Sunday 27 May 2012

Heading home

... and I'm one of them. Not right at this instant, obviously - I'm sitting at the gate at Abu Dhabi airport waiting for my flight to Sydney and a, hopefully, long sleep under that enviably light and cosy Etihad business class duvet - but I will be soon, for another 13 hours or so.

I'm going home at last, hooray, after nearly 7 weeks away in 9 countries, several of them more than once. "So many stamps!" said the nice young man at Munich airport, flicking through page after page of my 10 year-old passport, looking for the most recent Paris one to put his stamp next to. At one point he shrugged and muttered "Whatever" but then remembered he was German and found the correct page.

It's been an interesting trip, this one, full of so many different experiences: sea-sickness in the desert, lots of cruising on rivers, a wedding, old friends and some new ones, a trip (literally) to hospital, connecting with a dark part of my father's past, being awash in history, and above all, learning about the Second World War in the most vivid way, seeing and touching and being right there.

Not a holiday, in the conventional sense - certainly not relaxing - but rich and rewarding. Though I really could have done without the hospital bit.

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