I have been struggling with what to write about my trip to Europe. I have gorgeous pictures to share and a poverty of words. I’ve been back for a week, and it took a trip to a Queens Starbucks for me to have thoughts to share.
We are in NYC to attend the Governor’s Ball music festival. After returning home for exactly 4 days, we got back on a plane to New York. In my short time at home, I managed to slog though and edit over 500 pictures. But no words.
We flew into Munich, got on bus to Salzburg for a day, on to Vienna for a few days, and finished in Prague for three days. I was traveling with a university band that shall go unnamed; this isn’t to protect me from the university, but just the opposite. My partner works for the university so I had no responsibility for the kids. But I spent a significant amount of time with them so poor behavior on their part would have diminished my enjoyment of the trip. But the students were very well behaved.
I spent most of my time with musicians my age. I had met some of them before, but we were, for the most part, passing acquaintances prior to the trip. They were lovely and greatly enhanced the trip. I suspect that this particular group of people could have made a trip to Wal-Mart fun, and my loathing for Wal-Mart knows now bounds. This was one of my writing blocks. I believe the most important part of the trip should be the locations we were in. But the thing I will most remember is how wonderful the people I was traveling with were. This reality conflicting with expectations isn’t one that makes sense anywhere outside my head.
While in Vienna, we visited a few cafes. I am sitting here watching the Starbucks employees frantically sling espresso. People rush in. They are calling, texting, emailing, facebooking, blogging, ordering, paying, and running back out. This experience is such a dramatic contrast to my experiences in the Viennese cafes. Coffee to go does not happen there. A trip to the cafe is something slow. It is to be savored. It is a real break. It is a time for connecting with people physically present or quiet reflection.
Every place that we visited was beautiful in its own way. Salzburg was a picturesque European town. Vienna had lovely sidewalk cafes and incredible architecture. Prague was alive with history. Let the pictures below do the talking.
When people ask me about the trip I struggle to come up with more than, “It was beautiful.” I know why. I don’t want to dive in to a lengthy explanation around how the slower more present pace of life in those cities caused me to reflect on a lack of those things here. I didn’t want to explain that being in that slower more present environment probably drove 7 people to connect in a way that feels virtually impossible here. It’s hard to say how each subtle moment collected in to something that I savored. But it was a wonderful eight days, sleep deprivation and all. It will be an experience that I think of fondly for the rest of my life.