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I love, love, love to travel.  Many of you on the East Coast, being good, cosmopolitan blue-staters, probably do too, taking advantage of your great fares to Europe (be jealous, America).  In the West, Los Angeles and my home city of San Francisco also are privileged with airfares that are probably far lower than anyone should expect, just because there's competition for the routes here.

I first visited Europe when I was five years old, when my parents took the family to live in England for a year.  We lived in a tiny village in Essex, with one greengrocer, one butcher, one pub, and one church.  We walked to school a few miles away, through a bucolic countryside of rolling, green hills, sometimes with a little dusting of snow.  Our little church had great, mossy tombstones, leaning over so far that they might fall over, for Essex men and women of three hundred years ago or more.  Our friends there made up ghost stories, with which to scare little five-year-old boys like me.

After that year, since we were already there, we traveled to France for a couple of weeks, then Italy, stopping in Belgium, Switzerland and Germany en route.  

As a kid, I was fascinated and delighted by the fact that each country had its own different flag, and its own separate language.  This was anchored in my memory by the beautiful, comforting countryside, and all the little hidebound villages with their half-timbered houses, and by the ocean near Ravenna in Italy, and by the hazelnut gelato.  To this day, although I really can't stand all this stuff with hazelnut in it, I still love that gelato.

So there were elements in my enjoyment of travel including: 1) delicious gastronomic bits; 2) architecture we'd never see elsewhere; 3) mystical, freeing views of a countryside that seemed a conscious entity; 4) atmosphere, and what the hoteliers love to refer to as Character and Charm.

But most of all, I felt something that I've never quite felt since: Home.

There were other things.  Music.  In England, I heard the Beatles' Hey Jude for the first time, playing in a little shop on their radio.  I remember the young woman behind the counter, grinning as she watched the cute kid going into a trance to the music.  The lyrics, "don't make it bad/take a sad song, and make it better," became my motto, in the years that followed.  My father bought a new VW camper bus, and drove it across the continent.  On the little AM radio that came with the bus, we heard the Moody Blues' Tuesday Afternoon, as we drove across Germany.  We drove along wooded highways hearing "the trees are drawing me near/I've got to find out why."  Later, when I was grown, it seemed that every trip I took had some piece of music I associated with the trip: a drive through the English countryside again here; or the blue ocean of the south of France; or going to a concert in Berlin, and seeing the Soviet Kitsch-cum-Klezmer Cabaret band of Slavic Berlin transplants known as Rotfront, bringing the house down with their cheerful riot and disorder.

The cuisine continued to be important; a hot chocolate a l'ancienne in Angelina's tearoom in Paris provides two cups of luscious, molten chocolate to mix with cream; I learned from the French how to take just a bit more time, and give more attention, to the scent of the food, to the feel of it, and to the taste of it.  The enjoyment of French cuisine is paramount; you get there simply by learning to pay attention to it.  Drink it in; scent the food; pay attention to it.  In the little hilltop town of Domme, in the region of the Dordogne, I had perhaps the best meal of my entire life.  A perfect truffle and cream soup; tender filet mignon; a wine that flowed as smoothly and richly as the hot chocolate in Paris; the dessert, a perfectly spiced cinnamon and vanilla mousse.  All during the dinner, a literally gorgeous view of the deep, green valley, far below, with the cows that had given us the cream for the soup enjoying a bit of grass, as what the photographers call the sun's "God Rays" shone over them.  By the Popes' Palace in Avignon, I had a meal so good that I ordered two desserts, because I knew they'd be incredible; the chocolate soup (yeah, I know, right?  Chocolate Soup?) was so great, that when I came back to Paris and saw chocolate soup on the menu in a restaurant there, I had to order that as one of two desserts there, too.

These were only the second-best memories from those trips, though; the best were the free things, no joke.  Going down the block from Angelina's after the hot chocolate, I watched the sun set over the statues in the Place de la Concorde.  Touristy?  No--my moment.  Even in my own hometown of San Francisco, I have for decades gone each week to some of the most heavily touristed areas of town, the Golden Gate Bridge, or Ghirardelli Square.  Much as I loathe being herded around in some tour, among people who hardly seem to care about or even notice what the tour guide is ordering them to observe, I will happily go to a tourist site like the Boulevard St.-Michel, near Notre Dame, and did so often, taking in the excitement.  After that sunset in the Place de la Concorde, I returned there every day for weeks for the sunset, until the end of my trip.  In Berlin, there were different thrills for a different city--in a place with less interesting restaurants, the music was the thing.  The Rotfront concert was followed by the best opera I've ever seen, Aida and the Barber of Seville, by the Deutsche Staatsoper on the Unter den Linden.  Tickets were ten dollars, for the most transporting opera performances I've ever seen.  Hiking through the woods that ring Berlin, and jumping into the lakes as the sunlight played on the water, I felt perfectly at peace.

