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Europe 2014 Conclusion

Having had a few weeks to absorb the marvels of my last travels, I wanted to write a summary. Not only for the sake of sharing my perspective, but as a reference point for future travels and experiences.

(View post from my Europe 2012 Summary)

11/2/2014 - St. Malo

11/2/2014 – St. Malo

My parents and I had not traveled abroad since I was a little girl, so the three-week trip to France, Norway and Germany was an excellent time for us. Although I love the freedom of traveling on my own, sharing the experiences with them was far more memorable. We have so many stories of expired passports, lost bags, disaster Airbnb apartments, marvelous sights, precious time with our family abroad and more museum visits than one can imagine. We are inspired to see more of what the world has to offer.

My mother and I will never forget the moment we stepped out of the Pyramid metro station to see the streets of beautiful Paris. All the horrors of the travel dramas vanished and we were transported into paradise. Everything about Paris is more than you expect it to be – the food, the fashion, the architecture. Unfortunately, I did not get the same impression from Germany, despite the gorgeous Heidelberg’s landscapes. I felt an impersonal relationship with the country and its culture. 

Since the twenty-five years of the Berlin Wall collapse, I see both an effort of memorializing the heroes and victims of that period, but also a removal of “the wall” and what it stood for. There has been a discreet brick pattern installed on the streets representing the “footprint” of the original placement of that painful barrier, but many of the other horrible segments of history have been built over. I imagine that it is still “a work in progress” and unfortunately, the city is evolving to be quite cold and rather impersonal. This, of course, in comparison to the warm and bubbly French cities (Paris and St.  Malo), are the examples I draw from this particular trip.

My two days in Norway left me wanting more. The quality of life and the stunning natural scenery in Scandinavia leaves so much more to explore. I also have grown an obsession for Iceland. What was it inspired by? We flew Icelandair from New York to Paris and had a layover in Reykjavik. I am inspired to visit the natural beauty and I hope to go back very soon.

The memory that I will cherish most greatly from this trip was the Brahms’ Requiem concert my parents and I attended in the Berliner Dom. (View post.) I am not sure if I had heard this particular piece of music before and I don’t think I will ever hear a more stunning performance of it. The hundreds of choral voices, young and old, mesmerized and transformed the music into indescribable memories. All in all, I could not be more grateful for our time together. 

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