I still haven’t arrived at a good way to answer this question after all our European adventures. Clearly, I should just politely answer, “It was fine, thank you.” It’s a rhetorical question after all, isn’t it? But then there are the kind souls that actually do want to know. As well, am I not doing my year of planning and three weeks of trip-of-a-lifetime travel an injustice with such a pat answer?
So, how to answer this? How to convey in only a few words or trite superlatives what it was like to set sail for Istanbul,
To wander in and out of frommageries, boulangeries, patisseries,
To luxuriate in the Mediterranean sun for hours on end,
To dine in shaded alleyways on fish caught that morning, in a fairytale Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, on a humble but utterly delicious panini off the island of Capri,
To stroll Paris on my own, free to spend my entire afternoon poking through the antique book market I stumbled upon in the Parc Georges Brassens, Rue Brancionin in St-Germain-des-Prés,
To stand alone at the tomb of St John,
To bargain in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul,
To cover my head and enter the Blue Mosque,
To make new friends and pet friendly cats, dogs and other four-legged creatures in distant lands,
To walk along ancient streets in ruined cities of Greece and Turkey,
To feast my eyes on fields of lavender and sunflowers in Provence,
To dress, really dress, for dinner,
To sum up how altogether fortunate I feel to have seen, tasted, lived and smelled these experiences?
I’m just not equipped to distill 21 momentous days into a satisfying answer. So should you ask me how my trip was, let’s just stick with an “it was an adventure,” shall we? Unless you’ve got a few hours …