Up Coming Events in EUROPE

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Now, regardless or whether you will be traveling in a Camper Van Rental or Motor Home Rental, or using commercial transportation, here is some travel advice for popular destinations, from which you can plan your itinerary.
Let’s start with England. They have so many attractions in London alone, you could spend an entire month there and still not take them all in. Tower of London, London Dungeon, Tower Bridge, The Castle, The Thames, The Museums, and Trafalgar Square are just a few of the popular destinations. And many people prefer to use the subway, called the underground, even though it does travel above ground in some places. Outside of London they have military museums and such that will be interesting to see.

While in that part of Europe, why not motor (or whatever means of transport you choose) up to Wales and Scotland? Wales has some of the most beautiful countryside this side of Heaven, and who can forget Nessie (The Loch Ness Monster) and the other attractions (Castles and the Blarney Stone) to be found in Scotland? And while there don’t forget to try some Haggis!
Okay, you have finished your trip through that area, and now want to move on. How about using the Chunnel, the underground, and under water, tunnel that goes from England to France? When you reach France, consider some points of interest, such as Paris itself. The Eiffel Tower, the Arch de Triumph, the roadside sidewalk cafes, The Louvre, The Seine, Notre Dame, and even Disneyland, to name a few. When you leave Paris, be sure to plan to go through the wine country and enjoy some of the locally produced wines. They have been making wine for a very long time!
Next you can take in Spain, Italy, or Germany, or all three or just two. If you omit Spain (Bullfights and more), then I would suggest Italy and then Germany.
In Italy there is so much to offer. They have the Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice to name a few areas. In Rome you can see the Vatican, the Coliseum, and much more. Sample some of their food and wine as well. Make sure to include Venice in your tour for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

In Germany, be sure to make a stop in Berlin, the re-united city. A lot of history from the last century came from there. While there be sure to see the Brandenburg Gate, and visit some of the museums that abound in the region. You can also visit the location of Checkpoint Charlie! And while in Germany, try some of their beer and sausages which they are famous for. A trip to Auschwitz would not be something to forget when touring this country with a long history of strife and conflict!
Continuing in our line of travel, the next country we come to is Poland. Places of interest there include Warsaw and Krakow. Poland was the birthplace of Pope John Paul II, the only Polish Pope. Poland is also the site of what was considered one of the changing revolutions, not only for that country, but for all of Europe, and the Soviet Union in particular. An interesting place to visit is the Holocaust Memorial at Majdanek, a former Nazi concentration camp near Lublin.
About 30 miles south of Krakow is the location of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. At least 1.5 million Jews, Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, political prisoners, and others were killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland during World War II (1939-1945). Auschwitz was the largest such facility established by the Nazis, and came to be a symbol of the horrors of the Holocaust, and its name has become forever associated with genocide.

Following our itinerary, we come to Russia, land of the Tsars and Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Petersburg and St. Basil’s Cathedrals, The Ural Mountains, Siberian Tigers, Gum Department Store, Home of Tchaikovsky, composer of the famous 1812 Overture, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn the famous writer and dissident who was exiled and later returned upon the fall of Communism. This country is so rich in history which shaped the world as we know it today, and it has a lot of culture to be observed. Their industry is one of the strongest, and their country is the largest in Europe.
Next we come to Finland, with the capitol city of Helsinki. They have both ultra-modern buildings and old, walled castles. One castle of note is the Kastelholm Castle, located in the Åland Islands, Finland. Another is Olavanlinna Castle, the centerpiece of Savonlinna, a small city in southeast Finland, built in 1475 on what was then the border between Sweden-Finland and Russia. Founded in 1639, the scenic town of Savonlinna today attracts thousands of visitors annually to a prestigious opera festival held in the old castle.

Much of the country is located with the Artic Circle, and the country has many beautiful lakes, and thousands of small, mostly uninhabited islands. In the Artic region, they have almost continuous daylight from May through July, which attracts thousands of tourists. The Sauna, or Finnish Steam Bath is something that needs to be experienced. This is also the country of Reindeer, Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, and Golden Plover. What is called The Great Church, can be found in Helsinki, the Capitol and chief port, political, commercial, educational, and cultural center of Finland. It is also an important industrial center of the country.
Next we come to Sweden, with the capitol city of Stockholm. This is the home of the famous Vikings of long ago, and Visby’s Ruins, located on the Swedish island of Gotland. Tower ruins in a residential neighborhood are a reminder of past glory at Visby. Visby reached its apex in the 12th century, when it became a key European trading center. Today the walled city is known for its dazzling rose gardens and centuries-old edifices.

It is also the home of Abba. After winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo,” the Swedish pop group Abba went on to become one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1970s. The group recorded songs in English to reach a wider audience. The band members were Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Benny Andersson. If memory serves me right, they were two married couples who later divorced, but remain friends.
The Swedish fishing village and popular seaside resort of Fjällbacka is in the Bohuslän region, which extends from the city of Göteborg to the Norwegian border. For years, fishing was an important source of income here. Recently, however, tourism has gained ground. Kalmar Castle, on the southeast coast of Sweden, has played an important role in Scandinavian history. Built in the 12th century in the city of Kalmar, the castle was the site of an agreement uniting Sweden, Denmark, and Norway under a single monarch. Initiated in 1397, this alliance helped protect Scandinavia from hostile neighboring countries. Today, the castle houses an archaeological and ethnological museum. And there are many museums and libraries of interest.

Last on my Must See itinerary is Norway, often called the Land of the Midnight Sun, with the capitol city being Oslo. Vikings are a part of the historical past culture of this country. Like it’s neighbors, much of it is within the Artic Circle. In 1397 Norway became a province of Denmark and was dominated by that country until 1814, when Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. The union was dissolved and it became an independent nation in 1905.
This is the place where the legendary Lemmings plunged into the sea. The story is partly true in that they live mostly in the higher areas of the country, but when overpopulation caused a scarcity of food, they went to the lower areas looking for food, and some accidentally ended up plunging into the sea.
One place of interest is located in the southwest town of Borgund. There you will find a 12th-century Norwegian stave church, with its pagoda-like interlocking roofs, constructed entirely of wood, and the best preserved of those remaining.. Hundreds of stave churches were built in Norway during the 11th and 12th centuries, but only about 30 remain standing today.

Norway has produced some of the world’s most famous explorers. The fearless Vikings preceded pioneers such as Fridtjof Nansen, who in 1888 was the first person to cross Greenland, and Roald Amundsen, who was the first to navigate the Northwest Passage and, in 1911, to reach the South Pole. In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl set out to prove his theory that people from South America had settled the islands of the South Pacific Ocean. He drifted 6,920 km (4,300 mi) from Peru to Polynesia on a balsa raft called the Kon-Tiki.
Norway was also known for Erik the Red, a Norwegian-born explorer Erik Thorvaldson, was the first person to explore Greenland, and he founded the first community on the island in about 985. The explorer began his journey to avoid a manslaughter charge in Iceland, where he had settled with his family. He became known as Erik the Red because of his red hair.
That concludes my list of places to visit and things to do when you are taking your Camper Van Rental or Motor Home Hire in Europe. If I have left anything out, it is simply because there is so much to see, and so many places to visit. But my list should get your started. Feel free to add or delete, as your interests may dictate. But, whatever you do, enjoy your tour of Europe in your Camper Van Hire or Motor Home Rental of Europe!


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