So how was your trip?

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,

Vincent Van Gogh cafe in ArlesTo sit in a Van Gogh painting with pastis in hand, in awe to find myself in this place, this scene that I dreamed about when “Cafe Terrace at Night” hung on my wall in my college dorm,

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 swim the emerald fantasy of the Green Grotto,

Name that monumentTo fight the hordes of tourists and ascend the steps to stand at the foot of the Parthenon,

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,

Mount Etna - in action!To watch Mt Etna smolder as we sail past,

To feast my eyes on fields of lavender and sunflowers in Provence,

To dress, really dress, for dinner,

To partake in a Turkish hamam

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 …

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2 responses to “So how was your trip?

  1. Dana, You are a gifted writer. I am in awe of your post today, July 4th. Indeed, how do you answer that sort of question? Your short responses are perfect. How DOES one explain the experiences, the smells, the feel of the land beneath your feet? I’m a fellow “slow-traveler” who appreciates every little morsel that each country (for me, Italy) and each of it’s specific regions, has to offer. It’s all of those things you mentioned above.
    Yes, it would take hours to answer that question, but you answered it beautifully today on your blog.

    Thank you for your written word and pictures. You are an inspiration to someone like “moi” who has trouble writing a thank you note at Christmas time!

    Mindy

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