Americans, What Surprised You the Most When Visiting Europe?

baggageRedditor Hika-Tamari asked "Americans of Reddit, what surprised you when you visited Europe?" Here are some of the more interesting answers:

Chippedcoffeemug:

The Italian's way of driving. Never in anytime of my life was I more paranoid of being hit by a moped.

RandomWomanNo2:

I first went to Europe as a twelve-year-old kid, and I was shocked by how OLD everything was. Here, a church that's a hundred years old seems ancient, but in Europe you really do have ancient structures. The sense of centuries and millennia of well-recorded history having played out everywhere I went was sort of crazy. Obviously, we have ancient Native American history, but where I'm from that part of our culture isn't always evident.

And nudity! It was often no big thing in advertisements and television. Not so in America, where a single stray nipple can practically bring down the whole television system.

I also also surprised how much of the landscape reminded me of home. I'm from the American midwest and sections of Germany and Ireland looked just like I was driving through home. But then I'd see some small stone wall that had been around for centuries and I'd be reminded how different the landscape is!

yunith:

how everyone uses normal speaking voices, and how loud i am as an American.

_I_might_be_naked:

People in Scotland (Specifically Glasgow) are the nicest I've ever met, seriously. People would have friendly conversations with you at bus stops, and one person even lent me £2 spare cash at a gas station for petrol. It seems to be 90% of people there are like that. Very unusual.

Neatoramanauts, if you've traveled in Europe, what surprised you about it?

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So naïve, but I was shocked by just how many tourists there are at every tourist attraction. It's obvious that there would be a lot of people, but I wasn't prepared for the amount. Was insane.

How absolutely boring Venice is. It's pretty at first, but once you've been walking around it for a couple of hours, everything looks the same and you get tired of seeing the same touristy crap shops.

Trying to find a decent public bathroom is impossible.

Italians are frickin crazy ass drivers. I thought I was going to die numerous times while a friend drove us around.
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When I stayed in a lovely hotel in Covent Garden there was a little hole in the wall diner we would walk to in the mornings for breakfast. They had this huge machine - sort of like an extra large espresso machine - that steam scalded your tea. No boiling water or tea bag in sight anywhere. They were the best cups of tea I have ever had in my life.
If you go to Loch Ness avoid the eastern end. It's all built up and there's an annoying boat that goes back and forth all day long 'looking for Nessie'. Go to the mid and western end and you'll find it undeveloped and lonely looking and utterly lovely. The water looks like a storm cloud, all deep dark purple but get in the water and it's crystal clear and as cold as Lake Superior. That's very cold!
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Our last trip was to Ireland. How much like the Pacific Northwest -- the latitude, cool wet weather, and acid soil, and therefore the plant life, only more intensely colored. The friendliness of the people, their cultural and political astuteness, their irrepressible sense of humor, the lilting lyrical quality of their language, their historical resilience, and of course, the music. The surprising part was how much at home I felt; it was so easy to fall in love with that country. We're going to go to Scotland next.
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