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What Was Your First Trip to Europe? (As an Adult.)

What Was Your First Trip to Europe? (As an Adult.)

Old Jan 12th, 2022, 10:25 AM
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What Was Your First Trip to Europe? (As an Adult.)

This is meant to be a poll. Where did you decide to go the very first time you went to Europe? I say 'as an adult' in the thread title because when you are a kid, you don't always have a say in the matter or are not doing the planning. And it is almost certain you are not paying for it! This is mostly meant for people who did not already live in Europe at the time of their trip, but of course could be applied to folks already in Europe if they went outside their home country.

So, when lack of experience and all the time and money was your own, where do you go?

I'll go first: I spent a week in Paris and a week in Aix-en-Provence. While in Aix I rented a car for three days and took public transport the other four days. This trip started my lifelong passion for visiting the countryside of Europe - and elsewhere.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 10:40 AM
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Well -- my first 'trip' to Europe was flying TWA from SFO to LHR and staying in England nearly 5 years . . . so probably doesn't count.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 10:45 AM
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Fun! My first trip to Europe was a sampler. This was my second trip overseas (first was to Australia; I said "overseas" as I live in the USA and have visited Canada as a child as well as an adult). I sampled Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, and Lisbon. As this was my first trip to Europe, I knew I wanted to visit either London or Paris if not both. I ultimately made the decision based on where I was able to secure the lowest-cost open jaw ticket. As I was flying into Amsterdam and out of Lisbon, and Paris was one of the two must-dos, I set up an itinerary that had me travel from Amsterdam to Paris via train, so Brussels was a natural stop. To get to Lisbon from Paris is a distance so I knew I would fly. Looking at a map, Spain lies in between Paris and Lisbon and I chose Barcelona over Madrid because it gave me a chance to see the Mediterranean. The entire trip was over two weeks, so a whirlwind but a great introduction to the continent. If I were to do it over and if I had the same itinerary, I would go with one additional week or cut back to 3 cities tops.

I'm interested to what others' experiences were.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 11:34 AM
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My first trip was courtesy of the US Army. My spouse requested, & we were fortunate to get, assigned to Germany.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 12:58 PM
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My first trip as an adult was to Switzerland (to ski), Venice and Paris. I went with a friend and we had a great time.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 12:59 PM
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Malta for Christmas with my then-boyfriend and his parents, but I grew up in the UK and was still living there.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 01:01 PM
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50 years ago, I stopped in Paris on my way to Israel where my sister was living at the time. I fell in love with Paris and caught the itch to travel!

I can't believe I can say "50 years ago!"
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
50 years ago, I stopped in Paris on my way to Israel where my sister was living at the time. I fell in love with Paris and caught the itch to travel!

I can't believe I can say "50 years ago!"
progol, I say 42 years ago, when my husband was posted as a lowly third secretary to the Indian mission in Paris. I was a raw 21 and enrolled at the Sorbonne, we stayed five years and thus started my continuing love affair with France…
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by geetika View Post
progol, I say 42 years ago, when my husband was posted as a lowly third secretary to the Indian mission in Paris. I was a raw 21 and enrolled at the Sorbonne, we stayed five years and thus started my continuing love affair with France…
Geetika, what a wonderful way to be exposed to France!

I was 18 years old when I visited my sister; is it really possible that it's 50 years ago?!
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 04:43 PM
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My first trip to Europe was the "Grand Tour". I had the whole summer off to visit all the cities I had dreamed of my whole life. My friend and I visited Paris, Lucerne, London, Venice, Florence, Rome, Nice, Sorrento, and the surrounding areas. We had Eurail passes and while we had specific destinations in mind we were flexible with our time and places and didn't stick to any particular schedule. I did pretty much the same thing the following year with several additional destinations - Geneva, Amsterdam, Zurich, Interlaken, Weisbaden, La Spezia, Portofino, Santa Margherita, Zermatt and a few others.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 12:26 AM
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My first adult "trip" to Europe was 1977-78, as a student in Paris, when I was 22. I didn't get back until I was stationed in Germany 1982-85.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 05:38 AM
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Our first trip was a sailboat Mediterranean cruise on the Windsurf in Sept. 2001. We left from Rome & visited several places. When we were in Nice we returned to a van in the late afternoon to hear about the attack on the twin towers in NYC. It was hard to believe what we were hearing. At that time the sailboat only broadcast print news on our TV’s. The next day we were in Portofino and saw the horror on TV’s in a bar.

