A few months ago I did this article, where I asked some questions about this topic to a nice american girl I met in January, today I’ll show you the point of view of an Indian guy that I met in Florence. So, enjoy and of course thank you so much Vivek for answering!
Why Europe? And how You chose the places to visit?
Primarily two reasons : 1) To attend conference in Dusseldorf, Germany to present my paper 2) It was always a dream to do a solo backpacking trip in Europe before I turned 30. I am happy I could do before I turned 23.
I initially spent 2-3 weeks to plan out stuff and everything. I realized if I stuck to a rigid plan, there would be no surprises and a lot of rush to catch the next train/flight. I had to leave a city even if I wanted to stay little more or be stuck in that place even if I wanted to leave.S o, I spent 400 euros to get a Eurail Pass for train travel and got a cheap flight deal to Rome, So the only plan was to start in the south and move northwards. I eventually ended up going all the way up to Northern Sweden., that was pretty cool.
Have You noticed some stuffs that for You are unsual/strange?
I had been to US – particularly New York and Chicago last year. It was all fights, big portions of food, lots of cars, one language and almost similar culture everywhere. That was very different case in Europe.
It was really quite an experience seeing how different people in different countries react. Southern Europe is filled with a lot of chill and friendlier people, as you move northward, people tend to be more reserved and formal. Not that they are not nice or anything, it was something strange and I absolutely respect the way they are. In New York City(NYC), this happened to an effect when I traveled from Downtown NYC to Uptown NYC and Manhattan to different boroughs of NYC. In my home country India, it happens in the opposite Geographic Direction i.e., North(Chill) –> South(Reserved). I’m from the South, don’t judge me though 🙂 .
Since, I was zipping through multiple countries, another strange as well funny thing was, on my first day in the new country , I would still greet/speak in the language of the previous country I was in. Cashier at a local Cafe in Germany, gave me a confused look when I wished her “Buongiorno” and proceeded to order my food in Italiano and Hotel staff in Madrid had a smirk on their faces when I asked them if they speak English in French.
Have You enjoyed the food? If Yes, Which was your favourite?
Europe has a diverse food scene. Although, food was at an excellent standard all through my trip, the only places I found it a little difficult was 1 ) Germany, where local food was a little bland for my liking and 2) some places where eating out was super expensive (hello, Switzerland and Norway). Overall, enjoyed and loved the food overall. Can’t go for a favorite, I had the best experience in the following places: Pizza and Garlic bread at Gino Sorbillo in Milan, Macrons and croissants at 80 year old bakery in Paris, Tapas and Jamon Iberico in Spain. All said and done, Food tour through Southern Italy and Sicily and one through Basque Country is on the cards. Definitely, Looking forward to have Authentic Pizza in Napoli.
Which place was the best according to you?
Very Hard to choose one , Barcelona, Florence and Interlaken are my top 3 places in no particular order though. Barcelona for its amazing architecture, Firenze for its charm of Renaissance , Interlaken for being a peaceful Alps town.
Would You advice people to Travel here? Why?
Definitely, Europe offers something for everyone. I would recommend for three reasons: 1) Excellent Connectivity – Great experience traveling in DB ICE , Thallys or La Frecce which connect major cities – centre to centre , availability of low cost airlines and used Flixbus and Blah blah car for some cheap rides. 2) Ton of History – Great Civilizations, Revolutions, WW history 3) Varied Culture and food – You have to experience it first hand.
Would You like to come back? If Yes, where in particular?
Yes 100% surely. I would try to visit the top 3 places, I mentioned again I guess. My next trip would involve more of Eastern Europe and Finland. This trip was more of a sampling filing trip with 11 countries and 26 cities. Coming trips would be lesser places and more time at one place. Can’t wait for the next adventure.
So, this was how does an indian see Europe, hope you liked it, if yes please share with your friends!
Some useful links about Florence: