Christy and Aaron Tracker

Follow Christy and Aaron on their backpacking trip around the world

Top Three Lists

Posted by Christy in Posts on 08 30th, 2010

Can you believe our European journey has ended? Neither can I. Only nine more months to go.

I know a question I will get asked over and over again is what my favorite place was.  This question is going to be especially hard to answer, since each place is different and has its own unique magical qualities. But I am going to do my best to answer this question, as I know you all will not accept this as an answer. I decided I would give a few of my opinions after each area we visit, just to appease you all.

Please note that I will not be writing negative reviews on any of the places we visited because I really don’t want to perhaps sway other people from visiting cities that they would very much enjoy, while at the same time, I did not. And I don’t want to offend anybody. So there.

And, here we go:

Top Three “Wow, I can’t Believe I’m Here” Moments:
1.) First Glimpse of the Coliseum
2.) Standing Under the Eiffel Tower
3.) Tie – Gondola Ride in Venice, Overlooking Athens at the Acropolis

Top Three “Culture Shock” Cities
1.) Tangier, Morocco
2.) Amsterdam, Netherlands
3.) Istanbul, Turkey

Top Three Beach Cities:
1.) Paros Island, Greece
2.) Cinque Terre, Italy
3.) Almeria, Spain

Top Three “Most Powerful” Moments:
1.) Visit to Normandy D-Day Beaches
2.) Train Ride in Morocco
3.) Visit to Dachau Concentration Camp

Top Three Favorite Cities in Europe:
1.) Paris, France
2.) Salzburg, Austria
3.) Tie – Istanbul, Turkey and Cinque Terre, Italy

I know, I know, I’m a sucker for Paris! What can I say?

We Got Eurail Passes

Posted by Aaron in Posts on 07 24th, 2010

Christy and I got a train pass today. While traveling within Spain and England we always rode buses because they are extremely cheap compared to trains. A $150, 14 hour bus ride from Barcelona to Paris made us rethink our strategy. We bought 10 travel days within 2 months from Eurail. Their website claims you have to buy the pass ahead of time from the United States, but it was actually easy to buy in the Paris train station. Unfortunately, I am 26 so I no longer qualify for the youth rates. We ended up buying the 2 person adult group rate since it was almost the same price as 1 youth and 1 adult ticket. The best thing about the adult tickets… FIRST CLASS! We never envisioned riding around Europe in first class cabins, but we aren’t complaining. :)

Christy in a first class train

Ah, Paris!

Posted by Christy in Posts on 07 17th, 2010

I have always heard mixed reviews of Paris from everyone who has been there. It has been described to me as dirty, or fun; has nice people, or has mean people. Anyway, here is my personal account of Paris, and I should say it is my favorite city I have been to so far.

OK, so first off, the city is clean, no matter what people tell you. LA? Dirty. New York? Dirty. Paris? Clean, as far as I could tell.

Due to my father’s impatience, we ended up eating at the more touristy restaurants, and the food was mediocre at best. I wish we could have ventured out more and found some decent French restaurants, but oh, well (still love you, dad!).

The people, overall, were very nice and helpful. A few of our waiters and waitresses would get a little impatient with our lack of French, but hey, you get that in every city. So ignore the myth that the people aren’t nice. It’s not true.

You know that “overrated” chant that fans bust out when a sports team that is supposedly unbeatable is beaten? Yeah, that kept going through my head when we were walking through Versailles. Every room is just gold and paintings, gold and paintings, and no furniture, since all of it was taken out during the French Revolution. The gardens are awesome though, even though the fountain show sucked. (The fountain show is no show at all, it is the fountains being turned on. Whatever.)

The Eiffel Tower is always neat to see, since it is so iconic and recognizable throughout the world. It is especially magical when it sparkles at every hour for five minutes, we loved that.

The Musee D’Orsay is better than the Louvre, but the Louvre is still worth it to see the most famous painting in the world and the Venus de Milo. Just don’t expect to see any recognizable works besides those two (this coming from a person who does not know art, by the way.)

What really gets to me about the city is that feeling you get when you are walking down the street, look up to see the Eiffel Tower, and you think, ‘Wow. I’m in Paris!’. There’s just that special magic about it that I have never felt anywhere else before, besides San Francisco, and I just love it.

I might have also liked it so much because my parents were there and it was so nice to be with them. I have missed them so much.

And now, the pictures. Enjoy!