Round the World, Travel

Europe, You’ve Won Me Back

December 6, 2010

As I’ve mentioned, and as most people who know me know, I love Europe. Given the opportunity, I would move here in a heartbeat (not Athens). After dealing with the disappointment of Athens and the strikes in Greece and Spain, I started to waver on Europe. I thought, “Do I really want to move here and deal with this crap?” Standing in the long, long line at the Aegean Air ticket counter after the first flight to Barcelona was cancelled, I thought “Screw Spain. Maybe I’ll just book a flight back to the U.S.” Then I thought, “No, this is a challenge. A challenge on a trip that has been mostly wonderful. It’s another experience and I can deal with this. There are worse things than another day in Athens. Such as two more days in Athens.”

On a side note, I do have to say that Aegean Air was fantastic in all this. Okay, not the most friendly people–if one of the flight attendants had cracked a smile, I’d have been scared for them. But while we were sitting in the plane, they served drinks. When we sat back at the gate, they issued vouchers for coffee, soft drink and sandwich at one of the food places in the airport. And when the flight was cancelled, they put those of us without accommodations up at the Holiday Inn (where if the people at the reception desk had cracked a smile, I’d have been scared for them). I don’t believe for a second we would have gotten such good treatment from a US domestic airline. In fact, they’d probably have charged us for the difference of the cost of the flight the next day because it was a Sunday and a heavier travel day.

Then I arrived in Barcelona. I had been wanting to come here for a long time but it never worked out where I had the time on other trips. I’ll post lots more later, but this city is beautiful. The architecture is exquisite and just walking around the city, I realized my faith in Europe and every reason I would want to live here is still very much alive.

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2 Comments

  • Reply owen December 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    US visitors aside, I think there's even a deep cultural/economical/psychic rift between Mediterranean Europe and Northern Europe. Reading the German press during the Greek bailout was a reminder of that stark difference.

    Maybe we should just split the world between drinkers of Amstel and drinkers of Amstel Light.

  • Reply Michael December 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Owen, you should be a diplomat. What a simple, easy solution!

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