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Old 10-17-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
5,899 posts, read 8,407,315 times
Reputation: 4366

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Ok, so i was in Europe from Sept 20 till October 15, and i visited this countries: Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. And this cities: Rome, Sorrento, Massa Lubrense, Positano, Amalfi, Pompei, Capri, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam.

I wanted to say what called my attention more about each place, and my general impressions.

Rome: Needless to say, i found Rome to be stunning!! So beautiful with so much to see. Im sad i could only be in Rome for 2 days. What shocked me the most about Rome (and Italy in general) was how CLEAN it was. You hardly see any paper on the steets, it was impecable. It was shocking specially considering how full of tourists it is. And then i went to Paris and it was so so so much dirtier. And even Amsterdam was dirty compared to Rome. I was shocked to see how clean it was. Another shocking thing: the traffic. Do this people do not know traffic lights exist? No semaphore almost at all in the whole city!! Everyone does whatever they want, they turn where they want, they do whatever they need, total anarchy. But you knows whats the most shocking thing about this? It works! First couple of hours i was terrified, but when i understood cars were always gonna stop and let me cross the street, and that that anarchy worked so much better than the abundance of traffic lights in BA, i got relaxed. Those people are really respectful.
The food: this was shocking, pizza in Rome is kinda crappy. Actually, forget the kinda, pizza in Rome is crappy and has nothing against pizza in Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires, you get a pizza in even a really cheap place, and its delicious, in Rome, i try pizza in 2 different places and one had a very huge dough and almost no cheese or salsa, it was awful, and the other one was as thin as a ostia (you know, the thing they give you in church??). I couldnt believe they called that "pizza". It was invisible. Really a shame. It was also too expensive to eat, like in all europe, one slice of that crappy pizza costed 5 euros, with 5 euros here in BA you eat a delicious pizza in corrientes avenue.
Also, ice cream, wasnt italian ice cream the best?? even when we went to the supposedly "best gelateria in rome" (in where we had to wait in a long line), the ice cream wasnt really impressive. Argentinian ice cream is a millon times more delicious. I knew we had good ice cream, but when people said our ice cream was better than italian, i thought "i wouldnt believe it until i try it". But it was true. And the gelatos from those cars in the streets....dont even try that!! They were flavourless, like ice with colorant. Yuck.


The Sorrento zone (this includes the amalfitani coast, capri, sorrento, massalubrense, positano, amalfi, pompei): the food here was SO much better! But that might had to do with the fact that i have more than 50 relatives in sorrento, and a couple of them own restaurant or agriturismo places, and the other ones cook really well, so i was treated like a queen and handled the most exqiusit pieces of food i ever tried. They make a much better pizza than in Roma. Ice cream and pizza are still better in argentina, though, but i ate like a queen in italy: some exquisit sea food and amazing meat plates, pasta and dessert.
I was shocked at how much they eat, a typical lunch/dinner in sorrento zone consist in antipasti (typically grilled vegetables, or fried pieces of brocoli, cheese with bread, and also some parmesan eggplant), a plate of prosciutto and cheese with melon or other fruit, a plate of pastas (spagethi, or raviolis, or caneloni, all very abundant), a plate of meat, and chorizo, and a salad, and then 2 or 3 cakes for dessert. This is just insane, in argentina we only eat one out of this 7 plates. In italy they eat it all.
Anyways, sorrento was also very clean, and the traffic was also anarchy but respectful. Of course i found all the little towns i visited to be EXTREMELY beautiful. The mountains, the ocean!!! I bathe in the mediterranean in the spiagga (beach) a couple of times and it was awesome: the peacefulness, all the boats there, they fact that you could float more easily than in the atlantic ocean. It was beautiful.
And the people, this would need another post alotogether, but people in the sorrento zone (maybe is a napoli province thing) are SO nice its unbelievable. They will go out of their ways to help tourist. They will get you in their car and take you were you have to go even if you are a complete stranger. They will make sure you get where you wanted to go. They will take out maps, give them to you, help you in any way they can. This are the most hospitable and welcoming people on earth. I dont need to go anywhere else to know this.
The places that shocked me the most about their beauty were Positano (omg), Pompei and Capri/Anacapri.

