Tuesday 29 May 2012


Goodness knows how far I've travelled in the last six and a half weeks, or for how many hours (or days). I could work it out, but my poor jet-lagged brain wilts at the very notion. Let's just leave it at 7 flights, 11 rail journeys, one week-long cruise plus four other boat trips, and lots of driving. Being driven, rather, in cars, coaches, a roller-coaster and one ambulance.

There's been history and architecture, art and war, old friends and some new ones, a wedding and a camel, innumerable churches and cathedrals plus one astonishing mosque, lots of good food and a surprising amount of beer (favourite: Berliner Weisse - must be rot, not grun). It's been interesting, sad, funny, emotional, heart-warming, boring, horrifying, painful and tiring. The weather was summer-hot and winter-cold, with rain and an icy Mistral. I hated myself for packing so badly and having to haul around such a stupidly heavy suitcase, and will NEVER do that again.

Right now I feel that I never actually want to leave home again. Mainly because I'm tired, and sore, and have so much writing to do from the trips I've done this year already - but also because though I've seen such wonderful sights, such beauty of so many different sorts, I went down to the beach today and realised yet again that where natural beauty is concerned, a 20-minute drive is all it takes for an eyeful (and heartful) of the best.

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