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  • Shreyasi Buch

The Travel Escapades: Europe

Concluding European Adventures:

The saccharine scent of brightly coloured flowers wafted into his nose as it lingered for some time. The chirping of numerous species of birds rung in his ears. He felt the crisp mountain air biting at his supple and young skin. He gazed at the verdant, rolling fields cascading from the ranges of the majestic Gaisberg mountains in Salzburg, Austria. He could almost taste the satisfaction of overcoming a tedious climb when he inhaled a deep breath. The world seemed to come to a standstill, time froze and Hendrix felt as though he was the only person experiencing the glorious scene before his curious eyes.

Hendrix had been back-packing across Europe for quite a few weeks. “Just me, the road and a bagful of cherished and transcendent memories.” he thought. The young man, only twenty-three years of age had a fervent desire to travel the world and witness its remarkable sights by himself. He had ticked off traversing through the continent of North America already. Now, he was at the latter end of his European adventures, Eastern Europe being the last of his conquest.

Hendrix had finally reached the peak of Gaisberg and revelled in his success. He found a secluded bench a few steps away from him. He strolled over to the bench and slipped his heavy backpack full of supplies off his sore back and stretched out. He had earned his well-deserved break. He laid down his blanket and collapsed on the comfortable blanket. “This is it!” he thought. “Europe, now officially off the bucket list.” he said as he ticked off the last destination from his travel journal that he sourced from his backpack. ‘The Travel Journal’, Hendrix’s most prized and precious possession was filled to the brim with doodles, notes, thoughts, captured moments and photographs from far and wide. That journal contained his dreams in the written form. It was Hendrix in a book.

Hendrix reminisced the wonderful times he had as he skimmed through the pages of his journal, grasping on to each word and each photograph and trying to vicariously relive those moments.

Journal Entries:

Being Fastidious in France

“...The Eiffel Tower… I said as I lowly whistled, well it certainly lived up to expectations I guess. Perhaps something extraordinary about the twinkling and gleaming lights or the sky during dusk. Painted by the hues of orange, blue and pink all of them getting morphed into indistinguishable colours. Nothing quite like it. Although, it feels like the other splendid sights here get trumped by this one street with the Arc de Triomphe and the Tower and all the enticing shops with alluring and fashionable articles of clothing, tempting the onlookers to empty their pockets for them. No, now overlooking a place of such splendour as the French Riviera feels like a crime, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll be soaking in the beauty of another destination.

The car ride to here (French Riviera) was unbelievably exciting. I saw the gothic cathedrals with their bold spires and tinted glass in all its limpid glory, something out of a movie. A soft grin playing on my lips all along which only widened into a Cheshire cat-like one when my eyes fell on the topaz blue sea and the scenic view of the French Riviera. It is going to be a great day…”

Italy Being The Intoxicant

“...Walking into the deteriorating amphitheatre, a quarter of the monument now inexistent. That did not inhibit the ‘colossal’ Colosseum from still holding the grandeur of aura that enwreathed the emperors of the Renaissance period. It was used as an execution area and a church at some point in time. Contradicting things at that, it is incomprehensible the number of episodes this gigantic monument has witnessed throughout history.

I am now winding down at one of the beaches in the Amalfi Coast, an innately beguiling picture. The pristine waters are as blue as can be with their waves gently lapping at the shoreline creating tiny, gurgling bubbles on the white grains of sand. I have entered a trance like state, the lines between my conscious and subconscious have blurred and I feel intoxicated drinking in the history, culture, the unparalleled Italian delicacies and the sheer beauty of the divine country. I am in a reverie and everything inevitably seems to exceed my expectations…”

Envisioning The Glorious Gods in Greece

“... I tried recollecting the story of the Goddess Athena and how Athens came to be as I stood awe-struck at the foothills of Acropolis, Greece. The imagination and fantasies of the myths that I had read were vividly flashing through my mind. It was solely a mythical place in my mind and now I am standing here, standing on the very soil where the war between Poseidon, Master of the Seas, and Athena, Goddess of Wisdom had taken place. Picturing the turning points of Greek Mythology where they happened felt surreal. The floodgates of my knowledge of Greek Mythology rushed open and I was living those moments that occurred eons ago…”

Being Nocturnal in Norway

“... I am bundled up in multiple layers of warm inducing clothes in an attempt to preserve body heat, I think it is safe to say that all my wearisome efforts have been in vain. I feel like an icicle and to add to my misery I am ‘basking’ in solitude in a tent that does the bare minimum of protecting me from the bleak cold. Not to mention at an ungodly hour (about 3:00 a.m.) all of that to be fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. I believe it’s fair and should probably stop whining to myself. I had all but given up on staying awake any longer and then suddenly It happened. It looked like an illusion, the electric colours of the aurora, flickering in the sky and my breath had been taken away.

Waking up in an hour after witnessing something so enthralling did not seem like an option so I miraculously pulled an all-nighter, watched the sunrise, had a soothing cup of tea and set off to see the fjords. Luckily I was at the coast where fjords are and only had to hike downhill for about an hour. As I approached the gorge and saw the crystal blue colour fjord ever so tranquil with rippling water, I almost pinched myself. My eyes had to be deceiving me, this is too good to be true…”

Cheers To The Good Times:

Hendrix would dearly miss the ventures of Europe, a place full of versatility. He felt his adrenaline coursing through his veins as he shot up from the blanket and let out a jubilant scream. It was another flurry of words ticked off on his bucket list, another continent conquered, another day gone by where Hendrix lived to his fullest. This was only the beginning of his travel adventures across the world, merely a prologue. Heaps of memories and moments of a new place every day were still waiting to be scrawled in Hendrix’s journal.

Hendrix’s Travel Journal

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