Europe is certainly a wonderful place to visit as many Canadians have roots in Europe and it was Europeans who “discovered” the “New World”.
In Europe, there is history (really old or younger) on each corner: either it is the amazing Eiffel Tower in Paris, the breathtaking Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, the interesting Coliseum of Rome, the superb Barcelona Cathedral, fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, ancient temples in Athens or incredible Jewish synagogues in Prague.
Europe is also full of art, ranging from galleries of old masters (Louvre or The National Gallery in London) to young street performers on Charles Bridge in Prague, near the place where the Berlin wall used to be, or at Montmartre in Paris.
However it is not only the history and art that is so fantastic about Europe: it is, above all, the nature combined with the atmosphere of European cities and countrysides.
The blossoming red chestnuts when you walk from the Eiffel Tower on the fields of the Champ de Mars in Paris in May; fragrance of lavender while you bike through Provence in France in August; the coo of the pigeons when you feed them on the squares in Amsterdam in April; warm summer nights when you walk along the Vltava River in Prague, listen to the music from the pubs along the river and watch the Prague Castle mirroring in the river; enjoying cold beer served by a charming German girl in Munich in October; tasting fresh bread and matured cheese sold by Swiss farmers on your way through the passes of the Alps to Italy; or listening to the thundering ocean along the west coast of the United Kingdom when you walk the coastal path and feel blue.
But for each Yukoner, Europe is a fantastic place to visit because, in Europe, we can somehow see our possible future. Fast-spreading population over Europe, cradle of the industrial revolution, bigger demands for coal and electric energy have left behind its consequences.
There are not many rivers full of fish, pristine forests full of game or smog-free air as we have here in the Yukon.
Although the European countries are trying hard to clean the rivers and get rid of the smog, it takes time and a lot of money to succeed — healing takes longer than precautions.
Europe is a unique place in the world where all Yukoners can learn about history (often, even about their own family history), but also about the mistakes of the future. We all should take a trip to Europe, enjoy the special atmosphere and learn about the history and art that so widen our horizons. But while on the trip we should be sensitive and notice the environmental problems Europe has and their attempts to fix.
So, after coming back to the Yukon, we will not take our wonderful nature for granted but will appreciate it more.