How to Pick Where to Travel in Europe

There are many wonderful, and very diverse, places to visit in Europe and it’s often difficult to decide where to travel. There are also many transportation options ranging from European River Cruises to inland bus tours so it’s helpful to first decide what mode of transportation would be right for you based on where you want to go. For example, if the Greek Isles are a must-see, then an ocean cruise is your best bet; however, if you prefer major cosmopolitan cities, train travel might be a better choice. Another factor in determining your European itinerary is the type of trip you want to take. If you want romance, then France is an obvious choice; if you are looking for history, Italy has fascinating ancient ruins; and if you want to focus on music, perhaps Austria should be on your list. Once you have determined what you want to see and how you are going to travel, it’s easier to pick your destinations.
For many, London is the perfect gateway to the rest of Europe. London is a cosmopolitan city but with amazing history and there is a lot to see, from the Tower of London (where the crown jewels of the royal family are kept) to the London Eye, the modern Ferris wheel that rises 100 meters above the city, providing an extraordinary view. You can visit the graves of British rulers and great writers like Elizabeth I and Geoffrey Chaucer in historical Westminster Abbey but you can also see the latest Broadway play in London’s theater district.
From London, you can easily travel to anyplace on the continent via plane, train or boat. Paris is often on people’s list of places they want to visit in Europe and the Chunnel takes travelers under the English Channel and into the heart of the city. Besides the Louvre, where you can see the Mona Lisa, The Musee D’Orsay houses a collection of famous classic impressionist paintings. You can see many of the famous sights of Paris while cruising along the Seine including the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame…and if you take this tour at night, you will see why Paris is often called the most romantic city in the world!
In addition to London and Paris, many people count Rome as a must-see city in Europe. No other city in the world compares with Rome. St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vatican City is the center of Catholicism; inside its walls, are masterpieces like Michelangelo’s painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Also, you can see the ruins of the ancient Roman civilization; the Coliseum in particular is an astounding remnant of the classic Roman age and the juxtaposition of its ruins with the modern city that is thriving around them is fascinating.
Just these three cities alone would make an amazing European trip and there are so many more cities, towns and villages to see. History, romance, music, art, architecture…no matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it in Europe!

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English Writing Assistance

I’ve started a new blog here on WordPress, English Writing Courses. The reason I have started the new blog is to help ESL (English as a Second Language) students with their writing skills. I have found with my real life students, next to listening and speaking, writing tends to be a bit difficult. So I have decided to offer assistance not only to my real life students but to also help virtually.

I have been working on this little project lately so thus the reason why I have not posted anything recently.

On a separate note. We went to Bellinzona Switzerland, as usual, on Sunday. My husband and a friend of ours went to an AC Bellinzona football/soccer match while I showed the wife of the friend around Bellinzona. We were sitting in a small square/piazza in the city centre/downtown and I seen an absolutely adorable little girl. She must have been about 3, long brown hair and rather small for her age. The little girl seemed to have a slight case of Down’s Syndrome, but the look on her face was absolutely priceless. She was such a happy, curious, inquisitive and innocent little girl. She had a smile ear-to-ear and eyes bright as stars. Watching her with her innocent curiosity and happiness made my day. Her mother encouraged her daughter’s inquisitiveness which was wonderful to see.

Dedicated to my sister-in-law

This post I dedicate to my sister-in-law who was diagnosed earlier this year with bone cancer. Shortly before Christmas 2008 she had fallen at work and hurt her hip and the pain from the fall had never went away. So this spring she went into the doctor who ran some tests and discovered she had cancer in both hips, a lower vertebrae and and her lower rib. When she found out the news, of course was devastated. Over five years ago she battled and won a bout with breast cancer, now this.

She has already been through radiation treatments and last week she had her first treatment of chemotherapy. Her next round of chemotherapy will be in a couple of weeks.

After the initial shock, she’s had a wonderful positive attitude the entire time. At this point in time the doctors are trying to be optimistic about her future, but it is hard to say right now. No matter the outcome, my sister-in-law has been keeping her chin high and trying her best keep her head held high.

