He’s been waiting a long time for us – that’s Teddy, our toy poodle. We’re back home in Lake Oswego and it feels great – even with jet lag setting in. By the time we landed in Portland, we had been away 18 days and had traveled about 10,000 miles by air, 500 miles by Eurostar (Chunnel), 300 miles by TGV and regional train and 1740 miles by driving. There were also a few cabs, and subways in London and Paris. Add in walking and we ended up being pretty multi-modal.
We visited 6 countries – our favorite was Switzerland. Our favorite big city was London. Outside of England, the most English was spoken in Switzerland, with Germany being a close second. Language wasn’t a problem anywhere we went. The only challenge was with our car rental. None of the agents in Dijon nor Epernay spoke any English. The few words I knew in French, sign language and a French translation book got us through that. Matt and I both plan on learning German since it would have been the most useful language in Germany, as well as Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein.
There are some things we have a new appreciation for now that we’re back – not having to pay for tap water with meals, or toilets, or packets of ketchup and mustard. We’ll miss all of the little bakeries everywhere we went for daily croissants, and we’ll miss chocolate. We both agreed we ate more chocolate in the last two weeks than in the past 5 years. We also brought home a supply of every kind imaginable. In Germany beer is often cheaper than water. I tried several and I’m not usually a fan of beer, but between it being cheap and the fact the weather was really hot, it started to grow on me. My favorite was Kaiser Premium followed by Erdinger, which I hope I may be able to find here.
There are some things we would have changed, but finding favorite places and things, and deciding where to return to next time is part of the fun.
Have a great weekend. We’ll be sleeping…