August 15, 2009

Been There, Done That, and Loved Every Single Minute of It-Part I, Europe

I would be a terrible host if I didn't offer my guests pieces that look and sound appealing, so I have decided, with the coaxing of my beloved JT, to abandon the "Top Ten" title for something with more...pizzaz! There must be other words to describe these compact, efficient lists without having to resort to the boring, age-old "Top Ten List" apendage. Plus, what if I want to offer more than just 10? So here I go, with photographic lists of places and events I feel are worth putting the effort and time into capturing while you are traveling. I would like to re-iterate that by providing you with this online reading material, I am in no way implying my lists can beat up yours, but since you are here, I feel the inclination to offer you a cup of 'good old-fashioned Turkish hospitality' to wash down your plate of 'my perspective.'

I had started this piece with the idea that I was going to list the "Been There, Done That" photos we took while traveling through some of the world, but the list kept growing and growing so I decided to make this a trilogy instead.

I'll start with a gag, or a 'just for fun' list and then proceed with a more 'profound' approach to the photo documentation of our trip through Europe.

Our "Been There, Done That" Photographic Checklist

1) Re-enacting Spinal Tap at Stonehenge with a Brit (JT poses with our friend Charlie from Bath)

2) Mailing postcards from Vatican City, the smallest independent nation in the world (Pope Benedict was surely proud of us)

3) This is sort of a two-in-one: Drinking beer from Liechtenstein, sitting smack-dab in the middle of the Alps. ALSO, even though we didn't get this on camera, we believe that no trip through the Alps is complete without a shot of you frolicking in the meadow while singing "The Hills Are Alive" from the Sound of Music (yes, we know the movie was set in Austria, but I distinctly remember hearing the hills come "alive with the sound of music" while we were in Switzerland!) "Is she cuckoo?" You ask. I just might be!

4) Singing along to a Beatles-cover band set at the Cavern Club in Liverpool

5) Singing the song "Oh Champs Elysees" on Avenue Champs Elysees in Paris, France

6) Enjoying some Guinness in an authentic Irish pub in southern Ireland-Doolin, Ireland

7) Trying to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy

8) Devouring gelato, along with all the other delectable treats in Italian cuisine - Rome, Italy

9) Touring the Red Light District in Amsterdam, Holland

10) Watching a play in the rain at London's famous Globe Theatre-England

11) Reacting to the remains of the Wall in Berlin, Germany

12) Munching on a pretzel and an oversized pint of German beer in Munchen (Munich), Germany

13) Paying our respects to the Royal Family of Liechtenstein

14) Celebrating Greek-Orthodox Easter in Athens, Greece

15) Pretending to be that famous Dutch couple kissing, in front of a windmill-Stadskanaal, Netherlands

A Photo Album Worth Compiling on a Trip Through Europe (in my humble opinion, and boy did they ever humble us)

1) The sun struggling to peak through the overcast skies over Stonehenge - Amesbury, England

2) Both the Underground post and the Big Ben tower with blue skies in the backdrop-London, England

3) Buskers and street performers heralding their shows along the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival & Military Tattoo-Edinburgh, Scotland

4) The headstones, amongst rose bushes, standing in tribute to fallen Soldiers of the Great War-Ypres, Belgium

5) Cows grazing in the almost-neon green fields of the well-irrigated Ireland

6) Firenze (Florence) at sunset- Firenze, Italy

7) The changing of the guards in front of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier honouring fallen Greek soldiers, Syntagma Square-Athens, Greece

8) The Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at dusk-Paris, France

9) St. Mark's Square-Venice, Italy

10) The cliffs of the Arran Islands-Ireland

11) A lonely gondola floating on the canals of Venice, Italy

I realise that I have omitted a slew of other gorgeous and astounding photos that can be captured in Europe. I mean, how could I have forgotten to include gems like the Colliseum, l'Arc de Triomphe, the Acropolis, the Cliffs of Moher and so on and so forth? I could have gone on forever if I had tried to list all the incredible fits of architecture and Western charm. Just imagine if the world was Hollywood, then Europe would be Angelina Jolie. The romanticism, flawless design, renowned intellect and edge can get so overwhelming that there are times when you almost want to halt your insatiable thirst to photograph it for fear of tainting it with the flash of your own perspective. I said "almost."

PS: All photos are Copyright of EZ Media (owned by moi).

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