Posts Tagged: europe

Central Europe

12 minutes to read — 2353 words

Central Europe
Few cities can rival Berlin for dramatic twentieth-century history. Largely destroyed by Allied bombs in World War II, Berlin was rebuilt, then quickly became the epicenter of the Cold War. Divided by a wall and terrorized by a brutal secret police, the city and country were emotionally reunified at the end of the century. Today Berlin isn’t the most beatiful city in Europe, but its gritty charm, fantastic restaurants, and incredible museums make it one of the most fun and interesting.

Portugal

9 minutes to read — 1748 words

Portugal
Landing late at night at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport, we caught an Uber to our lodgings, a charming apartment in Lisbon’s Baixa neighborhood. Despite the jet lag, it was late enough that we had no trouble sleeping. In the morning, we strolled over to Padaria do Barrio, a tasty bakery. Then we ascended a series of hills, stairs, and elevators to Castelo de Sao Jorge. The hill on which the castle stands shows signs of human occupation dating to at least the 8th century BCE and has been the site of Phoenecian, Carthaginian, Roman, and Moorish fortifications.

Sicily

13 minutes to read — 2725 words

Sicily
I hadn’t really thought about it before I visited, but Sicily’s remarkable and consequential history should be obvious. Much of the history of Europe is the history of the Mediterranean Sea. As a large island right in the middle of the Mediterranean, Sicily was strategically vital at least from the time of the ancient Greeks through World War II. Some of the island’s oldest signs of human habitation are cave paintings dating to around 8000 B.

France & Spain

7 minutes to read — 1475 words

France & Spain
It was raining heavily when my flight landed Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in Toulouse, France early on a Saturday evening. Ducking through the raindrops, I made my way to the car my wife and in-laws had rented. We drove southeast about an hour to the town of Carcassonne. Carcassonne’s predominant feature is the massive citadel, La Cité, that rings its hilltop. People have lived in the area around Carcassonne since around 3500 B.