When one travels, the unexpected is always to be expected. In fact, travel can be trying at times with unanticipated costs, flight delays, unreliable weather, and of course, the chance to get sick. Our trip has been going well, problem free.
Traveling opens the mind to differences in culture which we have encountered. Travelers are more open to the differences in both the strangers they meet and experiences of places they visit. You get to see your own problems in perspective, especially when seeing the sufferings in other countries.
I have to say seeing people begging in Vienna was something that affected me deeply. They are a country with great social programs for their countrymen, but those begging were from other countries.
I am in European countries now that are accepting migrants seeking refuge from war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The news stations here talk about it often. The people from Vienna that you encounter also have very pointed opinions too. Some have stated a reluctance to having these new residents.
I can’t really say how I feel about all this, but we may be finding out in the US if our country starts taking large numbers of refugees. Germany seems to have reversed course and is re-evaluating the economics and safety to citizens of their open borders. Countries I was in last year, Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Croatia are either closing borders or building walls to keep the migrants out.
I know I do feel for those families with no place to go, but also sympathize with Europeans feeling like they are losing their counties’ housing and even unique identity. If I get to talk with any more of the migrants or demonstrators, it might make me think long and hard.
When being exposed to other cultures, you take the good with the bad for the most part. While tourist areas remain beautiful, places tourists often don’t see will have physical destruction and emotional or economic ghosts of wars. Last year it was very noticeable in Serbia for instance. While Austria, Germany and the Netherlands are prosperous nations, I am wondering what reminders are still in each through the people and older structures.
I did hear some talk on the wars throughout their history, our guide mentioned that Europe has now gone a 60 year span without war between countries. He was very proud to be part of the generation that has experienced 60 years without a major conflict. It is the longest period of time without major conflict in all their history he said.
As an American, it is hard to imagine a long history of fighting on the homeland. My ancestors came from Germany, so it will be interesting for me in this country. I speak a little German too, so maybe in a strange way, I could have an eerie feeling of home!
I am in Austria now and the images in this post are from our cruise through Austria, most images from Melk. It a beautiful town with an abbey. I wish you all well at home, no matter where that might be.
Internet is spotty and I hope to be able to answer your comments. I have been visiting blogs but am not sure my comments are getting through.
Photos are taken with my little P510, the images on the D750 with the wide-angle lens I will save for when I get back.