and so, berlin || our grand adventure

Berlin, Germany. The end of our two-week adventure across three countries in Europe. It was an interesting exercise to start our travels amid the ancient churches and cobblestones of Rome, and finish it surrounded by history that occurred in our own lifetimes. In Italy, you felt the immense awe of events so far removed; in Berlin, you felt the very recent realness of them.

Before Dan suggested we visit Germany at all, I had always overlooked it as a destination. (My apologies to all of Germany, including my ancestors. Nothing but love for you all.) Italy and France and Spain and England, these were the places that most frequently sprang to mind when imagining European excursions. As such, dear Germany remained rather unknown to me. Which made it all the more wonderful to cap off our journey. I had very few researched, must-see venues to visit. So instead, we just followed the pavement as it spread out before us.

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I’ve been struggling to come up with the proper words to seal this recap of our two weeks traveling through Europe. In fact, the browser window holding a draft of this very post has remained open for almost a week on my computer, just quietly awaiting some keystrokes. I think you approach such a pilgrimage with the assumption that one way or the other, you’ll come out the other side with a sort of revelation to carry back home like a souvenir purchased from a street corner vendor. I certainly have felt this necessity. But in truth, I don’t believe you can walk away from a trip with the impact of your experiences neat and tidy and ready to be shared. In actuality, they sit with you, and remain with you for a lifetime to come, to chew over and process continuously. Maybe there’s never a single nugget to sum it all up. Instead, you’re left with a handful of little strings that you’ve tied to each location, that will anchor your heart and mind in fragments. And maybe that is just as it should be.

So that, for now, is all she wrote. Thanks for sharing a part of this with me.

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