Observations from my recent travels in Europe

Bulleted list!

  • Westminster Abbey, the British National Gallery, and the British Museum are incredibly impressive.  More so for Westminster Abbey when you consider that this 850 year old structure, the “British Hall of Fame,” survived the Blitz.  In a way, that makes it more impressive to me than some of the structures we saw in Paris.
  • British candy bars are kind of awesome.  Also, wine dummies are bonkers.
  • Speaking of bonkers: Rome.  The train station Termini is straight up bonkers.  Look, I used to move through Grand Central Station every day during rush hour when I lived in New York.  Grand Central has nothing on Termini.  It probably doesn’t handle the volume Grand Central does, and it certainly isn’t as nice a building as Grand Central, but it is bonkers.  Go there and you’ll see what I mean, straight up.
  • There is so much old shit in Rome, you start to understand how nonchalant the locals are about this when you meet one who lives just 100 meters away from a 2,000 year old aqueduct.  No doubt they’re proud this stuff, but when there’s so much of it that’s been built to last, what else are you going to do other than go ahead and turn the insides of that 17th Century building into a restaurant or build that road that goes under that 1,500 year old arch downtown?  I’ve lived in New York City, which is almost 400 years old, and now reside in Baltimore, which is almost 300 years old.  These are two of the oldest cities in the New World, and they’ve got nothing on Rome.  Nothing.  And that is incredible to me.
  • Florence, Italy, is Disneyland with legit Renaissance flavor.
  • Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling exceeds the hype.
  • Michaelangelo’s David exceeds the hype.
  • Bernini is The Man, and Botticelli is kind of a chump.
  • Based on some of the rooms we saw in the Vatican Museums, with statues just kind of haphazardly and crowdedly arranged in some rooms, we suspect the Vatican has so much artwork just lying around in underground vaults that they actually have no clue how much artwork they really have.  Who knows what untold undiscovered masterpieces they have just sitting in a room somebody forgot about 1,000 years ago.
  • Also, did I mention that I think I’m immune to jet lag?

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