Paris: I wrote a lot about my impressions of Paris in this post: http://www.city-data.com/forum/26548755-post62.html . I absolutely LOVED it! Yeah, it was dirty, chaotic, traffic was a mess, people where nowhere near as hospitable as in sorrento zone, food was awful, and it rained most of the time as opposed to italy, but, omg, i think Paris is the most charming, beautiful and amazing city i ve ever seen, and probably will see even if i visit the entire world. I ADORED Paris and it was my absolute favourite place in this trip. If i have to say 3 things that shocked me the most about Paris was: how dirty it was, how much the traffic was completely chaotic and how incredibly good looking men were.


Bruges: Wonderful! What a gorgeous place! I was there only one afternoon but wish i could have stayed more in this place. Cant really make a long analysis cause was there for about 4 hours but i was completely stunned at this place! And we had a completely sunny day there, too, wich i heard is unusual (specially in autumn). And even had a good meal eating there. And bought some really good chocolates. One thing that called my attention a bit was how full of tourist it was. I mean, i knew Bruges was famous, but the streets were packed, and you listened all the languajes being talked there, except for french or whatever they talk in that area. No locals, just tourists, tourists, tourists, from all over the world.


Amsterdam: A really charming city! Loved the bikes, the young people, the channels. I was shocked at some things: how SLOW the traffic is (its like being in a BA rush hour permanently, but in a MUCH smaller city and all the time), i guess thats why people use bikes so much. How many museums they have (they have museums about everything...EVERYTHING), how full of "arjentinen grill" it is, and how nice and polite people is. I had many great experiences with amsterdam people. First of all, whenever you enter a place they say "hi, how are you?" in the nicest, more genuine way ever. Then, they try to talk to you. I even been offered on the house wine in a lovely book-stroe cafe i was studying in, cause the 3 guys that were attending it felt bad to open a bottle in front of me and not give me to try. Everyone was so nice!! It seemed a bit expensive to eat out, though, and food didint seem to be very good either. In this aspect, Italy wins hand down. And i also realized how good we argentinians eat.


all in all, i LOVED europe, all the places i visited were very beautiful, and i had the pleasure of being in very big cities (Paris and Rome), in pintoresque little towns (Positano, Amalfi, Capri, massa lubrense), in beautiful beach little cities (Sorrento), in medium size international cities (Amsterdam) and pintoresque medieval cities (Bruges). Had the pleasure to experience all types of climate. Well, not so much the pleasure but i did experience very hot weather in italy (we were caught in a long heatwave) with temps going up to 36c and staying above 30 for more than a week, i experienced the cool showers in Paris and Amsterdam, but also completely cold sunny days in Amsterdam, and spring time days in Paris and Bruges. I experienced the amazing amalfitani coast beaches and the wonderful cafes in Paris. I went to a lot of bookstores in Amsterdam, and ate the delicious eclairs, the wonderful italian pastas and belgium chocolates. I visited INCREDIBLE museums (highlights: vatican, van gogh and louvre) and seen so many wonderful landmarks i always dreamed of knowing. I would recommend anyone a trip to any of those places, and i pray i dont have to wait 20 or 30 years to save the money i need to go to this places again!!
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,651 posts, read 36,106,549 times
Reputation: 63187
Your trip sounds delightful, and I am so glad you got that opportunity!
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:51 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,526 posts, read 70,430,585 times
Reputation: 76494
Sophie--glad you enjoyed yourself. When are you going back, to see more of Europe? Try the alpine zone: south Germany (so scenic, it'll blow your mind), Switzerland (expensive, but worth it at least a few days), Austria, Slovenia (the bargain basement of the Alps).

Only 5 Euros for a slice of pizza? I paid $15 for a slice of pizza in Geneva back in the 90's! Who knows how much it costs now!! And at $15, it was the cheapest restaurant dinner available in town!

