Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day 9

All the hot weather they've been having in Europe is affecting the level of the rivers. Sometimes - when there is too much rain - the river can be so high that the ship can't pass under the bridges and sometimes - like now with the heat - the river can be too low for the ships to pass. It's a problem.

We were to spend day nine in Regensburg only we had to wait four hours at one of the locks the night  before and the river was getting dangerously low so the captain made the decision to drop off the passengers in another town and keep going along the river. When this happens, you cannot go back to the ship and must stay with the tour. The tour took a bus from the other town to Regensburg and then a 1 1/2 or 2 hour walking tour, had some free time, and then walked a half hour to meet the ship. With the temperature, we opted to spend another day floating with the ship.

Every where we go, we see methods for getting from here to there whether it's a ferry, a walk way, a bridge, some steps, a barge, a bike, or a ship like hours. We are always looking for the path. Since so much of my study time is about finding and following my own path, it's not a tough connection to make.

A friend told me that she had immigrated to Canada because things were too close all the time in Europe. At first, I didn't understand because I saw plenty of land and spaced dwellings but as we've toured one town after another, many have houses that are side-by-side and sharing walls. This is just like my townhouse except the roads are also tight and close and everything is shuffled together. Most of the time it's the castles and churches that have more space.

I sat up in the front lounge and read, wrote, or knit regularly glancing up to see the passing scenery. I barely had time to grab my camera when I saw this very cute house in-between the trees. It did have neighbours but not tight ones. I wasn't quick enough and missed the church except for the steeple. It was small and simple. I have learned that the ornate churches were built to show off wealth and the simpler ones were built to practice personal faith.

It's very hard to get a picture of someone waving at you so I asked this young man to please wave while I snapped and thankfully he did. A wave is such a universal gesture of connection We know what it means; it's friendly, welcoming, acknowledging. The people along the water are very friendly. After dinner last night, when we were heading into a lock with a bridge, a whole crowd stood there leaning over the edge examining how this worked and waving at us. I enjoy that. One of...

... the things I was interested in experiencing on this trip was being in a situation where English was not the first language. I'm not sure I would make that choice again. It's not that I can't communicate because I can find a way to make myself understood most of the time and often someone standing nearby who does speak English will help but what I miss is being involved in what's going on around me. I can't understand the conversations or read the signs and I find it prevents me from being fully in the experience. I think this is connected to my belief that life is about relationships. While the history and the beautiful places are fine, it's the people I really want to know and talk to.

I'll tell you about day ten in the next posting but it started with some good news from my son-in-law and an adorable picture of my grandson that I hope my daughter doesn't mind me posting - since it's 3:22 in the morning her time and I know for sure she doesn't want me to phone right now and ask for permission - and followed with a wonderful conversation with Sarah, a hairstylist at Chaos in Passau.

We shared information about training as a stylist and had a laugh over Howard's highly complicated way of saying he wanted his beard shorter and then the two of them shared information about her car and how she had changed the brakes and made other "women don't usually do this" types of repairs. She has a convertible she just loves - an older Renault. Once again I am remind how we are all unique and so much the same.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - good news, grandsons, and shared experiences

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