Europe Trip #1 - 2022 - Exploring Our Traveling Top Ten

Europe Trip #1 - 2022 - Exploring Our Traveling Top Ten

Why can’t Vienna find a way into my heart? I spent a semester here in college (and came to love the German language), visited in 2018 with family, and will have had two separate visits on this trip. Yet I still can’t really love Vienna.

Some ideas why: in college, I was saving every penny for an end-of-semester trip with my then girlfriend so I had no money or time for anything other than visiting the Kunsthistoriches Museum and an occasional sausage. 

Vienna is a city of wide avenues, huge architecture, and huge egos. These are not my people. 

To contrast these feelings, we wanted to think about what our favorite moments in travel have been. What have been the omg-I-love-this place and what makes these places great.

Without further ado, here’s a top ten magical places in no particular order.

Maritime Museum Hamburg

This is a massive German effort from Germany’s most maritime city. It’s everything you could want to know about how humans took to the sea. Here’s the blog post of our visit. 

Ship models and details and details and models
In Hamburg’s colossal warehouse district

Miniatur Wonderland Hamburg

Model trains have morphed into a model world in Hamburg. Here’s a blog post of our experience.

I’d like to share this sentence about how they’re expanding their collection. Actually a model of clarity… (if you were completely forbidden to use punctuation.)

“Germans and South Americans build South America in South America so that South Americans later recognize South America as South America in Germany and not as South America that was built by Germans in Germany and does not look like South America to South Americans.”

0.01% of the details in Miniatur Wonderland

Statue of mother and child Berlin

On a walking tour of Berlin, we visited the Neue Wache, a simple monument to the tragedy of war. This sculpture Mother with her dead son sits on its own in a room beneath an oculus of the dome. It’s exposed to the elements; snow on her shoulders in the winter, rain streaking his face in the spring.

Mother and child and daughter

The Dolomites

Some blog posts are here, here, and here.

Our first visit we kept driving up hills and around corners to meet the most astonishing views. An added bonus is the people here are so organized. Even the fallen wood in the forrest is neatly stacked. I think the squirrels do it.

Which is unusual for a squirrel. Because usually they’re just…nuts.

All elements of a Dolomite scene present

Italian food

I know this is a reaaaal original thought, but Italian food is good. Chewy/creamy mozzarella in a bag in Ischia, lardo at a dinner in Florence, dark bitter thick espresso everywhere and anywhere. And gelato. Let’s not forget the gelato.

Ortigia, Siracusa, Sicily

The touristic peninsula/island that dangles from Syracuse is a sandstone and succulent snack. Here’s a post.

The light in Sicily

It’s hard to explain this one. The air in Sicily is all slanting sun and humid history. We drove through the center of the island on mountainous, narrow, battered roads and the air was thick as cotton candy. Later on in Agrigento we had crystal clear Mediterranean sunsets.

Sunset, Agrigento

Walnut Canyon in Arizona

We had just visited the Grand Canyon and stopped by this park on the drive home. It was populated by ancient people and you can walk down and imagine their lives filled with difficulty, yet connection and community.

A grisled tree
A view of the canyon

We promised 10 and this 8. That means we still have more traveling and gasps of wonder to come.