I found it, I found what my eyes see as paradise. Whether it’s a state of mind, a place or how I’m feeling at any given moment in time, makes no difference. Alone with my thoughts on a 12 day journey through parts of Europe left me with a sense of awe and wonder. I was amazed at the greenery when cutting across Austria on a train from Munich to Slovenia and eventually Croatia. What do people do in the valleys, how about in the hills that are so spread apart. How bad is winter and do they get a lot of snow in the valley, or do the mountains act like bodyguards and protect the valley from the winter winds? I can see it now, 6 months later, I’m standing in my empty train cart, listening to my music with the window open staring outside. I open the door to the cart and look outside the opposite window just to make sure I don’t miss anything.
I didn’t want to forget the feeling so I sat down and started writing in my notebook; taking blurry pictures because at times the train starts rocking back and forth on uneven tracks. Still the images and sights haunt me and I know next time I’m in that part of the world – I’ll have to stop by and see the beauty in person. The train guided us through Salzberg and Villach before crossing into Slovenia.
Some pictures of the scenery through my train ride are below but the interwebs show some amazing pictures of Salzberg and Villach. Maybe I should’ve gotten off the train and explored the city. On second thought, maybe not, it was pouring.
Ljubljana, Slovenia – Travelfeatured.com image.
There’s something to be said about the method of travel, not the train itself but going solo. Not even aware that you’re traveling alone because you’re so engulfed in what you see. It was paradise. And every time I think back on it, I again feel like I’m in paradise, blessed to see and experience what I did and what countless others have as well. Blessed my work allows me to go exploring, blessed that I have the financial resources and blessed my parents instilled a sense of wonder from early on. When I was I think 12, I went to Houston alone to visit relatives I’ve never met or spoken to before. They told me one thing, ‘Just Go’. ‘Just Go’ – be open to the experience, go meet people and start a relationship with them, use the anxiety and nervousness to fuel excitement and intrigue. And I can’t thank them enough.
The train moves at a pace I can walk faster than as I get into Ljublana and of course, it’s still pouring cats and dogs. I thought it’d let up enough for me to explore the city, get a taste of the history and culture but unfortunately it didn’t. I had a few hours until my train to Split via Zagreb.
So I continue my journey to extend paradise to the next destination. Croatia. And what I found on my train ride through Austria was a different type of paradise than what I found in Croatia. Paradise nonetheless but hard to explain the difference. After almost a week of cloudy, rainy and cold weather I see a large body of water that seems to be the ocean – it’s actually the Adriatic Sea. And there’s a bit of sun peeking out over the clouds. There is hope after all.
My Croatian adventure will continue in a future post.