In the past 14 odd weeks we have seen so much of this amazing world we live in. We spoke to people of all nationalities, races, religions, colours about their country and ours, Australia is a country everybody who has never been to, wants to know about, and we wanted to know about their countries.
We visited some truly spectacular cities, housing structures of all kinds, churches, mosques, government offices, World heritage sites, natural regions and much more.
We stepped inside dozens of historic churches, mosques and other places of religion. Why, because some of the most spectacular, intricate, colourful, incredible architecture are houses of religion. To see the Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem up so close takes your breath away. When we were in the Muslim countries of United Arab Emirates, Oman and Turkey we though that the mosques could not be beaten for granduer. Then we arrived in Italy and France and were completely overwhelmed by the Catholic church structures, you have to stand in these buildings to truly marvel at their immense beauty. We think that the Notre Dame in Paris takes some beating, but they all had some form of difference to each other that made one or another a personality.
You can only stand back and marvel at the numerous iconic structures you visit, Rita’s favourite was the Acropolis in Athens for a while until we saw some other places like the Colosseum in Rome and the Vatican City etc.
We went off the beaten track regularly, mostly walking everywhere, we averaged 8 klm per day,one day in Paris we walked 16 klm, it is the best way to experience travel. Obviously in Amsterdam we cycled which was really fantastic as this city is built for cycling. We also travelled on fast trains, the ‘S’ Bahn and ‘U’ Bahn in Germany, river boats in Paris and Amsterdam, all were fantastic.
We never in any country felt threatened, maybe a little in Salalah, Oman, where our taxi driver, who we called Osama’s cousin demanded more than double the negotiated fare and you find you are then trying to reason with many of his threatening mates as well. Some times you feel overwhelmed by the amount of vendors trying to sell you their products, but they are just trying to make a living for themselves and family.
Terrorism is definitely major concern in Europe, especially in Paris wher the heavily armoured gendarmes are everywhere and also Israel where the tensions are very high. But life just seems to continue regardless of the situation and country you are in.
Poverty and homelessness is worldwide, in India the poorness of some people you see is extreme, yet they also have mega wealth, makes no sense. In Europe many people choose to live on the streets, some really in the middle of streets and footpaths, many by their own choice not circumstance. In some cities just the amount of people who you see on a daily basis is very concerning, how will the world support this rapidly growing population ?
To sum this trip up, we could have flown to Europe in two days but instesd chose the 45 days on the ship, probably too long on a ship but luckily we never had very many days between ports. Eurail is good but not as great as we imagined, the trip from Lyon into Paris was the best, food wine, comfortable seats, really fantastic.
We have experienced some fantastic countries and cities, met and made many new friends from all over the world and had a great time.
It was really fantastic being in Hamburg once again after too long and meeting and experiencing Rita’s family, some of whom we had never met before, the overwhelming welcome from all of them was truly amazing and once again we thank them for making us feel part of their families and showing us their beautiful city.
Thats it, our travels will continue in the future with a trip around New Zealand by ship in February 2016 followed by another not so long adventure being Barcelona, Spain to Bergen in Norway in April, May next year……….and maybe even popping back into Hamburg for a while……
We must also not forget to see more of our own amazing country Australia in our caravan when we can……
We hope that people enjoyed our blog, ‘ blogging ‘ does take some time but we enjoy it, even if it is only an electronic diary of your travels to be read again to refresh your mind of past experiences.
TO BE CONTINUED VERY SOON ……………….
…… Rod and Rita on R @ R ………