There’s a lively debate going on among scientists as to when the continent of Europe was first populated. We know for certain that modern humans have been in Europe for at least 45,000 years, but recent discoveries in parts of Russia indicate that these people may have been there much, much longer. There’s no doubt however, that Europe’s history, ancient and modern, is fascinating stuff.
The major events that shaped modern Europe also had a huge impact on the rest of the world. New ways of thinking regarding art, politics, religion, commerce, science, and philosophy are all the result of the Renaissance and Reformation periods. The colonization of other parts of the world made European influence a dominant global force.
As a result, Europe is a hugely popular destination for tourists. From the prehistoric mystery of England’s Stonehenge to the still unfinished Sagrada de Familia in Barcelona, there is no shortage of amazing places to visit. Over 15,000 museums chronicle the achievements of scientists, artists, explorers, and politicians who helped shape our modern world. Many people visit Europe to unearth their personal family history since most people have roots and even living relatives there.
But you wouldn’t want to spend all your time in museums, when there is so much more to see and do. Cruise the scenic fjords in Scandinavia, take a winery tour in Tuscany, explore the magnificent castles along the Rhine River, or sunbathe on the French Riviera – no one can be bored on a vacation to Europe.
You’ll definitely want to take some time to get to know the local people and traditions that make each location unique. Autumn would be a great time to visit Germany and Austria to experience Oktoberfest. A visit to Turkey should include a performance of the Whirling Dervishes (and of course a meal of moussaka and ouzo!) Where better to watch a Shakespearian play than the Globe Theater in London? Gondola ride…Venice. Parasailing…Malta. And no matter which country you visit you’ll encounter wonderful European cuisine that has influenced food favorites worldwide.
A trip to Europe is one you’ll remember forever whether your focus is history, art, photography or food and wine.