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Taste of European culture
I traveled in Europe in the order of France, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, the Vatican and Switzerland. The travel started on June 22nd and ended on July 23rd.

The original plan was to visit the infrastructure for social and industrial development in France and Germany. However, since it was difficult even for the people living in those countries to visit the industrial facilities, I thought that it would be impossible for me to approach such facilities as a foreigner. Also, in order to visit a corporation, it was necessary to have a letter of recommendation from the people concerned or celebrities, which was impossible for me. With my poor language skills, I could not even call the corporation to explain my visit. However, I still could see and experience many things. Even if I could not visit any corporation, Europe was still impressive. Therefore, I think that my visit was somewhat successful. I strongly believe that my travel opened a new way in regard to the method of traveling. Most of the traveling paths focused on the usage of public transportation. Such a type of transportation is still widely used at the moment. However, I used a car to travel in Europe for a month. It was the key point of my travel.

In fact, it is quite difficult to travel in Europe for a month by public transportation, especially when there are many bags to carry and it is necessary to keep an individual itinerary for each type of transportation. However, it was quite convenient to travel by car. I could go to any place at any time. I could change the destination at any time. The cost of traveliung by car was almost similar to traveling by public transportation. Because I used a car, I had to reduce the costs for accommodation and meals. I tried to save as much money as possible for such purposes. In terms of accommodation, I slept in a tent at the campsite for the whole month. I heard that there is not much rain in Europe during the summer period. However, I had rain for almost a half of the travel, so it was inconvenient to sleep in a tent. In terms of meals, I had noodles for breakfast, hamburgers for lunch, and black-bean-sauce noodles for dinner. If I had used hostels or lodged at private houses, I would have spent a lot of money for meals. However, I did not have to spend a lot of money for meals at the campsite. It was quite cheap to cook my own meals at the campsite, even if it was not so easy to do it. In comparison with hostels or private lodging facilities, I could save much money at the campsite. I think that even if a group of 3 to 4 people travel together, they could eat much food and save more money than using public transportation as long as they sleep at the campsite. Of course, it would be good to use public transportation and the campsite at the same time, but it would be inconvenient to carry a tent at all times. It would be difficult even for men to carry a tent.

I spent about four days in each country while traveling. Everything I saw in each European country was something to write about. The most memorable country was Switzerland. It seemed that there was no need for Switzerland to establish or construct additional facilities to attract tourists like other countries. In Switzerland, the natural environment was the tourist resource. While I was seeing the natural environment there, I thought that Korea could become successful just like them. In this country, there is a mountain train which can go up to an altitude of 4000 m. With the constant path on mountains, the train could prevent a bush fire. Also, unlike the road for cars, the rail for trains could reduce the amount of environmental pollution or the number of cases for roadkill. Their idea of using the rail for trains as a way of developing the natural resources for tourism seemed incredible. The most impressive environment-friendly facility in Paris, France was Velib. It was like the Nubija facility in Korea. Also, I visited such places as the Vatican which is the smallest country in the world, Prague, Neuschwanstein Castle, the windmill village of Zaanse Scahns, Venezia and Pompeii.

During my cultural travel, I felt that all the countries looked similar. In every place, people’s everyday lives were almost similar. One thing which I really envied was that those in the countries which I visited had the idea of regarding pedestrians as being more important than cars on the road. In Korea, it is the other way round. In those countries, cars always stopped for pedestrians even in the case of jaywalking. In Korea, drivers would stop and say mean words to the pedestrians who jaywalk in such a case. In those countries, I could not see anyone like the drivers in Korea.

Choi Jae-hoon  media@changwon.ac.kr

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