Real Life On Hold - these are the adventures of California native Travis Emmel, as he takes time off from the rat race to travel and see the world.

Journal Entries

Hits and Misses: Europe

Monday, September 03, 2007


Best Museum: Louvre, Paris.
Best Beer: Prague, Czech Republic. Hands down the best beer I've ever had in my life. Sampled the original Budweiser, as well. Honorable mention goes to the brewery tour we took in Heidelberg, Germany, but that was just as much for quantities sake as quality.
Most Attractive People: Toss up between Barcelona and Norway. Depends on your preference, but I would go with Barcelona for brunettes ("you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a 9 or a 10 in this town") or Norway if blondes are more your style.
Best Food: Bilbao, Spain. Had a foie gras tapa in Bilbao that was so good, I tried to order the same thing about 25 times at subsequent restaurants to no avail. I hadn't had foie gras in many, many years (if ever?), but asked the bartender what was good and he served me this version of crack on toast.
Best Metro System: London, UK. Easily the best designed underground system that we encountered on the trip.
Most English Speakers in a non-English speaking country : Italy. Seemed like everyone in Italy spoke English; probably because we were mostly in the tourist-y areas. I find this ironic considering that Italy as a country was the most outspoken about hating Americans.
Most Bang for the Buck: Prague, Czech Republic. Hands down, the best deal for the money. Everywhere else, the exchange rate absolutely killed us, but in Prague, we were able to sit down to a dinner consisting of sirloin in a cranberry cream sauce with dumplings (a traditional Czech dish) and two .5l beers for ~$6.


Rudest Person
: The pension owner in San Sebastian where we were storing our bags for an extra night while in Pamplona who kicked us out of the place and then turned off the light while we were trying to descend the stairs.
Worst Museum: The Guggenheim museum in Berlin. This place was as exciting as watching grass grow, namely because that was the exhibit at the time - a grass farm. On a scale from 1-10, I'd rate it a snore. Honorable mention goes to the Torture Museum in Amsterdam; truth in advertising was never truer.
Ugliest People: Probably Bilbao, Spain. The mullet was a leading fashion trend at the time I was there, so was the sloven look.
Highest Concentration of EuroFunk in a Public Place : Metro in Paris, France. I didn't know I could hold my breath that long.
Worst Use of a Schedule: Italy. I don't think any train in this entire country either leaves or arrives on time.
Worst Conversion Rate
: Toilet paper was stronger than the dollar in Norway. Seriously, this country makes London look like Walmart. I paid $25 for a hamburger; not a Kobe beef hamburger, either, just your run off the mill bun and patty special.


  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    awesome post. brunettes all the way.

  • At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If I wanted actual useful information about travel, I'd go read a travel book.

  • At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So you're suggesting we go do the same thing recommended by a 50 year old travel snob, than someone who is my peer, and know personally? Great idea.

  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm finding I learn a lot from the angry groupie commenters on this site.

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    They are both good sources of travel tips. Don't count either out.


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Copyright 2007, Travis Emmel