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Michael Topel

Wilton Manors, Florida

United States of America



Paris, Nice, Cannes <
Venice, Florence, Rome, Milan
Barcelona, Sitges, Ibiza
Istanbul, Kusadasi

Here's a good site for seniors!

Updated Currency Converter (to reflect the Euro - January 1, 2002

O.K. class, are we ready for our Arithmetic lesson today? Ah!! Stop with the whining and the boo's and bah's!!!

Well, it's only Arithmetic in a "sort of" way;....... and it's all about maybe we can make it FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

This very month, 12 (twelve) member nations have adopted, and will now begin to use only the "Euro" for cash transactions and sales. (Non cash transactions, like what goes on from bank to bank will have their deadline to convert, extended a little longer).

You've got to understand the magnitude and scope of this undertaking for Europe and the rest of the world. This is some serious stuff folks!

But what does it mean for us???

Well, to put it simply, it's now going to be a heck of a lot easier for all of us fellow travelers to shop, eat in restaurants, buy souvenirs, attraction tickets, and so on and so forth.

(This is so very true, especially if you are a "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" kind of traveler).

(This is an older movie about a tour group that speeds their way through Europe, from country to country at a record pace, you know, something like 12 countries in 8 days).

(This is exactly what I did the very first time I traveled to Europe, and believe me, the changing of money every day or two can really get you nuts).

But no more my friends. Now all you have to do is think "Euro" and U.S. Dollars!!!

Now, of course this is only for the 12 members of the Euro community, but it's actually quite a sizable proportion of the countries in Europe that makes up the community.

If you travel to any countries other than those in this market, you'll still have to use that country's individual currency, (but that's not so bad).

We really don't have the time or the space here for me to go into a full blown class on money, arbitrage, options, futures and all that stuff; but I do want to say that this new "Euro" can and will fluctuate in comparative value against the U.S. Dollar.

So unless you can do it all in your head, you'll probably still need that good old calculator to help you convert how much that bracelet or that tie actually costs in good ole American Greenbacks.

As an example, there is no need to convert first to Lire, and then from Lire to Euro. We can just skip that middle step completely, and think, "EUROs TO DOLLARS", how much?

I am installing the "Oanda" currency converter directly on this page, so you can convert to another country easily if it's necessary in your case.


By mid December, 2001 introduction of notes and coins.

January 1, 2002 new currency becomes legal tender. Old currency can no longer be used for non-cash transactions such as bank transfers and checks.

The individual currencies will remain as legal tender until the dates listed below :
German mark Dec. 31, 2001

Dutch guilder January 28, 2002

Irish punt Feb. 9, 2002

French franc Feb. 17, 2002

Austrian shilling Feb. 28, 2002

Belgian franc Feb. 28, 2002

Finnish markka Feb. 28, 2002

Greek drachma Feb. 28, 2002

Italian lire Feb. 28, 2002

Luxembourg franc Feb. 28, 2002

Portuguese escudo

Spanish peseta Feb. 28, 2002

January 1, 2002

2205.585 Italian Lire = 1 U.S. Dollar

7.285 French Franc = 1 U.S. Dollar

378.485 Greek Drachma = 1 U.S. Dollar

1397500 Turkish Lire = 1 U.S. Dollar

1.139 Euro = 1 U.S. Dollar

Gold (1 oz.) $ 272.50

Silver (1 oz.) $ 4.65

To see the history of currencies recorded with michaeltop's currency converter, click the link below.




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WELCOME TO michaeltop's

Specifically, welcome to michaeltop's Travel Tips and Picture Gallery!!!!!

Here you will find some of my travel photographs, and many useful hints and travel tips for the international traveler.

Your e-mail correspondence is always welcome!

Please be sure to let me know how it is that you came by my web site. ie. Did you use a search engine? Which one? What were the key words that you used? etc. ------ Thanks, I am always trying to keep up with that sort of thing, and your feedback will be helpful!!!

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They're coming in droves to see

But who's coming? How often? And from where?

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If you are "seeing America", get a National Park Service passport. You'll pay one low fee and get free admission to all of the national parks, wildlife preserves and national monuments. That's more than you can possibly cover in one vacation!!!


Pay for souvenirs by credit card if you are traveling abroad. Your card issuer will get a better exchange rate than you could. When your charges come through in dollars, you will see that you got a better rate than if you exchanged the currency yourself and paid in francs, lire or yen or any other currency!

August 30, 2000

"...Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born..."

(-----Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, vol. II, 1967)

If you would like to view any of the previous "Remarkable Remarks", simply click the spinning link below!

Afterward, you can simply click the link there and you will be returned to this page.


If you are traveling to Europe, take the time to get to know about the Value Added Tax. It's complicated, but refundable for Americans traveling abroad.

(I got a check refunded for $111 when I bought a ring in Spain). If I remember correctly, you have to take care of it at the airport right before you depart, by going to a certain area in customs and mailing it from there. It's worth taking the time!!!


Whenever your travel permits it, bring along a small cooler.

Make and pack your own breakfasts and lunches (even dinners) and you'll save a lot.

Perhaps even enough for a nice dinner at an elegant restaurant!

(I'll never forget the time traveling on a train from Amsterdam to Lucern when I pulled out some bread, fruit and cheeses and offered some to my traveling companions in the adjacent seats. To my delight, someone else brought out some wine and another some fruits and nuts and cookies; and we all had a grand old dinner while traveling high speed on the rails. It was a night train, and needless to say we all slept rather well afterward with full bellies).

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