Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
Each county I visit has its own unique charm, rich history and cultural sensibility. I really enjoy spending time learning a little bit more about the culture and people of each country.
My dream has been to do some serious traveling after retiring before getting too old to lug a back pack around bus and train stations. Luckily I can still do it now, but may not be as mobile in 5-10 years. So with that said….I’m going for it!
Right now I’m sitting in a French cafe enjoying a cup of tea in downtown Krakow as I write this entry. I’m thinking to myself what a wonderful opportunity and experience this is after teaching / working for the last 30+ years. I’m like a sponge soaking up every moment of this travel experience.
Visiting art galleries, museums, cafe’s, pubs and historical sites as I travel to each city is very different routine than I’m used to. I’m seeing and experiencing all kinds of unique and visually engaging photography, art and architecture here in Europe.
Everything from traditional to conceptual/experimental art and photographs to Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance Architecture. I stand in absolute awe inside some of these amazing and grandiose Cathedrals like St. Mary’s in Krakow for example. You can’t help but to feel closer to God in these old churches.
The Krakov photo scene for example is very diverse, vibrant and supported by the community. Photography is alive and well in Europe, although there seems to be more people making and exhibiting photography than buying it. The slower economy has hurt the arts in Europe like it has in the states.
What I love most is walking around the cities at night soaking up the sounds, smells and sites. These European cities are absolutely alive with young people eating out, drinking in pubs and having animated conversation wherever you go.
This trip so far has proven to me that people for the most part are the same where ever you go. They have the same fears, desires, hopes, dreams and joys that we do in the states.
Travel is truly an enlightening and wonderful learning experience.
You learn things you don’t get from books or TV. Navigating a foreign city without speaking the language is no east task. Trying out local cuisine, talking to people in restaurants and pubs using a mixture of smiles, hand gestures and broken English and a smattering of Dutch or German is a challenge to say the least. Its all an enlightening, educational and rich experience.
There is so much rich history here in Eastern Europe. You can sense it as you walk down side streets of these cities. The chairs above for example is a Memorial in Krakow to the Jews who were slaughtered either before getting on the trains to Auschwitz or when they got there. Emotionally powerful and heart wrenching to see! These are cities that were devastated during WWII.