It’s not you…it’s me.
Brigham Young said, "If I were placed on a cannibal island and given the task of civilizing its people, I should straightway build a theatre for the purpose."
London, the theatre made you.
London if you were once a cannibalistic island, it was your theatre that brought you to civilization.
Although you were dirty and I went through an entire bottle of hand sanitizer in your city alone, I really like you.
I love your food. Crepes, baguettes, cheese, pastries, what’s not to like?
One of many.
I also enjoyed discovering you while walking along the Seine River …
And climbing the spiral steps to the Arc d’Triumphe...
...to watch the crazy 12 lane round-about traffic below...absolutely no rhyme or reason.
Our legs were shaking from the 14 miles we walked that day and the 800 stairs we climbed in your city.
You offered me the Orsay Museum.
Sacre Cour through the giant clock at the Orsay
Through the glass pyramid
After being in the Louvre a bit too long...large museums can have this affect you.
The top of the Eiffel tower at Sunset probably helped you win me over, too.
Sometimes graffiti is O.K. When on the Eiffel Tower is one such occasion.
Dear Rome , Sienna, San Giminiano, Bergamo, and Florence,
I loved you because of the art:
Looking at the Sistine Chapel with binoculars
And the architecture:
Look at all of that Tuscan stone...On top of the Duomo in Florence
And the food:
1st course: bread, oil, and vinegar
2nd and 3rd courses: pasta and pizza
Dessert: gelato...times this by about 30 and you have my entire gelato intake
And the beauty of Rome:
And Tuscany :
And your fountains:
Throwing my three coins into the Trevi Fountain, ensuring I will come back.
I discovered I have a small obsession with fountains.
Be it drinking from...
Or just looking at, I love your fountains.
Some homeless guy napping on ancient ruins.
Thank you for starting out my Chaco tan line.
Journal Entry for May 7, 2009: “No wonder Italy produced such great artists with this beautiful country to inspire them.”
Yup, I love Italy.
Dear Vienna and Salzburg,
Some parts of you were so picturesque. Drawing inspiration from The Sound of Music, as it took place in Salzburg, I will show you a few of my favorite things about you:
Bratwurst and spicy mustard:
Maribel Gardens :
The hostel we stayed at in Salzburg plays The Sound of Music every night. This is the garden where she sings “Do Rei Mi.” I am obviously Frauline Maria in the above picture.
The fortress that was always in the background:
At the top of the stairs is a view over beautiful Austrian hills and forests. It was such a stark juxtaposition to the grey cinder walls and barbed wire of the work camp.
We toured through the barracks, the washroom and the bathrooms. We then walked through exhibits with pictures, facts, and artifacts. I paused at a homemade chess set, drawings and journals, made by prisoners to pass the time and drudgery. It’s so interesting that people have a will to survive and create no matter their circumstances. As we were walking up the path to the camp I wondered what kind of person I would have been: someone who jumped off the cliff, someone who just survived, or someone who inspired others to survive.
There were pictures of younger boys at another part in the museum. It was so sad to me that even if they lived, they would never fully recover.
I don’t have any sort of conclusion to my thoughts other than my life is so blessed and privileged. Seeing Mauthausen makes me want to increase the kindness, love and charity I show and give.
After this experience no one in our group said a word. For twenty minutes all I heard was the scratching of pens as we wrote in our journals.
My love for you can be summarized in three pictures:
1) Great art. My favorite was the Neue Pinakothek Museum (New Picture Gallery)
2) Talented street musicians. We walked your streets at night for this reason alone.
3) Is a caption necessary? (Please note those are two half-gallons of Nutella)
I love you even though you took my Nutella at customs.
I enjoyed and appreciated every place in Europe, but I am glad you are my home.