Western Europe

I've visited every country in Western Europe before blogs existed. Therefore, you won't find a blog about each one, only on the countries I have re-visited recently.

I'll confess. Technically I haven't been to ALL the countries in Europe. I still have to go to Iceland (most of the island is in the European continent).

I've visited all the other European countries at least twice. This section covers the Western European ones.

In August 2012, Aline Diolina of French American TV interviewed me for her show. There are two videos:

  1. The first video is 100% in French (no subtitles, sorry).
  2. The second video is English in the first 8 minutes, and then switches to French for the final 22 minutes (again, no subtitles). 

We discuss my adventures of walking across America four times and traveling over three years in Eastern Europe. 


Skip the first 60 seconds of the video below, because it's a rocky start. The video begins in English and then switches to French at 8:20.

Learn more about my books, my 3-year trip to Eastern Europe, and my upcoming trip to Africa.

Venice is my favorite city in the world. Yeah, there's lots of tourists, but there's a good reason for that: Venice is awesome. That's why tourists don't flock to Hayward, California.

Also, you can avoid the crowds by going to parts of Venice that are less popular. Parts of the main island (far from Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal) have almost no tourists. Murano and Burano are also somewhat quiet. And the other islands, like St. Eramus, are almost dead.

Below are 27 photos of Venice, but first, enjoy this slide show video!

(If you are in Germany, you won't be able to see this video because of the soundtrack restrictions. So watch the Vimeo version, which appears after the 27 photos.)

If you're learning to do photography, Venice is perfect. A blind guy could take stunning photos in Venice. I'm not blind, but here are some photos to motivate you to visit, or revisit Venice.

Gondolas driving the tourists through the Grand Canal


Fois Gras is classy European cuisine

Part 5 of 5 of the "What Can Americans Teach Europeans" series

Snobby Europeans love to say that Americans have “no cuisine, no culture, no history.” Let’s refute this belief. We’ll begin with food. First, Americans brought hamburgers and Coca-Cola to the world. The French (and many others) will immediately sniff and say, “That doesn’t count.” Really? And foie gras does? That’s a dish that is prepared by force-feeding a poor duck. Now that’s really classy and sophisticated. Big Macs start looking like haute cuisine.

America has European quality cuisine: like French fries
Moreover, America’s unique cuisine doesn’t end with a cheeseburger and a Coke. We’ve either invented or popularized banana splits, brownies, buffalo wings, cheese steaks, corn dogs, cotton candy, corn on the cob, doughnuts, fried chicken, fudge, garden burgers, grits, hot dogs, ice cream cones, Jell-O, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, onion rings, pancakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pecan pie, popcorn, Popsicles, potato chips, Rice Krispie treats, root beer float, shoofly pie, sloppy joe, submarine sandwiches, and of course, the Twinkie. Not only does this list prove that Americans have plenty of dishes that are uniquely ours, but this list also explains why we are so incredibly fat.

Obviously, American cuisine isn’t the most nutritious cuisine on the planet. The point is that we invented plenty of dishes. Besides, it’s impossible to find any national cuisine that is 100 percent healthy. Since the Japanese live the longest, they have arguably the best diet around. However, even the Japanese eat plenty of deep-fried foods and white rice. And they often wash it down with beer or sake. Yes, Americans have one of the least healthy diets on the planet; on the other hand, I’ve never found a country that can make salads that are as delicious as the ones you can find in California. Finally, America is better than any other country at welcoming (and eating) exotic food from all over the world. Try finding non-Italian cuisine in Italy.

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