Culture and Contrasts
Visiting Western Europe was both reliving old memories
and also seeing new sights.
We had been concerned that Europe would be expensive
- we had heard tales! However, apart from Norway, everywhere was
quite reasonable - from a tourist's perspective anyway. Even Switzerland
wasn't too bad.
Certainly Western Europe is well geared for the
tourist - even in winter. There are plenty of really "tacky"
souvenirs made in China, but also you have opportunities to buy
something typical of the country that is actually made in the
Europe definitely treasures its culture and heritage.
While the churches are the main storehouses for art and music
treasures, there are also plenty of galleries and concert halls
where you can indulge in "culture vulturing". Beautiful
old buildings have been lovingly restored rather than torn down
and replaced with "utilitarian design". Small towns
in particular are still beautiful and apparently there are restrictions
on developments to ensure they stay that way.
From an Australian perspective, Europe is comfortable,
easy to get around in, awash in unbelievable architecture and
art and mostly walkable. Plumbing however always hides some surprises!
In Rome, one lever for the flush and one for the bidet. We were
not expecting a combined toilet/bidet. It would have been nice
to have been seated when the bidet let fly unexpectedly!