End of July 2014, marks 2 full months into my 2014 journey. So far I have traveled to Turkey, Greece, Germany and Switzerland.
As much as the fact that traveling opens my mind, my heart and my eyes to new culture, new thoughts, new beliefs and new experiences. Traveling also makes me reflect and appreciate what I already have and allows me to share with others my past experiences.
The word “Compare” can be viewed in different ways… Compare can lead to degradation. Compare can cause inspiration. Compare can cause insecurity. Compare can create motivation. Compare can create competition.
Coming from Toronto, Canada – I am constantly reminded all the goodness that Toronto offered – which I have taken for granted!
The saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – is very true.
My first time in Europe was back in 2002, I pre-purchased a EUrail pass and traveled to multiple countries in Western Europe. That was the thing to do with a backpack. Pick the number of travel days within a limited time span and a number of countries and you are set to explore the continent. Though expensive, it made traveling between countries and within each country scenic, fast and efficient. EUrail also has a historical significance as that was the method in which millions of travelers moved from one location to anther for decades in Europe.
In 2006, I visited 5 different countries (England, Ireland, France, Italy and Germany). The 4 of us flew with Ryanair within the European continent. I still remember the flight between Milan to Paris was only 1 euro plus applicable taxes which cost us less than $25 CAD in total. However, we failed to consider the additional costs required to commute between the city center and the smaller airports that Ryanair used. Though I think it was still much cheaper than traveling on the train and took us less time.
12 years later, in 2014, I’ve discovered bus travel in Europe as a new method to save money and see the landscape! After arriving in Hamburg, Germany my friend spoke of her 15€ bus ride between Hamburg and Berlin. When I moved into a hostel, my dorm mate took a 11-hours bus ride from Gothenburg, Sweden to Hamburg.
Hamburg ZOB – main bus station
Hamburg is known for their fischmarkt at the Harbour on Sundays. However, I was pleasantly distracted by a tall, handsome German. So I spent time with him instead of visiting the market.
Instead I went to the Wednesday market at Volksdorf station (Kattjahren/Halenreie). Vendors, farmers, fishmongers, bakers, florists, dairy vendors, mobile café… Everything was fresh and delicious looking! Tough life for a foodie.
Locals arrive on foot or by bicycle with their shopping basket and carts. Young and old. All looking happy with glee. Row upon rows of friendly chatter and exchange of goods for cash.