Plan Ahead – Part 1: Where To?

My wife, Jennifer, and I are just itching to get traveling again. For me, traveling is an addiction. I just can’t get enough. Toss in some good food and great sites and I may never come back home to Texas.

Over the next handful of posts I’ll be bringing to you ways to make your next adventure something to remember, while also taking some of the stress out of it.

The best way to begin is simply by making a list. Actually sitting down and putting ink to paper, or typing whichever, will help connect you to begin your travels.Make_a_ListAll plans must begin somewhere so why not start now? Ask yourself, “Where do I want to go?” With this page being dedicated to Europe, especially those countries once incorporated into the Roman Empire, there are tons of places waiting to be explored in reverse by us Americans. So where to?

For Jenn and I the idea of going to Paris didn’t just come to us. We are both a bit nerdy awesome when it comes to reading. Our home is full of books. From all of our collective reading came ideas of where we’d want to go if we had the chance.

I know I could probably spend years upon years in Rome, or at least Southern Italy, and never tire of it. But since we were just in Italy it was my turn to compromise on the location.

Jenn & I both like the islands and beaches, with that carefree Jimmythree-stooges-toga Buffett-lifestyle but these islands lack a certain passion and history that Europe has. Plus the Romans never made it to the Bahamas. I don’t know if this is what the outcome would have been, I’m just glad we didn’t live in a world that would’ve let this crime against The Empire happen.

Simply narrowing our trip down to “Europe” did not really do much better. Basically I just knew Italy was out. What Jenn & I did was ask ourselves “Where would we go if this was the last trip we could ever take?” We don’t plan on leaving the planet anytime soon unless space travel becomes extremely affordable, but we wanted to make sure we knocked someplace very memorable off our proverbial Bucket List.

After much discussion and lots of back-and-forth we came to a conclussion. We decided it was time to see France. More specifically, it was time to visit Paris, The City of Lights. This time is was not going be through a movie screen. My Grandpa, Charles Carlberg, made his way through here during WWII. Jenn’s grandmother Meme was born not too far from Paris, so there is a personal connection for us both.

Eiffel tower (3)

Part 1 – Where To? has now been accomplished. It’s written down for us. Have you decided where you want to journey? Is it Paris too? Was it Rome? Maybe London? How about Athens? Wherever it is make sure to write it down yourself. The adventure is real and it’s only just begun.

Coming Up…Plan Ahead – Part 2: What to See? What to Do?

Hercules: From Twelve Labours to The Rock.

Hercules 2014
Hercules easily identified in his lionskin

Unless you’ve been locked away somewhere without television or the internet, you’ve most likely seen movie trailers for the new movie “Hercules” starring Dwayne (formerly The Rock) Johnson. I love movies of this genere, shocking I know, and will go see it no matter how closely the storyline stays with the myth.

This son of a god and a mortal woman heads out to do his Twelve Labours. He goes all over Ancient Greece and even into the Underworld. After finishing the twelve, Hercules joins up with Jason and The Argonauts for more adventures.

Due to his roaming and adventures, with a lot of help from The Romans, the legend of Hercules spreads. And being a demigod makes him a worthwhile being to worship.

Temple of Hercules VictorIn Rome there is the best preserved TheTemple of Hercules Victor, Hercules the Winner. The longstanding is partly due to the early Roman Catholic Church converting into a church. It is located on the Forum Boarium near the Tiber River. The design is very Greek in nature with its 20 Corinthian columns.

Hercules Monument - Kassel, GermanyAs we travel north from Italy into Germania, we arrive at the town of Kassel. Although construction did not begin until 1696, The Hercules is another historical site to behold. Named at first for just the statue of our hero the name now encompasses the entire monument. I realize this was not around during Roman times, but it just seemed to good to pass up.

Now we turn our travels west and head for Roman Britain. Our stop will be in Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, England. It is 188070-9891-150here in this rural area of the United Kingdom that we shall come across a statue dedicated to Hercules. In the Provincia Britannia there was a push to be as Roman as possible since the citizens there were farthest away from the heart of the empire. Amulets of Hercules’s Club were worn by followers of the hero spreading into the far reaches of the empire between the 2nd and 3rd century.

