Well, after 6 weeks of adventures, new friendships, being brought to tears at times, one lane backroads through the french countryside, standing in the middle of the eight lane Champs D'Elysees staring down the Arch de Triomphe in Paris, watching schoolchildren hop on the small village trains after school to head home or flying on the bullet train at 300 miles per hour, 7 hours of conversation with a Bosnian refugee heading home for the first time after the war, hypnotized by the bells....cathedrals and cowbells, teaching French Elementary students English for a day in a small village of 1500 souls,
post card images everywhere I turned....12,000 images on two external harddrives....we have returned home.
I can't adequately describe the experience that my wife and I have just lived. I made a journey similar to this back in 1970 but at that time I hitch hiked through Europe. I have heard it said that you can never repeat the same experience twice and have it mean as much as the first time. I went back to Europe with downplayed expectations...not wanting to over idealize the journey and then be disappointed. I wasn't disappointed...it was the most amazing 6 weeks of my life.
As the next few months roll out....I am going to recount the trip through my photography. Relay stories of the people we met, the things we have seen, the things we have learned and questions we still have.
I do want to forewarn anyone following the blog from Europe...please excuse the wonder and astonishment I felt so many time when I came across so many things that were 800 or more years old. To a boy from the Midwestern United States....200 years is old....800 or a 1000 is hard to get one's head around! I will be bringing this up several times over the next few months...and when i do...I mean it as the ultimate compliment.
I will post more images of the rainbow above in Gruyeres, Switzerland...the first place we slept on the continent.