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I’ve been to many European countries. Often times, people ask me which country has been my favorite to visit. When I think about Europe, it’s hard to choose. This is because European countries are so similar to each other. At the same time, they all have differences. Languages, foods, and cultures are specific to each country. France is known for its wine and cheese. Germany is known for its beer and sausages. There is so much diversity it’s hard to pick any one country. But one of my favorite countries is Spain.
I’ve actually been to Spain twice! And I loved both times I was there. I’ve been to both Barcelona and Cartagena. This isn’t to be confused with Cartagena, Colombia, which I would also love to visit. Even though I liked Cartagena, Spain, I’m sure I might like Cartagena, Colombia even more. A quick search of Cartagena, Colombia shows beaches, blue waters, great food, and sunny days. That’s amazing! That’s my type of vacation. But Cartagena, Spain was great too.
When I was in Cartagena there was also the sun, great food, and beaches. I did not go to the beach, however. But I did eat some amazing food. Spain is known for its “tapas”. And I ate plenty of those. Bread was topped with meats, cheeses, and assorted jams. It was amazing! I also played pool, which Europeans call billiards.
Spain, at least the southern coast, rests on the Mediterranean Sea. That’s basically Europe’s version of the Caribbean, although the Caribbean is a bit warmer because it’s closer to the equator. Planning a trip soon? Consider Spain! If you love tapas, warm weather, and beaches, Cartagena is probably a great option for you. Just go online and start searching for some travel deals. With gas prices so low, you’re bound to find some affordable flights!
A few years ago, I went to France. I think I was around 25 years old. Like anyone visiting that beautiful country, there are certain things that everyone should try. By this, I am specifically talking about the bread, wine, and cheese. Those are staples! But France does food the right away.
Maybe it’s the skill of the bakers. Maybe it’s the water. By the way, water in Europe is different than water in America. Europe has more stringent rules with water. Their water treatment laws are more demanding than those in America.
Many things are different in Europe. For example, the public transportation system is known to be better than ours. In my experience, I know this to be true. Specifically, I enjoyed the train system. I took the train from Cherbourg to Paris. To my surprise, the trains had nice carpeting and lounges. This was the public train! The trains ran all day and night. They were also very fast. I think one could purchase food or water.
Paris was gorgeous. Or maybe I think so because I saw the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Here’s a fun fact: there is a restaurant near the top of the Eiffel Tower. I did not eat there, but I’m sure the food is wonderful. I’d also imagine one has to book many months in advance for such a luxurious setting for dinner.
Speaking of food, the French have similar habits for meals. However, some are slightly different. For example, chocolate spread and toast is a common part of breakfast in France. My hotel served this. It was extra delicious because the French are known for their tasty breads. And, yes, the wine was fabulous. I highly recommend any world traveler to make their way to France. It is one of my favorite countries to visit.
My last international trip was to Puerto Rico. Some will find it intriguing that I am calling this international travel. They may think that Puerto Rico is a US territory. This is true. They may also think that Puerto Rico is a country. This is also true. How confusing! The purpose of this entry isn’t to delve into the history of Puerto Rico’s uncommon status. Instead, I’d like to share some great things from my trip.
I was in Puerto Rico a few months ago, in August.Thankfully, I was able to leave right before the hurricane hit. Actually, Puerto Rico was hit by two hurricanes, one right after the other. If I was there during that time, I would probably be trapped for days, even weeks. As of this writing, just over half of the island country has power. It’s going to be a very slow recovery for many reasons.
But when I was there the sun was shining, people were generally happy, and life was good. Whatever people thought about life in Puerto Rico when I was there, it was better then than how it is right now. They don’t talk about it in the news much anymore, but people still have to wait in long lines at the gas station.
Because Puerto Rico is an island country I spent some days on the beach. I rented a car so it was easy for me to get around the island. On one of the days, I spent some time in Old San Juan, which is a very touristy area of the country. Old San Juan has a large port which cruise ships commonly dock into.
I love the food, people, and culture of Puerto Rico. Because of the recent hurricanes, it will probably be a while until I return. However, I hope that Puerto Rico rebuilds to become better than ever.