Mandarin's European Chronicles

I went on a trip. It was fun. It lasted from April 20 to July 22, 1999. I took an overnight Greyhound bus from Royal Oak to Manhattan and then an overnight Virgin Atlantic flight from JFK to London Heathrow. On my return trip I took an overnight bus from Mannheim, Deutschland to London via the Channel Tunnel (Chunnel). My flight left London Gatwick and arrived at Newark International Airport later the same day. I took an overnight Greyhound back to Royal Oak.

London is five hours away from USA's eastern time zone. Freiburg is six hours away. 7pm in Freiburg would be 1pm in Troy. Freiburg's full name is Freiburg im Breisgau (pronounced Fryburg im Brize-gow). It is considered the capital of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) and is in the region called Baden-Württemberg. Troy is in North America, Barcelona is in Europe, Tanja is in Africa. Two plus two is four. If I had gone to Istanbul, Turkey and crossed the river I would have been in Asia.

I used a Sony Mavica FD-7 digital camera to take pictures. The originals were 640x480 JPEG images. I used Paint Shop Pro to resize, brighten, and rotate them. The webpage HTML was done entirely by hand using NotePad.

I set foot in fourteen European countries during the trip. There were three countries that I was in but didn't visit their capitals: I didn't make it to Edinburgh in Scotland, Bern in Schweiz, or Rabat in al-Maghreb. I passed through two more countries that I'm not counting, because I didn't get off the train in Monaco and I didn't get off the bus in Belgium.

It is interesting to note that the names England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom should not be used interchangeably. England is the country that everyone is familiar with. Great Britain (also called Britain) is the entire island, encompassing England, Scotland, and Wales. The United Kingdom covers the island of Great Britain along with Northern Ireland, for a total of four countries.

Throughout Mandarin's European Chronicles I use the name of each country in the local language. Switzerland has four official languages; I chose to use the German version of the country's name because it is the most prevalent. Location names in the local language:

España is pronounced A-spahnya. Deutschland is pronounced Doychlahnd. Schweiz is pronounced Shvites. Italia is pronounced E-tahlya. France is pronounced Frahnts.

For my concluding remarks I will just conclude by saying that in conclusion, Deutschland is the best country in Europe. Go there.

Fascinating, eh?