Mike-Ward.Net

Travel in Europe has its Ups and Downs

On occasion, I travel to Europe on business for my day job (Blue Onion Software is my hobby, not my living, bummer). Travel in Europe is really easy compared to what is was say 20 years ago. English is spoken in most major urban areas and if you are the least bit linguistically inclined, you can figure out the signage in short time.

Still there are those little cultural differences that sneak up on you from time to time. The one that caused me a bit of confusion were the arrows on signs. In the US, an arrow pointing upwards indicates “straight ahead”. In Europe, an arrow pointing downwards, indicates “straight ahead”. It’s a little thing but several times I found myself a little disoriented (especially in airports). This did get me wondering what an upwards arrow means in Europe. Likely it means up like in up-the-stairs but I’m not entirely sure since I don’t remember seeing one.

I’m interested in what others have found in their foreign travels that is a bit different than what we expect here in the states.

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