I totally agree about the "ice cream". (It's not really "ice CREAM", it's an egg-based product. And it sounds like the samples you got were watered down.) The only place to buy ice cream is from street vendors in Russia.(ALL CREAM) If you ever visit Finland, arrange to take the train to St. Petersburg for a couple of days. Lots to see, and the best ice cream in the world.

Ah, but Swiss, and after them, the Germans, have the best chocolate in the world! So you could content yourself with that on your next visit.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,234 posts, read 23,648,002 times
Reputation: 8603
Funny - I've been told Rome is filthy and congested and crowded and very unpleasant!
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:50 PM
 
Location: California
262 posts, read 430,373 times
Reputation: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieLL View Post
Ok, so i was in Europe from Sept 20 till October 15, and i visited this countries: Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. And this cities: Rome, Sorrento, Massa Lubrense, Positano, Amalfi, Pompei, Capri, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam.
I love your candid and simplified views on things. It will be very useful for me on my first Euro tour coming up soon. I cannot wait to tell CD forum all about it. I'll be covering France (Paris, Lyon, and Chamonix), and an overnighter or two in Barcelona. Trying to keep things as simple as possible because like you, I've dreamt about going to France for most of my life. So thank you so much for your coverage.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:59 AM
 
6,056 posts, read 10,837,768 times
Reputation: 3063
Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieLL View Post
Ok, so i was in Europe from Sept 20 till October 15, and i visited this countries: Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. And this cities: Rome, Sorrento, Massa Lubrense, Positano, Amalfi, Pompei, Capri, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam.

I wanted to say what called my attention more about each place, and my general impressions.

Rome: Needless to say, i found Rome to be stunning!! So beautiful with so much to see. Im sad i could only be in Rome for 2 days. What shocked me the most about Rome (and Italy in general) was how CLEAN it was. You hardly see any paper on the steets, it was impecable. It was shocking specially considering how full of tourists it is. And then i went to Paris and it was so so so much dirtier. And even Amsterdam was dirty compared to Rome. I was shocked to see how clean it was. Another shocking thing: the traffic. Do this people do not know traffic lights exist? No semaphore almost at all in the whole city!! Everyone does whatever they want, they turn where they want, they do whatever they need, total anarchy. But you knows whats the most shocking thing about this? It works! First couple of hours i was terrified, but when i understood cars were always gonna stop and let me cross the street, and that that anarchy worked so much better than the abundance of traffic lights in BA, i got relaxed. Those people are really respectful.
The food: this was shocking, pizza in Rome is kinda crappy. Actually, forget the kinda, pizza in Rome is crappy and has nothing against pizza in Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires, you get a pizza in even a really cheap place, and its delicious, in Rome, i try pizza in 2 different places and one had a very huge dough and almost no cheese or salsa, it was awful, and the other one was as thin as a ostia (you know, the thing they give you in church??). I couldnt believe they called that "pizza". It was invisible. Really a shame. It was also too expensive to eat, like in all europe, one slice of that crappy pizza costed 5 euros, with 5 euros here in BA you eat a delicious pizza in corrientes avenue.
Also, ice cream, wasnt italian ice cream the best?? even when we went to the supposedly "best gelateria in rome" (in where we had to wait in a long line), the ice cream wasnt really impressive. Argentinian ice cream is a millon times more delicious. I knew we had good ice cream, but when people said our ice cream was better than italian, i thought "i wouldnt believe it until i try it". But it was true. And the gelatos from those cars in the streets....dont even try that!! They were flavourless, like ice with colorant. Yuck.


