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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:48 PM
Original message
Karrinnj; my apologies
How was your trip?

ANd a big welcome back.

And my sincere aplogies for not asking sooner. ( :blush:)

How was Europe? Tell me?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. No apologies needed
We had a great time and enjoyed seeing both England and Spain. In England, it was amazing how quickly Londoners took the bombings in stride. We stayed in the B&B until about mid- afternoon, mostly because we needed a nap after the travel and we thought it prudent to stay put. Later, we went to a really good French/Indian restaurant because it was in walking distance, was rated highly, and it was my husband's birthday.

One thing that is immediately noticeable ALL over London is that there are prominent signs indicating that the area is monitored by Closed Circuit TV (CCTV). The signs were very obvious - in bright yellow and black. The police were able to get a huge amount of information very quickly from them. I wonder if America's culture being more individual based vs group based would preclude acceptance of this level of surveillance. Both the Police and the press referred to the bombings as crimes and investigated them as such. After identifying the bombers, and finding the source of their bombs, they talked about tracking their money and communication flows. All in all, sounds more like a Kerry response than a Bush response.

The next day the buses and the underground (with some re-routes) were running, so we saw a play at the Globe theatre (which was amazing), and went on the London Eye (actually boring, but good views). On our last day, we went on a Beatles walk with some English friends of ours- seeing places associated with the Beatles. It took us into some really nice neighborhoods that our English friend and her son had never seen. We had lunch/dinner at a pub and saw the Queen based musical in the West End. (The gist was a future authoritarian time when people were banned from writing or playing music - it was all to be created by computer. In the summary of how the world reached this state there were a few jabs at boy bands and W - that were applauded. At the end, music wins. Shades of Yellow Submarine - but happening here not far away)

My husband and I had met the English people we saw on 2 earlier trips after meeting on the internet. She is the daughter of an American GI who met and married an English woman and stayed in England. Her dad has the same unusual last name as my husband and she was trying to expand her family tree. My husband's family didn't know names back far enough - but they were from the same area and their is a strong family resemblance to her dad (who we met on an earlier trip) and his family. But related or not, we have kids about the same age and like each other.

One bad note, was that if she is representative, some of the negative stereotypes that Kerry was assigned here seem to have gone to London as well - She voted for Kerry (she has dual citizenship), but said she didn't like him because he seemed a very cold man. (I disagreed but didn't push the issue. If Kerry runs again, I will send her some of the stuff countering that or send Butler's book which subtly counters that - especially when it shows him with all the kids making up games for them.)

In Spain, we were in Costa Del Sol. The area was so gorgeous, but we were told by several of the guides and other people we met that life has become a lot harder for the people in the area since the euro was introduced. The price for land and homes has escalated to a point where young people can't afford to move away from their parents. (This area (other than the coastline) was the poorest area years ago and only recently have they built good highways which make it easier to get to inland cities. They blamed it on the euro, though it might really have been that the improved accessibility made foreigners and people from other areas of Spain bid up the prices.)

We had fun swimming in the Mediterranean, seeing Cordoba and Ronda and going to a water park. (Guess which day our 14 year old planned.)

I did see DU while there, but neglected to take login info - so I only read things and was amazed how much was going on.


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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, Karynnj for your European trip roundup
I and my family leave today for Germany (my huband's family lives in Germany), and then, later, my husband and I (without our kids!!) are going to Rome for a few days. I actually wrote down my DU login and have access to the internet there, so if I get a chance, I'll share with you any political insights or interesting observations I come across while I'm there. But I'll probably try to cut back on politics and news, since we all need a vacation from a lot of that negativity sometimes.

Auf wiedersehen!

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europegirl4jfk Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Wow! You guys are traveling!
Thanks, Karyn for your trip report. Theatre in London is quite an experience. I go as often as I can; we have cheap flights from France. And it's great to hear how the English people cope with the attacks. As for your account about the situation in Spain, it's the same here in the south of France. Many foreigners are buying houses and prices are sky-rocketing. It's not only the Euro responsible for that.

