Friday, September 30, 2011

To the Old Continent Again

After our intense past with the highs of Italy & Bergen, and the lows of Spain (yes, Spain; I still remember), still, I have to admit: I love Europe.

There’s quite a bit of magic there in the Old Continent. Everywhere you go in Europe, you’re bound to see something unique that you can’t see anywhere else—mostly because Europe is, after all, old. Ever country you get to walk / ride / drive through, presents its own history in ways that are as hard to explain as it is easy to experience. You can see—forget see; feel—that people, lots of people have lived there before you.

Now I am not a culture buff; museums, galleries and the like are usually of little interest to me. But if that’s your fix, then Europe is certainly the place for you to go. Heck, to see buildings and artefacts from the Medieval times, you need not even step into a museum in some cases; just walk the streets, gaze at the buildings, the bridges and the towers; breathe in, and feel it.

This is why I am happy whenever I get the chance to travel to Europe. If only I had the brains to travel more often when I was actually living in Israel… oh, if only I knew back then. Flights from Tel-Aviv to Prague, for example, sometimes sell for as low as $200-250 round-trip. London—which is of the furthest places to (in Europe) fly to from Tel-Aviv—sometimes has sales for about $500 round-trip. Or you can just fly to Frankfurt for cheap and take a train virtually anywhere.

I’m all packed now. Sitting in JJ Cafe a stone-throw from my apartment, listening to bizarre new-age music; to my right, a man and a gorgeous woman are sitting talking nonsense. They don’t look like a couple—something there just doesn’t add up. He’s speaking profanities every so often, she’s bragging about her work (modeling) being an easy cash-cow. One of those no-brains-involved, light-headed chit-chats you tend to overhear ever so often here in the “life is oh so easy” city of Vancouver—precisely those types of dialogs I can never bring myself to participate in, let alone initiate.

Checked in to my KLM flight departing tomorrow to Amsterdam; even paid an extra $187 for a “Premium Economy” seat—it’s either that, or I’d be stuck in some middle seat in Economy Class (all seats left were middle seats) for approximately ten hours.

My now-famous (well, sort-of) green backpack was brought to Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC; that’s just about your #1 place to go to, in Canada, for outdoors / travel needs. Quite an amazing store) a few days ago to have some of its strings re-done. Purchased nine years ago and still rocks like a champ.

Everything’s ready… except for me. Ever since I moved to Vancouver, I find it hard to get the 100% motivation to get up and travel anywhere—the reason being that I now live in my dream place. Living here, for me, is already some sort of a vacation because I am absolutely in love with this place. But hey, I’ll sleep on it and see how things go. I should be all ready to go tomorrow.

Arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, I will immediately be boarding a train en route to Delft, to meet my buddy Jeroen. A few days there to unwind, before flying to Dublin (Jeroen will be attending a few shows as well) where Mark Knopfler’s and Bob Dylan’s tour begins.

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Nancy said...

Safe travels, Isaac!

loridinsc said...

Travel safely and enjoy each moment of adventure and song. I understand how it feels to LOVE where you live. On rough travel days, imagine how wonderful it will to be home. Happy trails my virtual friend.

Isaac Shabtay said...

Thank you both, darlings :-)

EL BLOG DE JU said...

Looking forward to see you in Glasgow, Isaac.

Bill said...

May your travels find you with an empty seat beside you and reasonable food available... you already have the friends to keep you company... maybe meeting a new friend of the female variety would be good too?

Isaac Shabtay said...

Thanks J, see you in Glasgow.

Bill - it's really not nice, wishing something like this upon women you don't even know. They haven't done anything to you to deserve this kind of wish.