp. They had a pretty cool looking castle that they shone lights on at night. My camera sucks though so I couldn't take any good night time photos.
The cool part was Vintgar gorge. Again, I'm abit partial since I'm a geologist but this was a pretty cool walking trail. The water was a spectacular turquoise colour with interesting geology to be had (obviously, If I was planning on doing a masters in earth science I'd do it there).

In my element. Look at that strata!
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If I was to describe Slovenia in one word it would "forest" or "mini-Gatinaue"(Quebec region in Canada). I wish we would've spent more time here, but I'm an outdoors type. Aweeee dem waterfalls (still got nothing on Croatia. You will agree shortly).
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To  be continueed.
I'm always right.
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#12 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:42 AM

View PostDias, on 30 June 2012 - 10:20 AM, said:

u are handsome mate and ur gf is a qt, I fuckin love blonds

although chinstrap look is kind of douchy
Haha, I don't usually wear one (I think it makes me look Jewish, not like that is a bad thing). I usually grow in just stubble and keep it short. My gf hates when I clean shave. Her words exactly "You look like a child when you don't have facial hair". I blame it on my feminine jaw line.
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#13 Buglamp

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:41 AM

Your little beard thing is...I don't like it, neat pics of scenery though.

#14 berserker

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:51 AM

were you at all around football crowds watching the euros? how was the atmosphere? Im really curious as the pubs in LA only have a small version of that
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#15 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

View Postberserker, on 30 June 2012 - 11:51 AM, said:

were you at all around football crowds watching the euros? how was the atmosphere? Im really curious as the pubs in LA only have a small version of that

I didn't really follow it until I got to Portugal. There was a huge following there. I'm talking like Stanley cup playoffs (I'm Canadian) where the small towns pull out 72" TVs into the street and have beer booths flowing until 12am. I don't even like "football"/soccer and I found myself going crazy when Portugal put it into the net.
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#16 berserker

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:07 PM

im jealous (fuck this 3 word rule already)
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#17

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:33 PM

vnice :)

#18 gorz

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:09 PM

wow this is just wtf

#19 Pirated

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:23 PM

nice thread

View Poststcolbert, on 30 June 2012 - 09:27 AM, said:


Also another warning. Croats and Italians DO NOT believe in lines. You can be lined well before them and they will just barge in at the last minute. So keep your shoulders broad, your chin high and when they try to do that, stop, turn, look them straight in the eye, and shake your head (as if to say no). Otherwise they won't get the clue and will continue to try and butt infront of you.
Also take a moment to laugh at all the civilized people in the UK that actually respect lines and look like some sort of blasphemy occurred which they get butted (they won't say a word though, PUSSIES!).
To be honest if this type of behaviour went down in Canada/US there would be fist fights(probably shootings/knifings in the US) so if you are coming here(North America) from Croatia/Italy/Spain(not a huge issue there tbh) don't try this shit because you might end up fucked up.

fucking croats
"i have literally never, to my recollection, overestimated myself"
-Buddhist

#20 stcolbert

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:48 PM

A conversation with Matisse. Some pretty valuable information imo.

We stayed away from traveling via rail. I talked to a few people about it, some loved it but most people  did not think it was something spectacular. Because of this we opted to fly everywhere. The reasoning was because we were trying to visit as many countries as possible in our short visit and the train would have just plainly taken too long (we didn't want to spend our whole trip in transit).

To be frank nothing replaces a car. If you have taken the time to research your stay it is simply invaluable but it can be costly (gas prices in Europe are fucking retarded too).

As for baggage, we each carried only one bag that was considered a carry on. We could have probably taken another suitcase but:
1) We did not want to be weighted down by luggage (pretty important imo).
2) We were flying with Ryan air.

Ryan air is extremely cheap. Our flights actually came to about the same price it would've came to if we had bought a rail pass for two months.

Be warned though! Ryan air are fucking crooks. They are considered the world's most hated airline and for good reason. Luckily we researched ahead of time so we didn't get hit by any extra charges. If you need more info on flying with them be sure to ask me/research it or you can find yourself paying upwards of double the price of your original plane ticket.

Also you should use booking.com or other similar websites. We were able to stay in a few 4 star hotels for half price, which was about the same cost of staying at a hostel. So shop around!

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I'll post more in a few days. I'm heading to Barry's Bay for a Triathlon and then there is Canada day festivities.

Have a good weekend!
I'm always right.
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