The Sorrento zone (this includes the amalfitani coast, capri, sorrento, massalubrense, positano, amalfi, pompei): the food here was SO much better! But that might had to do with the fact that i have more than 50 relatives in sorrento, and a couple of them own restaurant or agriturismo places, and the other ones cook really well, so i was treated like a queen and handled the most exqiusit pieces of food i ever tried. They make a much better pizza than in Roma. Ice cream and pizza are still better in argentina, though, but i ate like a queen in italy: some exquisit sea food and amazing meat plates, pasta and dessert.
I was shocked at how much they eat, a typical lunch/dinner in sorrento zone consist in antipasti (typically grilled vegetables, or fried pieces of brocoli, cheese with bread, and also some parmesan eggplant), a plate of prosciutto and cheese with melon or other fruit, a plate of pastas (spagethi, or raviolis, or caneloni, all very abundant), a plate of meat, and chorizo, and a salad, and then 2 or 3 cakes for dessert. This is just insane, in argentina we only eat one out of this 7 plates. In italy they eat it all.
Anyways, sorrento was also very clean, and the traffic was also anarchy but respectful. Of course i found all the little towns i visited to be EXTREMELY beautiful. The mountains, the ocean!!! I bathe in the mediterranean in the spiagga (beach) a couple of times and it was awesome: the peacefulness, all the boats there, they fact that you could float more easily than in the atlantic ocean. It was beautiful.
And the people, this would need another post alotogether, but people in the sorrento zone (maybe is a napoli province thing) are SO nice its unbelievable. They will go out of their ways to help tourist. They will get you in their car and take you were you have to go even if you are a complete stranger. They will make sure you get where you wanted to go. They will take out maps, give them to you, help you in any way they can. This are the most hospitable and welcoming people on earth. I dont need to go anywhere else to know this.
The places that shocked me the most about their beauty were Positano (omg), Pompei and Capri/Anacapri.

Paris: I wrote a lot about my impressions of Paris in this post: http://www.city-data.com/forum/26548755-post62.html . I absolutely LOVED it! Yeah, it was dirty, chaotic, traffic was a mess, people where nowhere near as hospitable as in sorrento zone, food was awful, and it rained most of the time as opposed to italy, but, omg, i think Paris is the most charming, beautiful and amazing city i ve ever seen, and probably will see even if i visit the entire world. I ADORED Paris and it was my absolute favourite place in this trip. If i have to say 3 things that shocked me the most about Paris was: how dirty it was, how much the traffic was completely chaotic and how incredibly good looking men were.


Bruges: Wonderful! What a gorgeous place! I was there only one afternoon but wish i could have stayed more in this place. Cant really make a long analysis cause was there for about 4 hours but i was completely stunned at this place! And we had a completely sunny day there, too, wich i heard is unusual (specially in autumn). And even had a good meal eating there. And bought some really good chocolates. One thing that called my attention a bit was how full of tourist it was. I mean, i knew Bruges was famous, but the streets were packed, and you listened all the languajes being talked there, except for french or whatever they talk in that area. No locals, just tourists, tourists, tourists, from all over the world.


Amsterdam: A really charming city! Loved the bikes, the young people, the channels. I was shocked at some things: how SLOW the traffic is (its like being in a BA rush hour permanently, but in a MUCH smaller city and all the time), i guess thats why people use bikes so much. How many museums they have (they have museums about everything...EVERYTHING), how full of "arjentinen grill" it is, and how nice and polite people is. I had many great experiences with amsterdam people. First of all, whenever you enter a place they say "hi, how are you?" in the nicest, more genuine way ever. Then, they try to talk to you. I even been offered on the house wine in a lovely book-stroe cafe i was studying in, cause the 3 guys that were attending it felt bad to open a bottle in front of me and not give me to try. Everyone was so nice!! It seemed a bit expensive to eat out, though, and food didint seem to be very good either. In this aspect, Italy wins hand down. And i also realized how good we argentinians eat.