Since Hercules was half mortal and half god, only half of himHercules Andalucia could possibly die. When the mortal part finally perished the people of Hispania were all too happy to build what they claim to be the Tomb of Hercules. This is located in modern Cadiz, Spain.

Moving into southern Spain to the Iberian Penninsula we’ll come across The Pillars of Hercules. To the north is peak entering the Straits of Gilbraltar. In North Africa, which is actually the southern portion, is Morocco.

The European Pillar of HerculesThe North African Pillar of HerculesOn the left is The European Pillar of Hercules, the Rock of Gibraltar. On the right is Jebel Musa, the North African Pillar of Hercules.

As you can see once you achieve mythic status your legend will range far and wide. Here we are in the modern day and yet we still look back upon an ancient hero. I hope you enjoyed the journey with Hercules as we traveled from The Twelve Labours to The Rock.

Don’t Wait in the Eternal City

When my wife and I visited Rome, aka The Eternal City, there was just so much to see and do we did not know really where to start. We had searched for places online, received ideas from family friends having already been there, television shows, etc. And that was a great jumping off point.

Knowing a bit before hand really proved quite helpful when we discovered the heart of what was The Roman Empire. There was one thing nobody told us about and that was getting passes for tours.

I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of waiting, even more so when there is so much to see and experience. Ask my wife or family about how impatient I get when I am excited. We had a finite amount of time and there was an almost endless list of things to enjoy. Lines and waiting just cannot factor in to this.

When one thinks of Rome, The Colosseum is what comes to mind. All the movies its starred in, all the sporting arenas attempting to copy it. It is truly amazing.

From the Arena Floor

The Colosseum has tours running all the time and from various guides. Going in with a tour group will help you bypass having to wait in line to visit Il Colosseo on your own.

The same goes for viewing the Vatican museums. Immediately around St. Peter’s Square there are lots of tour groups for various needs, all will keep you from having to wait close to two hours in line to get in.

St. Peter's Square

From sunrise past sunset there are always other tourists waiting to see all the marvels Roma has to offer. Yes, the tours cost a little more but in the end it was completely worth it.

At The Colosseum after your tour is done the tour guides want you to go visit and explore on your own. With the Vatican, you could stay with the tour or just use it as a way to skip ahead of those still waiting to get in the door.

In the end though it comes down to how much time and/or money you have. If you care to grab a tour here are a couple of sites to get you started:

Colosseum Tours

Vatican Museums Tours

What Is This?

Maybe you stumbled across this site on accident. Maybe it was on purpose. In any event you’re here. Might as well stay a spell and learn what’s here.

What is Rome Across Europe?

Rome Across Europe is mainly focused on what was the once vast Roman Empire. So basically the area what we know today as Western Europe.

What makes this site special?

Rome Across Europe is going to be a travel site where you can find various ruins or current archaeological dig sites to visit on your trip to the modern cities of what was then part of The Empire. I will also share some ideas about what you can do or see or where to eat after visiting the Roman locations.

Why do these places from an ancient time matter?

The Roman Empire strectched from the Mediterranean Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean on its western border. It encompassed what is now Italy, Vatican City, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece. The influence of Rome was felt in the Middle East and North Africa as well. From those countries I’m sure Rome Across Europe can find something or some place interesting.

Is there anything else?

Of course. You can check Rome Across Europe for a brief history on what you will be seeing, and where to look if you want more information.

As I venture out on trips myself, I will have much more to share. Planning of trips. How to get the most out of your Euro. Any secrets about getting better rooms, best ways to travel while in-country, tours, food, drinks, etc. Rome Across Europe is all about having the best trip possible without having to stress over details while venturing around Europe.

If you have a passion for Ancient Rome or are just wanting to have a good time in Europe then Rome Across Europe is for you!