There stand in my mind, mountains and monuments whose names I cannot recall, but friends made along the way remain.
Nearly a year has come and gone since we first set sail. April of 2011 brought with it the embarkation of a great journey, one that would take my wife and me across much of Europe and beyond. It seems odd now, a year past, how 76 days can change so much.
I find happiness in having a home, a place to call your own, but a strange yearning persists after the long flight back and months of daily routine. The itinerary is fresh in my mind and logic won’t serve to explain why my backpack has yet to be emptied.
We landed in Barcelona, spent Easter in Rome, toured Tuscany, sailed again to Athens, Jerusalem and Turkey. Back on dry ground we traveled by rail first to the cliff-side villages of Cinque Terre then to the canals of Venice before venturing north into Switzerland.
The Lauterbrunnen Valley greeted us with its fairytale beauty and from the heights of Jungfrau we descended to the sun-drenched shores of Zürichsee. Grossmüenster bid us farewell as we made way to Bavaria and the castles of Fussen chasing spring and warmer weather to Berlin. Cologne and a daytrip down the Rhine bid us adieu from Germany before landing in Amsterdam and the windmills of Holland.
Our journeys turned south toward Paris for a dose of culture before sipping champagne in Reims. A jaunt to the hallowed ground of Normandy rounded out our time on continental Europe sailing across the channel to celebrate the queen’s birthday in London and ending our journey after a few nights in Edinburgh’s old town.
Though part of us has returned another never will.