Hi, campers! I hope you brought your passports because we’ll be taking a ride through Europe on this trip. I’m sure that you’ve come across lists of all the great things you need to see and do while you’re there, so I thought it would be fun if our itinerary covered the top five things you WON’T see. Confused? Great! It will make the adventure more fun Buckle up!
Père Lachaise Cemetery , Paris, France
What you’ll see: hauntingly beautiful tombs of the who’s who in Paris – James Morrison included.
What you won’t: the survivors of France’s Bloody Week who lived like animals among the graves by day and scavenged through the city by night.
(“Sleep in Straw” – Swiss farmhouse accommodation experience), Switzerland
What you’ll see: straw. Lots of it. And the majestic Alps if you look out the barn window.
What you won’t: Switzerland’s top export in the middle ages – mercenaries. The country’s richer neighbors needed soldiers to fight their wars, Swiss farmers needed to put food on the table. (The colorful uniform of the Vatican’s Swiss Guard is designed after the patchwork uniforms their predecessors made from the spoils of war.)
What you’ll see: a fairytale castle, charming cobbled streets, rows of red tiled roofs and a small romantic river that runs through the Old Town district.
What you won’t: the surprisingly vast trove of ancient artifacts – from Stone Age to Renaissance – that can be found in certain parts of the river, making it a treasure hunter’s dream.
Torcello Island, Venice, Italy
What you’ll see: exquisite Byzantine mosaic of The Last Judgment in the Santa Maria Assunta Basilica
What you won’t: the barbarian hordes that sent the Romans fleeing to the Venetian lagoon. Torcello was their first sanctuary. At its peak, twenty thousand people lived on the island. Today, less than twenty people call it home.
Herculaneum Excavation Site, Naples, Italy
What you’ll see: uncannily intact Roman town, complete with villas, terraces, and boathouses
What you won’t: the devastating 79AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that entombed the town – and preserved it.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s tour, campers! For those who haven’t seen the virtual tour of Before Ever After, I suggest you keep your seat belts fastened as we take this slight detour…
See you next week!