Ease Of Travel, Big Beers & Better Airports
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
No place is perfect and that certainly goes for the good ‘ol US of A.
But some places do things better than we do, and this American lists his 10 area in which Europe surpasses the USA, including a couple that are the equivalent of blowouts in sports.
1.) European Transportation
The Europeans have us whipped when it comes to public transportation. Heck, with the train system, they have us beat on all transportation, It’s a way of life for them and it’s easy, simple, cheap and efficient. Americans, of course, travel everywhere in a car or an airplane.
Traveling in Europe – within a city or a region or from country to country – is a pleasurable experience, part of the joy of being in Europe. In America, it’s a chore.
2.) The European Coolness Factor
Europeans are, for the most part, cooler than us Americans. They have an air of sophistication to them that’s not present here. For instance, they are the only people on Earth who can get away with wearing those little square glasses and not look foolish.
Even the most ardent American has to admit that when going around Europe things are just, well, cool. It’s hard to put your finger on it and it’s not one thing, but we can’t comprehend of things being centuries old, of trying to decide where you want to be going next while standing in a busy train station, of rolling through different countries as we do different counties, of plopping down at a sidewalk cafe and having a waitress in Halloween barmaid costume bring you a huge beer in a heavy glass mug.
3.) European’s Magnificent & Historic Buildings
Walk around European cities and you see fantastic, super-detailed architecture on nearly every building. Many of those buildings are several hundred years old. In America, we consider something an old building if it was built in the 1970s.
At least our stadium designers have gone away from those awful multi-use stadiums and are building things with some old-school neighborhood character.
4.) Drinking In Public In Europe
Europe has us licked so bad on this one, it’s the equivalent of a mismatch in American football – Alabama against UC-Chattanooga, Florida State against Savannah State, the Patriots against the Tampa Bay.
In Europe, you can drink in the streets. Heck, in Zurich, there’s a guy selling ice-cold beers right on the street, like a guy with peanuts at an American baseball game. In the USA, PubClub.com is aware of only cities in which you can legally drink in the streets: Las Vegas, New Orleans and Savannah, Ga.
We have this fourth on our list. It should probably be #1.
5.) Big Beers
Europeans have beer drinking down the way beer drinking should be done, quite frankly. The drink it largely from the tap and in big mugs. Huge mugs. Thick glass mugs. They also have real pints; here we have the “American pint” which is about two ounces less than a pint in Europe. And many bars don’t even serve beers in those pint glasses – it might be in a plastic cup.
6.) Big Beers With Lunch
On PubClub.com’s first trip to Munich, we settled down for a sausage the size of a baseball bat at lunch and ordered a German beer in one of those Oktoberfest-sized mugs. After taking an “ahhh” drink, we looked around and everyone was drinking those big beers.
I’m sure they were going back to work but this is just what they do in Europe. Have a big beer – any beer or alcohol – with your lunch in America and you’ll risk going straight from your office to the unemployment office.
7.) Walking In Europe
European cities are great for walking – there’s so much to see and places to stop that zooming past in a car is just the wrong way to go about it. There’s always a central train station and cars are a nuisance rather than a necessity.
Americans, by contrast, never walk anywhere. People will even drive around for 10 minutes to find a parking spot by the door (even when going to the health club!) and are even too lazy to walk 10 yards return shopping carts to the stores, often leaving them in parking spaces or in the middle of the lot.
8.) The Conveniences Of Europe
America may be the land of the convenience store but we have to drive everywhere – often making four or five stops miles apart from one another – to experience that convenience. In Europe, because the cities are the centerpiece of everything, you can get whatever you need on foot, kind of zig-zagging your way from one place to another place.
You can achieve more in one hour in Europe – shopping for little necessities, buying and mailing a postcard – than you can in three hours in America. As a bonus, in Europe you can stop for several large beers while your at it!
9.) The Close Proximity Of Destinations In Europe
In Europe, you can be skiing in the Swiss Alps one weekend and sunning on a Mediterranean beach the next. Or drinking beer in Munich for lunch and wine in Paris for dinner. The distance of desirable destinations to one another is a matter of a few hours on a train or often just a couple on a plane.
America, because it’s so huge, requires extensive travel to get from one place to another. The closest we have to having nearly everything in a relatively compact area is California.
10.) The Airports Are Better In Europe Than In The USA
The first time an American goes to a European airport, the impression is one of awe.
First of all, they are quiet. You almost feel as if you have to whisper when you talk to someone.
They are also sparkling. There’s not a piece of trash anywhere, the floors and windows looked as if they were polished just for your arrival and every part of it glistens. And they have employees who not only smile at you, they seem to actually be enjoying their job.
They are also modern, at least for the most part. And they have interesting entertainment – a jazz pianist in Zurich, a beer garden in Munich, a brothel in Amsterdam (well, that one never materialized but just the thought of it is interesting to contemplate).
American airports are mostly old, run down and are staffed by people who clearly don’t want to be there as evidenced by their grumpy attitude.