Monday, July 4, 2011

Summary of my Europe Trip

High-speed train and plane trips in Europe have nothing on touring the region by road. By the numbers, 8 countries in 6 days and over 3000km traveled. It was also a major bucket list item of mine that I was able to cross off and in the process, I learned quite a bit about western Europe that even a European-born, self-confessed Europhile like myself didn't already know. From crawling at snail's pace through the streets of Luxembourg City's old town to hitting speeds of up to 160km/h on the A6 leading to Paris (the speed limit, i.e. slowest speed - insert smirk - was 130 km/h, so don't judge, s'il vous plait), traversing the glorious 30-plus kilometers on the Grand St.Bernard overpass/"open" tunnel that links Italy and Switzerland through a stunning tour of the Alps, driving through the Italian and French rivieras, it was a trip that promised much and delivered on its pleasures.

The ingenuity and organization of the Swiss, the absolutely horrid driving but unwavering politeness of the French and Italians, the urbane dignity of the Luxembourgish, the polished cluster of the Monegasque, the quiet efficiency of the Belgians and Dutch...all proved valuable learnings (while I take care not to overly generalize).

Luxembourg Old Town
Lausanne Harbour

Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) from the Lausanne side

The Mediterranean - seen from San Remo, Italy (Where's the sea? Where's the sky?)
The architectural wonder that is Paris by the Seine River
Claudia the Fiat, my partner in crime; close to a thousand pictures - half of which are no good since I took them while driving, the other half of which don't come close to replicating the beauty they sought to capture; memories that will last a lifetime; God granting me the grace to drive safely despite the rigour and exactness of my schedule. It was a first-class experience - in all things.
A bien tot.

(And back to regularly scheduled programming - i.e. my comments and rants on social, political and economic issues related to Africa and Africans in the Diaspora)

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