I’m on a bus. Denmark has faded into the distance and now I’m passing through wind generator infested fields on the way to Berlin. You know I care about climate change. I’ve even vowed not to get on a plane again so that could very bad news for anyone expecting me back soon. I guess there’s always sea travel but I can’t decide what worries me more… pirates or seasickness. I’ll start by doing laps of the sauna. (I know that doesn’t make sense but they’re great).
News trickles through to the remote corners of the world where I’ve been thigh deep in snow, that Australia has been experiencing a heatwave. When I was in Russia someone told me that Sydney had 48 degrees that day. He wasn’t Russian. In general, they’re not friendly with foreigners, unless one is in a sparse, white-tiled community bathhouse with a crowd of large, naked women. Trust me, it was fabulous. If only I had my sketchbook and charcoal.
Along with breathtaking architecture and cheap hostels that were once palaces, and some photo opportunities that were golden, the lack of smiles was a constant during my three weeks in post Soviet Russia.
When I arrived in Stockholm, laughter surprised me and the variety of different backgrounds were striking. What a relief to be amongst other humans who could laugh even when life isn’t perfect. It was still minus 5, the metro crowded and I was a foreigner. Of course I loved Russia but a huge thank you to the Swedes, Norwegians and Danish people for being you. I had a fabulous time and I’m sure I’ll go back for my friend’s wedding in August, assuming I manage the next round of paperwork in France.
I’m making my way back to France slowly. There’s a whole mini series in my dental tourism escapades that happen before I get there. Hello Budapest.. I don’t require being picked up at the airport or help with a discounted hotel but bus and hostel will be fine to get me to your lovely dental suites. 12 February. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Berlin with its politics, art, contact improvisation and some lovely friends are less than an hour away. I’m excited! The bus is approaching Frankfurt and it’s time I started looking out the window.
Take care, smile and give hugs. It’s a wonderful gift.
PS I didn’t pose naked in the snow but I did take the photograph.
Gavdos is remote. It is the most southern point of Europe, an island south of Crete heading to Africa. I had to go there, again, and I needed to get there by the full moon. The plan was simple… get out of Athens and on to the night ferry, bus to the south of Crete and catch the ferry. I checked the internet. I drank Greek coffee with a travel agent. I caught the bus. But no matter how much I wanted to commune with nature on Gavdos, I was stranded in Sfakia. The ferry wouldn’t grace the horizon for another three days.
The future is carved from the past. The spirit of adventure that led me to the sacred heart of the mountains, to be nurtured and grown into goddess, took me beyond this dreaming and into another. But only after the first chapter was completed. The sun burnt memories into my skin as cicadas screamed in the standstill heat. Slow down sang summer. I ignored the message, cut trees and dragged their limbs in forty degrees plus. My naked feet stung on hot sand as I ran to the edge and dived in. Be cool laughed the river. Build your shelter warned the ants as they carried their dead underground. Don’t forget to sing called the birds. Always fly encouraged the eagle. Dream called my heart. And so the second hut was built.
Photos: Paul Buchlak