Sights, sounds, tastes; it's all there.  We drink it in.  And there are other free things that formed the best memories of the trips, which were, of course, the people.  The kind, cheerful people of Domme, directing me to the Esplanade, and welcoming me there with a smile, were just like so many people that I met all over Europe, and in Turkey and Egypt.

The history: Turkey's mosques, by the great architect Sinan, make up some of the world's own patrimony.  Their tiles, with their flowers seeming to grow as you look at them, are the subject of intense rivalries between Turkey's main tile producers in Iznik and Kutahya.  The Byzantine Empire's ruins are more rarely seen, but remain in the imposing Aya Sofya (Haghia Sophia), and the ancient church of St. Savior in Chora, with its painted frescoes of Jesus's Harrowing of Hell.  In Pamukkale, I took another bathe, playing footsie with Roman columns that had fallen there long ago, and walking in the old Roman ruins.  In England and France, I saw megaliths put in place in the Stone Age, thousands of years ago, and in Spain, I walked the Pilgrim's Trail, joining an 800-year-old fraternity of walkers seeking spiritual fulfillment and communion, revelations about their relationship with their fellow human beings, or just some introspection.

But why do I travel?  Why do you travel?  I know somehow that it gives me something that I don't get elsewhere.  But I can't explain it.  What is that something?  It has a lot to do with the peculiarities of the country: you don't find food finer than France's, or views more beautiful than the Italian coasts', or deeper experiences than going through a misty, ancient oak forest in England or Spain, to see some place in which the Celts once held their rituals.  It has a lot to do with the people.  I need to interact with them, to watch the ways they're different, and to delight in feeling friendship or love for them all the same.  It has a lot to do with trying to find that feeling of being Home.  But I can't quite explain it.  I know I must travel.  I know it brings me something.

Why do you travel?

Originally posted to Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:10 AM PST.

Poll

Why do you travel?

3%1 votes
0%0 votes
12%4 votes
24%8 votes
3%1 votes
6%2 votes
21%7 votes
9%3 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
3%1 votes
12%4 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

    by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:10:44 AM PST

  •  I have traveled... (4+ / 0-)

    to get away from the familiar.   SSK

  •  to see the beautiful countryside, (8+ / 0-)

    though I don't need to leave Oregon for that.

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

    by James Allen on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:23:31 AM PST

  •  Honestly I dont think (6+ / 0-)

    I am gonna travel outside of oregon any time soon. Unmatched and stunning beauty, we've got the beaches and the mountains all within a relatively short distance. We're progressive and not afraid to say it loud and proud, and portland and eugene are so unique why would I need other cities (well SF is pretty cool too, but Salem is a conservative cesspool)

    You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

    by rexymeteorite on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:28:07 AM PST

    •  Too cool! Two Oregonians-- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      borkitekt

      I love traveling to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival.  Best theatre I've ever seen, anywhere, and that's a fact.  A truly beautiful valley.  And surprisingly good restaurants, for a little town like that.

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:49:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The poll (5+ / 0-)

    has half the voters travelling for sex.

    Two votes.

    I voted sex.

    I am about to travel, but only to another city, not only within the USA, but within my home state of Kansas, where President Obama's family is from.

    In recent years, that is the only travelling I do.  I go a few times a year from Wichita to Hays, to visit my wife's grave, and to visit my friend, Carrie.  Carrie wants sex, and she is an old friend who helped me when my wife, Pam, was slowly dying over 5 years' time.

    Sex!

  •  I don't. (4+ / 0-)

    At least, I don't travel outside the US. Most of my interstate travel is to visit family. I have no urgent need to visit other places for reasons other than family and friends.

    My version of a good vacation is just a lack of actually working, not necessarily leaving.

