Leg Seven: The Grande Finale

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We ended our first European adventure with 5 nights in Germany.  Though we were initially looking to stay in Munich, we soon discovered that accommodation there was also a bit out of our price range, so we moved our search to nearby Augsburg.  I was telling Mel about our trip planning progress and she reminded me that she has a good friend who lives in Augsburg.  To make a long story short, we connected and made arrangements for our family to use her lovely home while they were away on holidays.  Though we stayed in apartments instead of hotels all summer, there was something exceptionally welcoming about coming to an actual lived-in family home after a month of traveling.  Lots of toys, a fully stocked kitchen, board games, and even family bikes.  In a way, it felt like we slipped back into our Unity Drive life for 5 short days.

We took two fantastic day trips, and spent the other half of our time exploring Augsburg, biking by the river and around the neighborhood, playing at the park, and having some down time at the house.  It felt like summer back at home.  (Except for those visits to the castle and the concentration camp…)

As we packed up to leave our beautiful Augsburg home I was full of conflicting emotions.  I was disappointed that our vacation was coming to a close.  It felt hard to imagine returning to real life routines and making our own dinners.  I was nostalgic for Canada, BC, Chilliwack, and specifically, our house, which is no longer our house.  I was tired.  Five weeks is a long time away from my own space and personal things, but it’s also a long stretch full of daily activities.  Which meant that mostly, I felt ready to go home.  And home for me meant our little apartment in our little desert city in our little middle eastern country.  It’s pretty great how our hearts find ways to plant themselves, even in very arid soil.

20150811_9780J & A in Marienplatz, Munich.

20150811_9802Walking around the English Gardens.  Next time we’ll bring out bathing suits because diving into this river looked incredibly refreshing.

20150811_9826At the Dachau concentration camp memorial site.  No words.

20150811_9820Former site of one of the dozens of prisoner barracks.

20150812_9884Neuschwanstein Castle.

20150812_9900This is the castle where Ludwig II’s family spent their summers.  He built his fairy tale castle just up the mountain.

20150812_9927And what a build it was!  This was one of the most spectacular vistas I’d ever looked upon.

20150813_0271The Turkish restaurant by our place in Augsburg had better food than any restaurant we visited in Turkey.  I could eat this Iskender every week.

20150814_0269Back in the airport after a summer of trains and buses.  We took a short flight from Munich to Rome where we connected the next morning to Abu Dhabi.  These two have become super skilled at navigating airports, train stations, bus stations, and ferry stations.

This truly was a trip of a lifetime.  So many visions and dreams turned into reality.  Gratitude.  I’m all full.

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