b'T H E N E W Are you ready for it?Having been born in Europe, I natu-rallyhaveaper-sonal attraction to this great continent. Ihavealsohad thegoodfortune JONATHAN VAN BILSEN of having travelled theredozensof times. Lately however, I have noticed changes taking place, mainly in the name of safety, because the threat of insecurity is very high in the major cities on the European continent.I am a huge believer in making travel as safe as possible, and European cities are certainly winning the battle. Unfortu-nately this comes at a hefty price, which delves into the econo- The Eiffel Tower is now surrounded by a massive, bulletproof my of nations, and sacri ces in infrastructure. glass wall.I have taken a look at some of my recent trips and com-pared them to those of several years ago. There are severalcave paintings dating back 15,000 years ago. They are no lon-changes, which you should be aware of when travelling toger accepting reservations, making it next to impossible to visit. Europe. This will ensure you have a pleasant visit, seeing asIf you want to see these prehistoric wonders, you will need to much as possible.nd tour guides who have tickets, and book at least 6 months Paris, the city of love, is still an amazing place to visit; how- in advance. ever, a massive, bulletproof glass wall now surrounds the EiffelLisbon, Portugal has fantastic, classic trolley cars, which are Tower. This is for security, and the only way you can enter isa must for tourists. Unfortunately they have become a haven with a prepaid ticket, which I would suggest you get in advance.for pickpockets, due to their overcrowding. A good alternative I would also recommend you give yourself an extra 30 minutesis the newly restored line 24E. The sights along this route are to go through the screening process. Tickets to visit the summitnot as great, but the crowds are much less, and consequently (upper observation deck) are no longer available at the tower.much safer, and it still gives you the trolley experience.Buy them in advance, online. You may have heard construction on Barcelonas famous Still in France, the famous Dordogne caves, which featureSagrada Familia Church, by Antoni Gaudi is going to resume after a ten-year hiatus. Construction began in 1882 and was halted in 2010. Completion is expected in 2026; however, when you arrive at the ticket of ce you will see a sign that reads No more tickets today. Buy your tickets for another day online. This is becoming the norm in Spain, and I would recommend you purchase entrance tickets to most sights well in advance.Berlin is a city with much history, especially surrounding the Cold War. The DDR Museum, which showcases life in East Germany prior to the fall of the wall, is one of Germanys most visited exhibition halls. Advance tickets are a must, or you willyourself on the outside looking in. Also, while in Berlin,nd remember, you will need to show your passport if you want to enter the Reichstag (German parliament).Two of my favourite castles in Germany are King Ludwigs Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. I fortunately found out in time that reserved tickets must be picked up 90 minutes be-fore entry. This causes a lengthy (and boring) delay, but there is nothing you can do about it. You can visit Maria Bridge, for Tickets for Barcelonas Sagrada Familia are no longer available at the door. Please turn to page 40FOCUS - AUGUST 201939'