    We need another Huey P. Long and federal funding for abortion. -9.00, -4.05

    by KVoimakas on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:53:46 AM PST

  •  i love to travel (5+ / 0-)

    i didn't start till i was 37, but i've traveled a lot since...i've lived in probably 10 countries (currently in laos) and have no intention of stopping...i like different cultures, different languages, different foods, different histories, etc.

    repent, amarillo! listen up, lubbock! you're next!

    by memofromturner on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:31:27 AM PST

    •  Wow, Laos! I've heard that's great (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      memofromturner

      A friend of mine went to Vietnam and Laos, and couldn't stop raving.  I've never yet been to Asia, only to places in North America and Europe (except Turkey's Asian side, and Egypt).  But I've been traveling nonstop to Europe for many years, and now feel the need to start visiting other places.  Asia is one on the list.

      Good for you--keep going!

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:45:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love to tarvel (5+ / 0-)

    Took my first long trip at 25 - for 2 and a half years (backpacking). Came home for a year then had to leave again. That time I left for 4 years (including 3 living in another country where I met my wife). My preference is to spend time in developing countries.

    For me it was about breaking away from the mundane daily life where people seem to find importance in things like what is on TV, or who won what game, stuff I never really cared about. When you travel you meet folks with a different mind set (not always, but far more often than at home), and the conversations are engaging for a change.

    Then of course there are the places, the sights, the food, the whiling away of days just "being", and of course the local people that you meet.

    These days we still travel, but not as much. I have learned to happily "be" wherever I am, while the places I used to like to go have become more and more like we are (the differences are now far less, and so less interesting).

    I still think that once we retire we live overseas, somewhere ... hopefully in an inexpensive place where we can simply "be".

    I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

    by taonow on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:59:40 AM PST

    •  Argh - Love to "travel" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      borkitekt

      Why is there no spell check on the subject line?

      I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

      by taonow on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 04:00:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great response, thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      taonow

      Breaking away from the mundane.  I like that.  I think you've got something there.  And yes, you do get into really enjoyable conversations, and usually meet some very friendly people.  How great.

      A lot of people retire to Mexico lately, a huge community; they all seem to live well on relatively little.  Although if you'll believe it, you can still get an apartment in Paris for just a few hundred thousand dollars, or even $200,000 (very little, by San Francisco standards).  In Berlin, it's less (you can pay as little as 300 euros a month for a nice apartment there; 600 euros a month is very nice indeed).

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 02:49:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I travel for several reasons (4+ / 0-)

    but the main one is to see different habitats and the plants and animals that live in them - i.e. to experience nature in all its variety.

    Also I live a very long way from all of my family so visiting them requires quite a bit of travel.

    I am something of an oddball - I've been to 4 continents but, now in my late forties, I've still never been to Europe.  Planning to go this summer - that is if Great Britain counts as Europe.

    "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

    by matching mole on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 04:07:15 AM PST

    •  Yeah! Well that's marvelous (0+ / 0-)

      I think there's a huge biosphere in Cornwall, that you might check out, if you're into plants.  And Great Britain is such a wonderful place to take walks in the countryside, if you like being in nature.  The Lake District is great to hike in.  More lush is the Yorkshire Dales (and there's great cheese there, too, as Wallace and Gromit will tell you).  My favorite areas are the Cotswolds, around Gloucestershire near the southern Welsh border, and Somerset, and Wiltshire.  You'll probably see Stonehenge in Wiltshire--see Avebury, too, another Iron Age stone circle, but this one is so huge they built a whole town inside it.

      Something that might also interest you in Somerset is the town of Cheddar.  It has, of course, great cheese, to which it gave its name; also, great scrumpy cider, which is found in few other areas of Britain.  It's great, strong cider, sweet but powerful.  Try to find some proper scrumpy (the Rick Steves guidebook recommends a few places), not the Scrumpy Jack they sell in cans, or the Strongbow.  You want the real farmhouse stuff that Roald Dahl wrote about in Fantastic Mr. Fox.

      But the real draw in Cheddar is that they have the Cheddar Caves, with beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations underground.  Once you've seen those, climb up the stairs in the hillside, so that you can see the Cheddar Gorge.  You can see for miles and miles around, and it's the most beautiful view you've ever seen.  Make time to take a nice, long hike once you get to the top, or just go up the viewing tower.  Every step up the hillside is said to represent one million years in geological history, as you rise through the layers.

      In London, just spend a few days, if you don't like big cities; but see the British Museum's Babylonian, Egyptian, Assyrian, and other treasures; see Queen's We Will Rock You, a musical based on their music, with an INSIPID plot, but great performances of their music, or see Spamalot, Avenue Q, or some other blockbuster that's there.

