Thursday, November 02, 2006

Back to Familiarity

Sigh..big sigh...Yes, we are back at home. We were happy to be off the plane on Sunday night and into our own warm cozy bed. This was totally an adventure of a lifetime for us since neither Hubby nor I are world travellers and I honestly don't think either of us is cut out to do the long backpacking treks. We are still nursing individual levels of exhaustion and unfortunately Harry caught a horrendous virus in the last few days in Paris, so needless to say he was done with travelling and just wanted to go home. Done like dinner.
I like to think I could handle longer travels - perhaps an extended trip through Italy, then Greece and Turkey. Or maybe something more exotic like an African Safari or some sort of expedition through the Australian Outback. But really...who am I kidding? I can handle about 3 weeks and then I'm dreaming of being back home, cooking in my kitchen, watching tv, lazing on the couch with all my knitting projects.

But here we are...and today was my first day back at work. I had been dreading this since Monday - thinking it is going to be so awful to get back into the routine of being in an office. Blah, boring and completely uninspiring. This was all I thought after experiencing so much beauty in each new place we visited. I was in for a surprise though. I am happy to report I have been assigned to a new project which promises a lot more creativity than what I've been working on in the past. This industry changes all the time so I don't know if this will be permanent. But for now, I am hopeful and content.

As we settle in, I'm noticing that a lot of things about this trip are finally starting to sink in. Many travel days passed like a whirlwind and at dinner I'd think...what did we do yesterday? Then I'd draw a complete blank. Luckily I kept a travel journal. Somewhat cryptic; with doodles and thoughts randomly jotted all over the page. But it makes sense to me, so it's all good. I'd like to share some of my thoughts about each place we travelled to, along with some of my journal pages and perhaps more photos. But don't worry, it won't turn into one of those painful travel slide shows that you are convinced will never end. I'll be sure to break it up into a couple posts to keep you from nodding off ;) So, here goes...

Our first stop was Augsburg, Germany to visit our good friends Colin and Marlene. They moved here 5 years ago to start Colin's international career as a professional tenor singer.

Our sightseeing highlights:

  • Schloss Neuwanstein (the castle that Disney based his signature castle)

  • various cathedrals in Munich and Bavaria

  • an afternoon shopping and wandering around the MarienPlatz

  • a visit to the concentration Camp memorial in Dachau

Bavaria is so beautiful - it so reminds me of home with the green landscape and mountains in the distance. The weather was amazing the entire time we were there - we were even wearing shorts to accommodate the heat. This photo was taken from the castle window when we did the tour. I'm sure it could be found in some story book - it did feel quite magical to be there. Although it wasn't anything like Disneyland...

We had many wonderful times visiting with our friends. We caught up on lots and heard all the plans for the baby they are expecting. I learned that Germany has got a kick ass health care system and that it's worth paying to use a public WC. We also enjoyed excellent cooking by Miss Marlene. They are impeccable hosts and it is times like these that I am so very thankful for generous friends. We are incredibly lucky!

I'd have to say that the visit to Dachau was the experience that stuck with me most. This place is haunted by the atrocities that took place during the war. I was overwhelmed by the barren spaces, an open gravel field where the prisoner barracks once stood. There were so many of them. So many people who suffered. Honestly I don't know how respond - I am still speechless after having time to absorb it. In my journal I just called this a big open space of sadness.

Well, that was our short visit to Germany in a blur and a nutshell. We were only there for 3 days and then it was off to Amsterdam, Brussels and finally Paris! But I'll keep that for the post tomorrow!


flossy-p said...

:D Welcome back! I'm so happy you had a nice time (As much as I love travelling I agree it's always good to come home), and survived the long plane trips A-OK!

Your new project sounds like a good way to come back to work too; coming back to a new start rather than the same old thing.

Can't wait to hear more about your journey!

cruststation said...

So glad to have you back, I've been following some of your photos on Flickr but love to hear more! That photo from Bavaria is gorgeous, also it's cool that you now have a more creative project at work...can't wait to hear about your travels.

Kempton said...

Welcome back. Looking forward to reading more about your trip and seeing more photos of your trip.

P.S. Your notes are cryptic indeed (got a nice Myst and Riven feel to them) and the key is you can read them. (smile) I have cryptic notes too and I can't even decode my own notes. (bigger smile)