Social Vibe Widget

You may have noticed, if not please do so now, the new Social Vibe widget on the right hand side of this blog. By taking a couple minutes of your time and rating a short video, you can help the Starlight Children’s Foundation. There is NO out-of-pocket expense to you, just a couple of minutes of your time, to help sick children.

San Mamete, Italy

Just got back last night from spending the weekend in San Mamete, Italy.  San Mamete is along Lake Lugano, bordering Italy and Switzerland.  The weekend before we spent the weekend in the Black Forest and also in San Gallen Switzerland, had lunch in Austria.  Sorry but no photos from that weekend :(.

Now if I could find a job, specifically in North America, preferably in Canada, combining my customer service skills (12 years worth) and love/passion for travel I would be in seventh heaven.  I have experience traveling in Europe, I am able to speak Italian (even impersonate the accent from the Ticino area in Switzerland but the dialect is a different story).   True I have no experience in the travel/hospitality industry but I am a fast learner and I am a firm believer in continuing education.  Learning does not stop once one has graduated from school.  Life is school and every day is a learning experience.  I thrive on change, welcoming change with open arms.  I am a people person and get along well with others yet at the same time I can work independently well with little or no supervision.  I have 12 years of customer service experience and I am a firm believer/doer of excellent customer service.

I have been teaching English privately for over six years now.  I have built up on my own my student base, starting out with a couple of students to now averaging 20 hours a week.  I have had to be a creative thinker, in the sense of how to attract new students and also a creative thinker in the sense of planning lessons for my individual students for whom I tailor their lessons.  Each student has different needs and different ways of learning and I cater to their needs.

For my current resume/curriculum Vitae, please contact me using the contact form in this post.  Thanks!

Sioux Falls, Boulder and Philadelphia photos

Here are more photos of my latest trip to the United States.  Included are some photos of my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and also my little tour around the Boulder Colorado area.

While in the States I stayed only a total of 3 days out of 14 in a hotel/motel.  In Sioux Falls I stayed with a friend and while in Boulder I stayed with a couple of gals that I had met on CouchSurfing website.  They were very cordial and kind.  If you enjoy traveling, meeting new people and also saving some cash, would highly suggest the site.

If you couldn’t guess from the photos, I REALLY enjoyed visiting the Boulder Colorado area.  This was my first time there and for sure not the last.  Yes it was very difficult to leave, if I would have left with job offers in hand for both my computer technician husband and myself………

Trip to the United States June 2009

I made it back safe and sound from the United States last Thursday after spending two glorious weeks there.  Going over was pretty uneventful, flying from Milan Malpensa – Philadelphia – Denver.  By the time I arrived in Denver and lay my head down for some much needed sleep I had been up for roughly 26 hours, talk about a long day.  The next day I was up at the crack of dawn, on the motel shuttle back to the airport, then on a bus to Boulder to pick up my rental car.  I rented a car in Boulder due to being cheaper compared to renting at the Denver airport.  Plus I also wanted to avoid driving in Denver traffic.

Spent two days driving back to my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  In all honesty I enjoyed the drive, minus the cloudy/rainy weather.  The traffic is so different between the two areas.  In two weeks time I put on over 2,700 miles on my rental car.  Thankfully I had unlimited mileage.

One week was spent in Sioux Falls visiting friends and family and also renewing my South Dakota driver’s license.  Then was off to Boulder Colorado.  Arrived in Louisville Colorado late Friday night then spent four days in the Boulder area.  This was my first time visiting Colorado and for sure will not be my last time.  Visited the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian area in Boulder, drove a 55-mile scenic byway from Estes Park down to Central Park, wow.  No words can truly describe the stunning beauty that I seen nor can any of the photos below do the area justice.

On the way back to Italy I had a ten hour layover in Philadelphia so I took the train to downtown for a couple of hours.  I would have spent more time, but I had been up for about 24 hours and was utterly exhausted and could not truly enjoy my visit to Philadelphia.  Maybe next time, but I think that Philadelphia is not my type of city.  To me is a place to visit for a short time, but not as a destination.