all in all, i LOVED europe, all the places i visited were very beautiful, and i had the pleasure of being in very big cities (Paris and Rome), in pintoresque little towns (Positano, Amalfi, Capri, massa lubrense), in beautiful beach little cities (Sorrento), in medium size international cities (Amsterdam) and pintoresque medieval cities (Bruges). Had the pleasure to experience all types of climate. Well, not so much the pleasure but i did experience very hot weather in italy (we were caught in a long heatwave ) with temps going up to 36c and staying above 30 for more than a week, i experienced the cool showers in Paris and Amsterdam, but also completely cold sunny days in Amsterdam, and spring time days in Paris and Bruges. I experienced the amazing amalfitani coast beaches and the wonderful cafes in Paris. I went to a lot of bookstores in Amsterdam, and ate the delicious eclairs, the wonderful italian pastas and belgium chocolates. I visited INCREDIBLE museums (highlights: vatican, van gogh and louvre) and seen so many wonderful landmarks i always dreamed of knowing. I would recommend anyone a trip to any of those places, and i pray i dont have to wait 20 or 30 years to save the money i need to go to this places again!!
I am glad that the trip in Europe was so successful for you.

You certainly made the most of the trip, being very resourceful, very optimistic/looking for the best positive traits, and knowing what to look for.

That is a skill with being worldly, and with traveling/perceiving other locations.

Your trip in Europe was also well balanced and experiencing a pleasant variety of locations in 4 countries.

The reflection/what you wrote for this international trip was excellent, and very specific.

I have a family member that visited Southeast France in August. That family member loved the trip in France but was not able to write a clear and informative reflection for that trip yet, even after 2 months later, and was barely even able to go into specifics about that trip to the extent where I still don't really know that family member's experience with that trip. The only thing I know about that family member's trip is that she loved it.

You and Entagled should be proud that both of you wrote amazing, wonderful, impressive, and valuable reflections so quickly just days after the trip.

For now on, I am going to write similar posts for every future international trip I have, and I enjoy writing and talking a lot about various important topics.

Does Argentina feel different coming back for you?

I hope you still love Argentina, and appreciate Argentina in a similar way as you did before the trip.

Argentina has plenty of good impressive qualities too, is exciting, and also has plenty to offer. It is the place you are familiar and have a long history with living there for a long time. That country, especially in Buenos Aires, really does have plenty of Italian and French influence.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Brighton, England
3,717 posts, read 4,375,697 times
Reputation: 1141
I loved Rome too and Italy in general...
Paris - the most dissapointing city i've ever visited. Dirty, cold, overpriced... you cant even look at the eiffel tower without being harrased by african immigrants trying to sell you tacky souvenirs

Last edited by patrix542; 10-18-2012 at 10:49 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:04 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,695 posts, read 19,498,264 times
Reputation: 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Funny - I've been told Rome is filthy and congested and crowded and very unpleasant!
Yes its awful. I hated it.

Hardly any children.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
5,899 posts, read 8,407,315 times
Reputation: 4366
Thanks Kathryn, Ruth, coldplay and TPTPATF

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Funny - I've been told Rome is filthy and congested and crowded and very unpleasant!
Crowded: yes, very. You have to wait in line for everything!!!
Congested: doesnt this mean the same as crowded? then, yes, of course.
Filthy: No, not at all, it was the cleanest city i ve seen in my trip to Europe. But, strangely, it was the only city that had a "smell" to it. Like now i can remember that particular Roman smell, but i cant describe it exactly. But it wasnt a nice smell, let me tell you. Wich is weird, considering how clean it seemed. Paris, on the other hand, seem dirty, but it didnt have any particular smell (except for the subway, of course, but that happens everywhere i guess).
Unpleasant: i dont know what they meant by unpleasant, but i find the city to be shockingly beautiful, the architecture, the antique roma, the stairs everywhere, the squares and fountains....so beautiful. What i did find kinda unpleasant was that people seem to be VERY rude. I mean, Paris was supposed to be the rude one, but i ve never met in Paris people as RUDE as Romans. But, of course, i was only there for 2 days, and i might have bad luck with the hotel workers and etc. But i did encounter very rude people, wich didnt happen in the other cities i was. The rudest parisian i ve seen (one metro worker) wasnt nearly as rude as the hotel worker people in Roma.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
5,899 posts, read 8,407,315 times
Reputation: 4366
Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
Yes its awful. I hated it.

Hardly any children.

why did you hate it?
If you hate a city as beautiful as Rome, then what is left for the other world cities?
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