"The Legend of Europa" Europe by imho

Europe Travel Guide: 718,638 reviews and 1,959,110 photos

Europa, a Phoenician princess, is one of the most famous characters in Roman and Greek myth (perhaps because of the continent named after her).

Europa once dreamed of two continents: in her dream, the continent Asia argued that since Europa had been born in Asia she belonged to Asia. The other continent, which had no name, said that where Europa was born was not important, and that Zeus, or Jupiter, would give Europa to the nameless continent. The next morning, Europa went off with her companions to gather flowers by the sea. Zeus' wandering eye caught the sight of the lovely Europa, and immediately set off to woo her. Disguising himself as a beautiful white bull, Zeus approached the group, who rushed to stroke and pet the animal. When the bull lay down in front of Europa, she slid onto its back, expecting a gentle ride. Instead, the bull charged off, plunged into the sea, and swam away from the shore. Europa, realizing that the bull must be a god, pleaded with the creature for mercy. But Zeus told Europa that he loved her, and that he was taking her to Crete, where he returned to his usual shape, throwing the bull's shape into the heavens (hence the constellation Taurus). Zeus promised Europa that she would bear him many famous sons, which she did, the most renowned being King Minos, legendary ancestor of the Minoan civilization. King Charlemagne eventually named the continent which he had conquered Europe--finally giving a name to that nameless continent in Europa's dream.

(Shameless segue into my personal account...) A couple of years ago, going to Europe was just one of my pipe dreams...although I'd been planning a trip as soon as I started earning some decent money. I finally decided to go as soon as I hit 30, although it looked like that plan started to fizzle out a few months before my birthday. But amazing things happen to (ab)normal folk like myself, and I could hardly believe it when I found myself on a flight to Germany less than a month after the big 3-0.

The memories I have of this extraordinary experience are much more vivid than any photograph I took, and I've tried to put as many thoughts down in writing (please see my travelogues on this and other pages). I just hope to keep them fresh in my mind up until the next time I get to visit this glorious continent again!

  • Last visit to Europe: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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“Vita brevis”

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