Sunday, February 22, 2009

Must-See Things to Do/See in Europe

I'm starting to narrow down my list of the things I need to do to get ready for Europe. My theory on overplanning and overthinking on the front end is that I'll have that much less to worry about when I get there. Obviously the tour is going to have its own theories on what I will or won't do, but I gathered from my reading the Rick Steves offers at least some time away from "the herd." So: what do I expect to get out of this trip? What do I want to see? What do I want do? I've already nailed down the questions I want to ask myself for my journal:

  • What did you see?
  • What did you hear?
  • What did you smell?
  • What did you taste?
  • What did you touch?
  • What did you do?
  • What did you think?
  • What did you feel?
  • Who did you meet?

Perhaps it's best for me to break things down by destination:


  • Anne Frank House (part of tour)
  • Ride in canal boat


  • Ride on river cruise (part of tour)
  • Visit at least one Lutheran church/place of historical interest
  • Visit a castle (part of tour)
  • Buy Hummels for Mom, Col, and Ellie
  • Visit World War I / World War II battlefield


  • Hike among the mountains


  • Doge's Palace (part of tour)
  • Boat tour (motor, not gondola)
  • Seafood
  • Go looking for James Bond (kidding)


  • David (yeah, yeah, he's tall and nekkid; can we find some wine now?)
  • Walk where Dante Alighieri walked
  • Giardino di Boboli
  • Find some Tuscan wines and just chill out


  • Roman Forum (part of tour)
  • Catacombs
  • Vatican City (part of tour)

Cinque Terre

  • Hike along the cliffs above the ocean
  • Do some serious chilling out
  • Find the local wine
  • Write
  • Don't do a d@mn thing


  • More hiking in the mountains
  • Find a decent cheese/chocolate, devise plausible excuse to ship several tons to U.S.
  • See the Large Hadron Collider?


  • Tour a vineyard (part of tour)
  • Sample whatever wine, food, and wine is available
  • Find a vineyard that will ship cases to the U.S.
  • Wander Paris (part of tour)
  • Musee Rodin
  • Versailles (time permitting)
  • Chill out somewhere Hemingway chilled out
  • At least try the coffee

Other things will come to me. Given a semi-structured tour and that tours are likely to get me to most of this anyway, what things should I do/try/see in my limited free time? Ideas welcome.


Anonymous said...

Go Bart Go Bart - send the wine to me!

Anonymous said...

I went to the Netherlands and Amsterdam for the first time just last year. Highly recommend the Van Gogh Museum - and at least a quick stroll through the Red Light District in the daytime. The Anne Frank house is indeed very powerful. As an engineer, one of the most fascinating elements of Europe to me is the public transportation system - be sure to take full advantage of it. As a beer lover, every pub is a delight and provides opportunity for interacting with the locals.