Welcome to the Nouse Travel Europe guide 2008
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” G. K. Chesterton’s quote sums up for me what real travelling is all about: going somewhere not with a strict plan or itinerary in mind, but rather with a desire to see, experience, and understand as much as possible.
My mother is the absolute worst for planning out every second of her holiday; from sights to see to places to eat, very little is left to chance. I blame guidebooks for a large part of this irritating tendency. With so many to choose from, and with all providing seemingly exhaustive lists of everything that every destination in the world has to offer, it is hard to resist the temptation to read ahead and form day by day plans in your head. The result is hundreds of blinkered, backpack-toting, camera-clutching figures gliding through streets, noses buried in books, furiously muttering under their breath about grid-references and page numbers.
Don’t get me wrong, guidebooks definitely have their use. For practical information on even the most obscure places and often life-saving maps, a guide is exactly what you need when stuck somewhere wondering when that bus is next going to come, and whether you can even afford it. Just try not to forget the liberating power of exploration. Try that slightly grubby looking restaurant that isn’t given a mention; making your own discoveries is what travel is all about. Plus, any listings or entries are mostly only representative of a single person’s opinion; a deeply boring museum for one person can be the starting point of a passion for another.
This supplement is an attempt to inspire rather than instruct. From the features to the guide, hopefully you can find something within these pages to fill those long summer weeks. We have also chosen to do an exclusively European travel supplement (rather than one on the world) to encourage people to open their eyes to what is right on their doorstep.
Europe is a vast continent; geographically, socially and politically diverse beyond belief. From the icy lakes of Scandinavia to the classical gourmet of the Mediterranean; from the wholesome Bavarian heartiness of the Germanic world to the giddy political landscape of the Balkans, Europe still possesses the power to surprise and entertain. Just because it’s close doesn’t mean it should be written off, and just because you think you know what to expect, doesn’t mean you’re right.
It is also ridiculously cheap to get to, and even cheaper to enjoy once there, if you know where to go. All of which make for the perfect student traveling ground. Accordingly, every entry in the guide attempts to point the reader in the direction of destinations you might not normally consider, or even have heard of, and all on a student budget.
So go explore, and remember the immortal words of Saint Augustine, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.