A Preview Of The US In Europe
The United States of America has always been related to the word “bigger” in my mind. It’s probably because things in the USA are bigger than what we’ve got in Europe: the schools, the houses, the cars, the cities, the bottles of orange juice, etcetera.
Anyway, the USA is legendary and the American dream has passed through everyone’s mind at least once in their lifetime. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get there. It gets pretty expensive with the visa, the plane tickets, the accommodation, and so on. Besides, it’s way easier for a European student like me (or people studying in Europe) to plan a last-minute weekend in the Schengen area than go to the USA. So, while you put money aside for your real journey to the United States, here are five places in Europe that can act as a ‘preview’ of a few famous places in the USA.
WHAT ABOUT A NICE PHOTO IN FRONT OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS?
Travel south to Portugal and go to Lisbon. Once in the capital, go down to the Tagus Bank to reach the 25 de Abril Bridge. Choose your angle and take your selfie! The 25 de Abril is mainly compared to the Golden Gate Bridge because they are both suspension bridges and their bright red color is quite similar. But guess which one is the biggest? The American one of course (by about 460 meters)!
NOTHING’S COOLER THAN SURF VIBES
After the cool selfie, go up to the North of Spain in the Basque country and enjoy the good vibes of the sea. Surf was born in Hawaii and then has evolved on the American west coast. Okay fine, you can’t find a European equivalent of Hawaii, but we definitely still have good waves in Europe (smaller than their American counterparts, of course) on the Atlantic coast. I bet when you go there, you could almost feel the warm sun of California. Check out beaches like Mundaka, San Sebastian, Vizcaya… where the waves can reach up to five meters high. Plus, these surf spots are suit to surfers at all learning stages, thanks to the range of waves they provide. Let’s practice and impress everyone in Malibu!
TAKE A WALK IN THE COLORADO
Once you became a professional in surfing, hit the road again towards the south of France. The Rustrel Colorado in Provence are ancient ocher mines located at about 60 kilometers from Avignon. The site extends over thirty hectares and is very colorful. Take the time to imagine yourself in the US and once again take a photo to fool your friends!
JOIN THE MAGIC IN DISNEY LAND
Head to Paris, France as joyfully as you would in Orlando, Florida. Disney Land Paris is probably not even a third of the size of Disney World, but you can definitely meet Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses. If you’re more interested in the rollercoasters, I’ve heard that Space Mountain is faster in Paris than in Orlando, so it could make you wait until you have enough money to get to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Park (I can’t wait either).
FINISH YOUR ROAD TRIP IN NEW YORK
Well… in reality, you stay in Paris and go looking for one of the five small Statue of Liberty’s there, including the real one. Confused? Let me explain. The sculptor Auguste Bartholdi made the first Statue of Liberty at 2.8 meters high (and, as it’s the first one, it’s the real one). This Statue is now at the Arts et Metiers museum in Paris and a perfect replica is set in front of the museum. Then, Bartholdi made another one four times bigger and, again, another one four times bigger, which is the Statue of Liberty standing in NYC today. The most famous replica in Paris is set on Swan Island, not far from the Eiffel Tower. It is 11.5 meters high (the height of the first enlargement) and is made of bronze. Two other replicas are located at the Orsay Museum. Choose your favorite, say “cheese”, click the camera icon and that’s a wrap!
See, rather than going from San Francisco to New York, you actually went from Lisbon to Paris. That’s a shorter journey, with smaller cities and tinier things along the way. Though, I like to think of Europe as cuter.