Wednesday, August 7, 2013

European Dreams

When discussing my lodging while traveling, my husband made a slightly snide comment about camping.  My response was "who hasn't dreamed of camping across Europe?"  He apparently never had.  Now, I'm honestly curious how this couldn't be on someone's bucket list.  What better way to really get to know a land, a continent, than to pitch a tent and see parts you would NEVER see if you stayed in a hotel?  I can not think of anything better.  I dreamed of camping and hiking in Europe as a little girl.  The old woods, the beaches, the ancient ruins hidden where no one thought to look and you accidentally stumbled upon them, the air of history surrounding you in nature.... *sigh*  I get goosebumps thinking about.

However, I am aware that camping is not for everyone, even some "outdoors" types like my husband.  We're all shaded by our pasts.  Sure he can survive in the Alaska Tundra, but maybe that's why he doesn't want to go around Europe only camping and not staying in a hotel?  I don't know, we didn't delve into it much because I want to camp when I travel.  I really wish we had gotten our passports sooner because I could have gone camping in Norway or Sweden.  Sadly, by time I take care of my next two trips, it will be a bit too late to camp comfortably in the North like that.

My current plan is to be in Romania for the Fall Equinox and Rome for Samhain (Halloween).  I do not have the plans all laid out for Romania, as I'm waiting on the results of his next appointment for his hand, but I can quickly plot out train routes and campsites once we know when his next appointment is.  I am really thinking that I should get a Eurorail pass.  I'm going to read over the site again, but if I read it right the first time, I'll get to use local public transit with the option I was going with.

With Romania, if you are going for the Vlad Tepes experience, you have to take a week.  Most of the sites are at least 100 kilometers apart and many require lots of walking.  Bran Castle requires you to walk up something like 1500 stairs to reach the ruins of that castle.  Needless to say, I've been purposely making multiple trips up and down the 6 flights of stairs that lead to our apartment.  We're on the third floor, but these stairs are stupid.  I'm at a point to where going up and down them 3 times is no big deal, unless each trip up requires heavy lifting.

I still can't believe I'm so close to things I've always dreamed of seeing or have now seen.  I saw the remnant of the Berlin Wall.  I've seen the canals of Amsterdam.  I saw the armor and clothing of Peter the Great of Russia (it was an exhibit in Amsterdam ok).  I live in a city that was bombed heavily by the Allied Forces during WWII.  I've walked along the walls of the old city in Nuremberg, quite drunk, and watched the locals shoot off fireworks on New Years.  Who can boast these things?  And I still have time to see more!  I'm so overwhelmed with the joy of it all that I sometimes become unable to function outside of my normal routine.  I think this is why so many people who get stationed overseas don't take advantage of the opportunity.  They know the history is there, they know the beauty is there, but it overwhelms them.  Also there are those who have no desire to see, and to them I say "WTF IS YOUR MALFUNCTION!!!!!"

Just so it's out there, here is a list of places I still need to go, not mentioned above:
A bunch of places in the UK (gotta see my ferrety friends and all that Celtic and Norse shit!)
The cave art in France
The Louvre
Warsaw, specifically, anything to do with Chopin
Something in the Alps
Can I see Moscow?
Places in the Byzantine Empire

I could go on, and on, and on, and on.... Everything is so close... so close you can almost taste the history of each place.  As it is, the history of one area bleeds into another.  My particular part of Germany at one point had both Norse AND Celts, then the Romans.  Oh the history!

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