      Have fun!!!

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:00:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I generally don't like "travelling" per se, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parryander, borkitekt, Villagejonesy

    but I do love day trips to weird little towns.  Drive somewhere a few hours away, go to a weird little bar, then restaurant, then bar, then home or hotel as necessary.  I love that, but don't really cotton to any other form of travel.  I just want to see oddball spots and people, and America is filled with that.  

    •  Hey--that's travel, though! (0+ / 0-)

      It sounds great.  You don't have to take a plane, America has plenty of things to see.  California alone could take a lifetime, depending on your interests.

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:01:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I travel because I'm part of 2 different worlds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parryander

    one in the US similar to most other Americans minus the stuff, and the other close to

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 04:30:53 AM PST

  •  Oops, didn't include the link (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villagejonesy

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 04:31:35 AM PST

  •  In typical Appalachian way, my worldview (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, parryander, Miggles, Villagejonesy

    was limited by geography and a lack of curiosity. Our valley seemed to be self-sufficient, a mighty river that propelled industry, lakes for recreation, hills for hunting and shopping less than a hour away. I've always been a reader, but strangely lacking in any desire to visit any of the exciting locales spy novels used as backdrops.
      About ten years ago, I helped my niece squeak through an Art History course at WVU. I was fascinated in the course, to think of  discovering the beauty of art at the age of 50. One weekend I drove down to DC just to view a Vermeer that I read about. The next Fall my partner and I booked our first visit to Europe, 5 days in London only 3 days in Paris. I was blown away, we returned 5 months later. Sam tired of the museums in short order buy I was mysteriously drawn back time and time again. In the past 8 years I've been to Europe and Asia 15 times, having just rented an apartment on Ile. St. Louis for a trip in May. I don't pretend to know what defines Art, I do know how it moves me. Of course I've developed a great interest in architecture and history along the way. I'm a non-Christian who who feels strangely at home listening in on Choir practice at Basilique Sacre Couer atop Montmartre. I'm no renaissance man, but I feel as though I carry a huge secret around with me, lucky to be presented with the gift of travel.

    "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." Immanuel Kant

    by Rented Mule on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 04:32:39 AM PST

    •  Ah, it warms my heart (0+ / 0-)

      That's GREAT, Rented Mule.  I know many people (I'm one) who felt that way about the Sacre Coeur.  I know a lot of non-Catholics (me too) who felt very moved by St. Peter's Basilica.

      I am not a painter, but as a spectator, I've really grown to love the art museums, and appreciate the works I've seen.  I had been to the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay before, but had missed Van Gogh's Starry Night.  Last summer I saw it for the first time; all the representations I'd seen of it before never could do any justice to the real thing.  Everyone who goes to Paris should see it.  Same with seeing Da Vinci's man in two positions (jumping jacks man) in Venice.  It's stunning, and really uplifting, to see these things.  Thanks to all the artists of the world.

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:06:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You must have a ton of carbon offsets. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rented Mule, Villagejonesy
  •  I travel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TDP, Villagejonesy

    to meet and get to know folks like these:
     title=
     title=

    "Junkies find veins in their toes when the ones in their arms and legs collapse." - Al Gore

    by parryander on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 05:11:32 AM PST

  •  We Don't, We've Fallen Out of That Economic Range (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villagejonesy

    We travelled cross-country for our Celtic music avocation, and around the US and Canada and Europe for vacationing when we could, but we won't be able to do that annually ever again.

    We hope to get to New England next year but we'll have to stay local this year to save up for it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 05:18:02 AM PST

    •  New England seems beautiful (0+ / 0-)

      I went to Maine when I was a child, and it blew me away.  I still would like to see Boston.

      I just visited Montreal last year for the first time, and Quebec City--I think if I lived near enough to take a train or drive, I'd be going back again and again.

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:09:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I travel to make sure I'm not yet on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, Villagejonesy

    no-fly list.

  •  Arts and culture... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villagejonesy

    ...plus shopping, food, the people, etc.

    I'm hoping to plan a trip soon to Germany, England, Italy, and Belgium.

    Travel is amazing.

    •  Nice! Do you have your itinerary planned? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JimmyTheSaint

      In Belgium last year, I saw Bruges.  The Belgian train system is an absolute nightmare, so I hope you make it there, and I hope that once there, you make it out again.  But Bruges was a real stunner.  It was like Venice, in that instead of just having The One Building or The One Whatever, Bruges was a whole city full of wonderful works of architecture.  The town is a glory.