Returning to Rome, our flight home changed in Paris and we thankfully had booked 4 days in what would turn out to be our favorite city in the world. No flights were going into the US so many travelers were stuck in place. The French people were so kind and gracious. They would hug us and give their concern over what was happening in our country.

In those 4 days we fell in love with Paris and have returned 15 more times also adding many trips to other parts of France and other cities in Europe. People ask why we return to Paris so often and we always say that yes the city I beautiful and offers so many things to see, but mostly it’s because of the way we feel when we are there.

My last visit to Paris and the French Riviera was in Oct/Nov of 2019 and will definitely return as soon as this dreaded Covid pandemic allows.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 05:46 AM
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My first trip to Europe was London on my honeymoon in 1986.

We originally booked our honeymoon to Hawaii, but after the US bombed terrorist targets in Libya in March of 1986, European tourism tanked. Suddenly traveling to London was affordable for us. Because of some work connections, we were able to get a really amazing rate at the Inn on the Park for 10 days. It was a magical trip -- lots of shows (Cats - meh; Chess; and Starlight Express -- loved it!), tea service in the hotel lobby, and finally seeing many of the iconic buildings on my bucket list.

35 years later, my husband has ended up with a job in the travel industry, we've had some fantastic experiences, and we still love London just as much!

Cheers,
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 06:04 AM
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One of the many regrets I have in my life is that for no good reason we waited until I was nearly 50 to take our first trip to Europe. Our first trip was going to be our “once in a lifetime” trip to Europe for my wife and I so we picked Italy and set up an agenda to see as much as possible.

We flew to Rome, rented a car at the airport and spent a week at an agriturismo near Panzano visiting several nearby towns in that area of Tuscany including an overnight in Florence in the middle of the week. At the end of the week we turned in the car near the train station in Florence and took a train to Venice where we spent a few days. We then flew from Venice to Naples, rented a car at the airport and had a wild and crazy drive to Positano where we spent a few days (the car never left the hotel garage). Drove to the train station in Naples, turned in the car and took a train to Rome where we spent a few days before flying home.

This trip was back in the pre-internet days so guidebooks, phone calls and faxes were what I used to set up our reservations. It was also before gps was widely available and I was just incredibly naïve to think I could drive in and out of Florence and Naples using not-very-good maps. Unbelievably everything actually worked out pretty well. It was and still is the best vacation of our life. We were in awe of everything that we saw. As a matter of fact, we loved it so much we set up another trip to Italy the very next year. So much for our once in a lifetime trip to Europe. Since then, we have been to 10 other countries on several visits to Europe and can’t wait to see more.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 07:04 AM
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Also on TWA, 1969 to London with 2 college friends after our first year of teaching. After London, we drove our rental car to Stratford-upon-Avon, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Our hotel in London had a shower stall in the room!
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 07:40 AM
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1970 -- my second year of teaching. The Ohio Education Association offered a one week trip to Malaga Spain over Easter. Round trip chartered airline from Columbus, a week in a luxury beachfront hotel, and two meals per day, plus a lot of extras. The total price was $199. We did day trips to Granada, Seville, and Tangiers for about $25 each. The following year the offer was a week over Christmas to Lucerne, Switzerland but the price jumped to $299! But I went anyway!
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
50 years ago, I stopped in Paris on my way to Israel where my sister was living at the time. I fell in love with Paris and caught the itch to travel!

I can't believe I can say "50 years ago!"
-----------------

You are waaay to young looking to ever be 68 !!!

Are you sure it was 50 years ago
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 08:06 AM
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My first trip to Europe, touring, was to

England Scotland Wales and Ireland.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 09:04 AM
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Got on this Wardair 707 at Vancouver in 1972 and got off ten hours later at Prestwick airport in western Scotland, on my way to grad school in Edinburgh. I remember seeing the Hebrides from the plane - impossibly green in a vast blue ocean. Thus it began....


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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 09:28 AM
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My first trip to Europe was to Rome, Paris and London with my now Mother-in-law. A local bank was giving a way tickets to Europe if you make a deposit. The connections were horrible, long layovers. My love affair with Europe started when I was a little girl.
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