Day 21. Upon arriving in Chicago, we have been given a moment to relax, eat, and reflect upon what we have just finished. We feel happy, relieved, sad that it’s over, fulfilled, and proud of achieving the successful planning and enactment of what, to some, would be seen as a logistical nightmare. We are so grateful for the opportunities we have been given, the things we have seen, the people we have met, the stories we will always have to share, and the fun we have had together. I hope that you have all had some fun reading along and feel that you have seen the world with us. We have taken a total of 1,955 pictures over the last three weeks, so if you ever have a few hours and want “the whole story,” feel free to see us for what would surely be more fun for us to tell than for you to hear. Thank you for your interest, we will see you soon with stories in tow. As we have heard in the last 21 days: Slan, Auf Wiedersehen, Arrivederci, Adio, Comiat, Adios, and Goodbye until our next journey.
Brandon and Mary
As a bonus (and because we had some free time) we combined our two lists and came up with our top-ten favorite experiences:
Laying on the Beach in Barcelona
Seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Walking La Rambla/ Seeing La Boqueria
Eating Local Cuisine everywhere we went
10. Panoramas- It seemed like everywhere we went in every city, there was some high up place from which to capture an amazing view of the city, as seen by the great panoramas that Brandon has been able to make. We couldn’t have asked for better sights to see.
9. Football at the Brandenburger Tor- This was one of those “Right place at the right time” things. Two german football teams were competing for the final championship title and they were broadcasting it live at the Brandenburger Tor. We stood there in the rain watching FC Bayern for the win.
8. Strativarius- We weren’t exactly sure what we were getting into buying these tickets, but we were able to see a large collection of some of the best violins ever made played in concert. The imtimate atmosphere of the Berlin Philharmonic Auditorium was really cool too.
7. Tower of London- This is the longest running military tradition in the world. We planned way ahead to get these exclusive tickets and were able to watch the entire ceremony and hear the famous phrase, “Halt, who comes there?”
6. Hanging out in Rome- An all-encompassing phrase like this is necessary here because this city was just so amazing. We loved just sitting by the Trevi Fountain, enjoying the Piazza del Popolo, or riding Segways in the park. The city all around was really a great place to be.
5. The Phantom of the Opera- A spontaneous purchase just hours before the show, we are so glad we did it. The show was of course incredible, but we got to see it in the theatre where it premiered. How cool is that?
4. Lycabettus Hill- For a short ride up a tunneled funicular, the view was well worth it. It was our first night in Athens and what a way to see it. We watched the sun set over the city and the acropolis, something we never thought we’d see.
3. Il Papa- By a strange series of events, we were taken down very specific roads that led us right to the Pope. Yes, we spent the whole morning in the Vatican but where did we see the Pope? In the middle of the east side of Rome. It was unbelievable.
2. Roman Ruins- There was a lot of explore here. All the history behind the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill was an entire morning of incredible sights.
1. Bullfight- We saw a bullfight in Spain during the big festival of bullfights. This was truly an experience unlike any other. We got lucky with some great seats, got to see some great matadors and enjoyed another experience we’ll never forget.