Observations while traveling in Europe
Traveling can be a beneficial learning experience. Not all countries provide services or solve problems using the same methods. Following are some observations:
In all of the cities and towns that we visited there was a substantial use of bicycles for common transportation. Also, the prevalence of electric power assisted bikes is increasing.
In the downtown sector of one town the public transport was with Electric buses.
Historic downtowns remain busy & vital with retail businesses on the ground floor and accommodation on the levels above. In some cases, restaurants are located in what used to the back yards between buildings with access via alley ways.
There is extensive use of round-abouts and traffic circles rather than stop signs and traffic signals.
Petrol & Propane gas hybrid cars and trucks are a popular cost containment option. Gas is very expensive usually costing double the cost in the US.
In one hotel’s bathroom the bathroom door served double duty. It could be used for bathroom access as well as to close off the area occupied by the commode!
One hotel had a self-service kiosk for guest check in & key room key issuing.
Trains coverage is extensive. They are reliable, fast, inexpensive and comfortable. The one we rode on was electric powered.
Rest areas were no more than 10 miles apart on the motorways.
When there was a traffic slow down or backup on the motorway the cars in the right-hand lane would move onto the shoulder, but keep moving slowly. The cars in the left-hand lane would all move to the extreme left side of that lane. This a allowed a center access lane for police & emergency vehicles if needed.
Not all of the EU countries have been granted the right to adopt the EU currency. There are economic conditions that must be met. In these countries the EU is still accepted by most shops but the US$ is not.
Taxes are always including in the selling price (not added on) and tipping is either included in the price or optional.