Travel gifts and Gemütlichkeit

Dec 02 2015

Last summer I was blessed with the offer of the “other half” of a friend’s double occupancy booking on an 8 day Danube cruise featuring the region’s Christmas markets — worrying about my retirement finances, it took ages to decide I would say yes to her generosity.  Finally, the spirit of  carpe diem prevailed!

So, in late November I flew to the UK to catch up with jet lag while I visited an old friend in Oxford and my nephew and family in Reading.  From there I excitedly took the Eurostar to Nuremberg, Germany, met my friend and set off down the Main-Danube canal.

xmasmarketsWe had grey weather, but three enchanting day tours of German medieval towns, which yielded some new haiku as well as photos.  This morning we explored the Benedictine abbey at Melk in Austria, before following the Danube through castles and vineyards towards Vienna.  Who knows what adventures we’ll find tomorrow?

We heard our former Benedictine monk-turned-tour-guide remind us of how travel can refresh us — so true!  He feels that after three days of a different place, even the most weary of us can feel our souls being restored. The Benedictine rule is that we must “listen with the ears of our heart.”. I truly heard HIM, and I offer YOU the gifts of these small haiku here….

Dusk descends over

Flickering prayer candles: 

Passau Cathedral.

and

Christmas markets glow:

Gluhwein, stars, candles —

Everyone longing for light!

2 responses so far

  1. Your post gave me a bit of that holiday feeling here in my kitchen; felt I was standing alongside you in the cathedral. will look up ‘gemutlickheit’! love your phrase ‘everyone longing for light’. xoxxo

  2. Rosemary Turpin

    I too like haiku. I`m writing this for two reasons, the first so you can have TWO people with close to the same (relatively rare) right next to each other, and the second so you can see my haiku: Tiny feather on / hairy forearm in the bus / I took it off him!

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