Beachmom, where are you going in Germany? I'm from Germany too but live in France since almost 20 years. We normally go back to Wiesbaden to see family and friends twice a year. I've been to Rome last year with my daughter and her school and we saw pope John Paul II who was already very fragile in April 2004. But it was great to assist at the mass in St Peter's Square (even for the non-catholic I am).

Well, this summer I won't travel anymore. My daughter and I are just back from California and have to move again in September to another town in France, Lyon, where Julie will go to an international school. So, no Germany or England trip this summer. But I can't complain. It's hot here in the south and the sea is only 5 min from here by car.

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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thanks Karynnj
This sounded amazing. I'm glad you were safe and glad you had a good time. It's discouraging to note that the Brits were sucking down the same stereotypes and smears that Americans were about Kerry. Sigh, we have a lot of work to do.

I got some of the panel discussion stuff in Glasgow. I will go to the following (and many, many more. I love these talk fests.) We get to argue this stuff over. The friend I am travelling with hates politics, so I am on my own for these. (Sigh! I do hope I can hold my own on this stuff.) Heaven, just heaven. Ahm, this is a geeky person's idea of a good vacation. This will be great! (And plenty of time to just do nothing, a favorite thing of mine to do on vacays.)

****************************
The Digital Divide

Are we building a web-enabled society that disenfranchises those unable or unwilling to adopt the online lifestyle? Governments justify the push for e- services on the basis of cost savings, but along with privacy considerations, what are the implications?
****************************

What is the Future of the Developing World?

Should the West stay out of it? Is Development Politics irretrievably contaminated by the past? Or is the free market the answer?
****************************

You Can't Copyright My DNA, Can You?

Genome, appearance, personality -- what happens when you CC licence them? Can you assert moral rights over your DNA?
****************************

Is the American Empire on the Verge of Collapse?

A convergence of factors -- peak oil, imperialism in the Mideast, the growing dominance of Pacific Rim economies, the competition from a (more-or-less) united European Union, and the rejection in America of intellectualism and science -- suggest that the US balances on the precipice of collapse.
****************************

The Mason-Dixon Line Redrawn: America Divided?

Recent election maps show the US largely divided into urban Democrat states and rural Republican ones. What kinds of stories do the two Americas want to hear -- and should we be telling them?
****************************
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Sounds like great topics
It should be interesting to see how an international group views these issues.

I hope that my English friend was atypical - I didn't pursue how Kerry was perceived as it would not have been appreciated by my husband and daughter who are convinced that I am obsessed with Kerry. (My husband liked and voted for Kerry, but I think he is hoping Hillary is the candidate. Oddly, almost for the reason I strongly prefer Kerry to Hillary - he perceives she will compromise values to win more than Kerry will. Although, he wishes Hillary was more open on her Iraq plan.)

But I agree that Kerry will have to find a way for people to see him as he is. His being a voice of reason over the next several years will do this to some extent. Isn't his daughter Alex planning to write a book or make a film on last year? Last year, his children and stepchildren really were great advocates of his.

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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I agree. One of the saddest things about the campaign
last year was how much an internationalist was just discredited. We desperately need someone with foreign policy creds (and the banking, finance and deep knowledge of trade were a big plus as well.) Sigh! It would have been nice to have had someone who had extensively traveled in Europe and in other parts of the country. Sigh!

I am anxious to see how some of these folks size up the US in this day and age. There will be folks there from 9 Euro countries so it should get interesting. I shall report back.

This is such a great group. We have people who travel all over the world and then report back and tell us the tea leaves they have seen and can read. Wow, living in the great wired world is an amazing thing.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Have a great time
With all the other packing, I never thought to bring the id - even though we took a laptop (mainly so we could reach 2 daughters at home). In London, the B&B had limited free internet access - which was really good for us - we emailed family and co-workers to let them know we were ok.

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