      Berlin was much fun, for the music (see diary), and the lakes that surround the city (you can get there on the subway line--take the U3 to Schlachtensee).  Many great museums, too, just like Paris.

      In England, I'd recommend Somerset, Wiltshire and the Cotswolds; in Somerset, see the town of Cheddar, with the famous cheese, and scrumpy cider (get the real stuff, not Scrumpy Jack or Strongbow or Blackthorn), and great caves with stalactites and stalagmites; also, hike to the top of the hill for a magnificent view over the Gorge and the country.  Also, I'd recommend the Yorkshire Dales (also great cheesemakers), with it's Napa County-like green, rolling hills; and the Lake District, more bleak, but beautiful to hike in.

      In Italy, some people find Positanoon the Amalfi Coast and Caprito be too touristy--go anyway.  I have rarely been so stunned by an area's natural beauty, character and charm.  Italy's Lake District is also wonderful.  If you go to Venice, be sure to go to Verona as well, an hour away--it's also touristy, but the people are friendly, and it has Roman ruins aplenty, and great food.  Ferrara, in Emilia Romagna, had the best meals I've ever had in Italy.  Not as interesting otherwise, but if you're a foodie, the Italians themselves acknowledge that that area's food is the best in Italy.  The Italian Riviera and Rome are also great.

      Enjoy yourself, it sounds incredible!

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:18:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  just renewed my passport yesterday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villagejonesy

    off to Stockholm & Berlin for conferences in May; flying via Amsterdam and taking the train via Copenhagen between - to get to see some of the first cohousing neighborhoods. This will be my first European journey beyond Britain & France (for my first trip I was young enough to remember the view from the top of the Eiffel tower... from my dad's shoulders... and our initial flight returned back home an hour after departure because of a called-in bomb threat).

    I'm using frequent flyer miles (totally cleaning out one account, filled up over several years of putting routine expenses on a credit card and paying it off monthly to avoid interest) and staying with friends and leveraging a trade between organizations for free admission to one conference in exchange for service to keep costs down; I'm also hoping to speak at some Coworking spaces about the movement -- since I'm a member of The Hub, I've effectively already paid for the use of shared work/meeting spaces by the hour in most of the cities I've visited.

    United's reservation system suggested the silliest itinerary for me, when I was comparing a flight back alternative to Oakland (CA):

    Brussels -> Chicago -> New Orleans -> Los Angeles -> San Francisco (stay at airport overnight) -> Denver -> Oakland

    Considering that SF and Oakland airports are about 14 miles apart, I could instead take the subway in an hour... or swim ... in the 14 hours it would take to wait and fly those last legs.

    •  Exciting! (0+ / 0-)

      I've never seen Stockholm or Copenhagen.  I spent a month in Berlin last year.  

      Food: Berlin isn't a great culinary capital, but:
      Moon Thai is great.
      Witty's, across the street from KaDeWe and Wittenbergplatz's station, was the best currywurst in Berlin, and it's organic.  The organic beer there was excellent.
      The falafel sandwiches are great for very cheap eats; a lunch for a few bucks.  The place I went to was near the Berliner Dom, on the Unter den Linden, between the Dom and the Fernsehturm, just by the McDonald's by the Fernsehturm (the big TV tower that looks like a disco ball on a spike).

      Museums: The PergamonMuseum is great, it has these altars from what's now Turkey and Iraq (it has a reproduction of the Ishtar Gate, lifesize, that's a stunner) and the Altes Museum, with the Egyptian pieces (it had the Nefertiti bust when I was there), and really, all the rest of the museums are fantastic.  World-beating.

      Other sights: go to the Schlachtensee, or another of the lakes around Berlin, or the Grunewald, and hike or bike through it.  These lakes are the undiscovered treasures of the city.

      Potsdam, on the el-train (S-Bahn) line from Berlin, is amazing also.  Great restaurants all over town, and you have to see the grounds around Sanssouci Palace, and around the Cecilienhof Palace.  The Cecilienhof has a gorgeous lake, but also very interesting outbuildings, including a black onyx pyramid with masonic and alchemical symbols on it.  Potsdam was a real discovery, that's a very interesting place.  If you can take a day-trip there, the trip on the S-bahn doesn't take too long, I think, maybe an hour at most.

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 03:32:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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