126 days, 16 countries (passed or stayed in), around 17.000 kilometres of travel, more than 1000 kilometres on foot, 31 accommodations, 18 trains, ten coaches, seven cars, four planes, four boats, three ferries, three taxis, two bicycles, one motorbike, countless metros, trams and city busses, one pair of shoes, many hundreds of coffees, too many chocolates, no single cigarette and one – fortunately relatively minor – motorbike accident later I am at home. Finally.
Actually, I did not want to write a post about a single country of my journey and until now I have not done so. But since you are an island and I refer the subsequently mentioned to both countries situated on you, I will make an exception and start again:
As you know, this remark is already associated to another city and another historic incident, but we are in the year 2017, this issue is way more current and this saying simply matches perfectly to it.
Actually, this is for sure a serious topic – especially the residents of Venice, Florence, Barcelona and some other highly popular places in Europe that are struggling a lot with mass tourism definitely would agree with this statement. Yes, it is… and there are a lot of side aspects in this issue to mention as well, above all the significant ecological impact.
Last week I have posted an article about some of my dreams for a future Europe. One of my first dreams started with the hope for more human dignity… Why on earth should we talk about dignity? Especially, when in fact we all know that Europe is the place where dignity is fundamental and part of our basic values, isn’t it? Uhm, yes… it is – mostly.
I think it was in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, where a friend and I stopped off on the way to Indonesia, when I have seen this incredible marvel of human innovation strength for the first time. I still remember that we were joking about importing this thing to Europe – and becoming rich with it… what a stupid idea. 😉
Day 80 of my journey started quite a bit grey – regarding to both the weather and my mood. Because even some sports on the mat did not help, I decided to continue the day with a for me unusual deluxe breakfast and to turn it into somewhat productive – in keeping with the motto “if the day is not sunny, then at least it should be useful”.
It was a Friday on July 1st when I recognised that it was exactly half time of my journey. Nine of eighteen weeks of traveling through Europe were over and I have spent most of the time on the Balkans so far – of course in many different countries though.
This name, these two little words will stand forever for the darkest chapter in the European history – if not in the history of mankind in general. The unthinkable has happened there in the midst of a continent that always claimed to be civilized.
To be honest, apart from the direct neighbourhood in our housing estate I mostly remember from my living environment as a child that what you can see in the title’s picture foreground: green fields as we had on the other side of the road next to our home. A child’s eye simply is much closer to the ground than to the heaven… 🙂