so back from europe. it was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c, as expected. after this trip, i think i can conclude that europe is about world history and culture lessons, along with a treat for the eyes.the last time i went to europe, circa 2001, it was the visual treat part. i dont remember much culture or history then. we saw tons of places, which were all very lovely and beautiful and we oohed and aahed over all the lovely locales of switzerland (truly jannat), the hustle bustle of paris, the calmness of brussels but the life in the 'grand place' there, the flatness, the windmills and the picture book quality of hague, the castles of prague, the churches of germany..europe 2001 was a visual treat.
europe 2008 (rather poland and berlin 08) was also a visual treat, but it was also a world history/culture lesson. there were places which were visually just so appealing, one felt like capturing it all forever. the mountains of the south of poland, the sand dunes at leba (pronounced weba...dont get me started on the polish language), the baltic sea (aah, a true piscean i shall always remain at heart).
THEN...there was auschwitz, one of the largest concentration camps during Hitler's regime. The two hours there was enough to really understand what world war 2 was all about, what the jews went through. i dont want to put words to that experience, coz any words i use will never do justice to what i felt during those 2 hours. i think those 2 hours will haunt me in some way throughout my life...BUT, its one of those experiences which you are thankful for, and which makes one feel so humbled and thankful to whoever is responsible for deciding our fates...we are really very lucky individuals.
there was berlin, which again was a history lesson in itself, what with us visiting the German parliament Reichstag where the entire Hitler regime and the east/west berlin division and subsequent merging was reprised with pictures; then there was checkpoint charlie, the official immigration point between east/west berlin...there was a quite a dose of world war 2 during this trip.
apart from the world history lessons, there was something else very unique to this trip; me doing very 'not me' things; like going on a roller coaster at full speed out of my own free will, and not once but TWICE- it was one of those things where one could choose their own speed(!); the trek up to zakopane with the brothers- im NOT one of those sporty, adventurous types...so that was BIG; the super fast motor boat ride (a HUGE adrenaline rush!);running like a maniac in the rain and getting seriously drenched; watching BATMAN (lol...THAT was big!)...there were sooooooo many fun things i did during this trip...i felt like a kid again; rather, i did things which i had never done as a kid.
the family bonding was also very special. for a family which has very few members in india, and the rest all spread over the continents, 8 people being together for 10 days is BIG...what is very special is that everyone has their own lives now, everyone is busy...yet there are these trips which just come up and which turn out to be successes (read super fun!) because we all love spending time with each other; whether its a day trip to agra, a week's trip to rajasthan or a 15 day european sojourn...the family manages to have the time of their lives...which is what makes my family just so incredible!
so im all happy after the trip...and im back to the grind of delhi life. the classes-office routine is on and the coming yr seems to be looking quite grim...best of luck to myself and my fellow sufferers!