In no particular order, here are some things that have crossed my mind in the last couple months as we venture across Europe. It will make my daughter happy. Is not even a "list", that internet annoyance of late, as in:"My 7 Top Thoughts on Our Travels". Anyway, here I go:
Why, oh, why does nowhere have window screens? The last screen I saw was back in the US. I'm sure theres a perfectly logical reason for this, but what it is I can't guess. I've worked in the building industry long enough to know that yes, there are standard sizes, and these old European buildings are far from standard, but screens are easy! With the lack of screens everywhere, and no air conditioning, your choice for a good night's sleep is to leave the windows wide open and fight mosquitos all night, or close the windows entirely and sweat all night. At least in Asia, without widow screens and air conditioning, they had bed mosquito nets.
I often complain about the abundance in the world's most beautiful cities of garbage, trash, litter, rubbish. I've written about it before. You know what else really saddens me? Cigarette butts!!!! I wonder what the world was like before the invention of filtered cigarettes. Seeing these beautiful ancient cobblestone streets without also seeing thousands of butts in all the cracks...or seeing a gorgeous tropical beach without cigarette butts all over it. Wow, what would that be like? When I lament this, Andy says in the past there were worse things in these European alleys to wade through, and I know that to be true, but really we are drowning in cigarette butts. This was a majorly noticeable problem in Rome, Athens and Istanbul. For sure, Europeans and Asians smoke a lot more than Americans. A whole other problem of course, since who targeted Asians so hard to smoke when the domestic market went soft? Oh, yeah, US companies. Anyway, I my humble opinion, they should stop making filtered cigarettes. If you want to smoke, do it without a filter, it will certainly kill you either way.
Travel fatigue is a real thing. We've been on the move quite a bit since leaving Indonesia on May 15, where we spent a solid month. But that was a lot less sightseeing and more relaxation. Since then, we've been to Singapore, Istanbul, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, and are currently in Lisbon. We knew moving at this pace would be tough, but this is the Europe leg and there is much to see and some destinations were just too expensive to stay too long. But, all these cities have so much to see, and we are museum people, and so we have been walking 5 to 8 miles a day for weeks. We generally do not use taxis due to the expense, plus we like to walk and wander. We usually use the metros, but more often then not, our destination still may be a good distance away. Not only that, but Santorini, Athens, Rome, and now Lisbon are extremely hilly. We often wonder why we are not getting skinny! Oh, wait, we are also food people. Dammit. My point is I am glad we made this trip now before we get any older. We have begun to realize the necessity for downtime; days for doing nothing, without FOMO.
So, theres a few thoughts. We are looking forward to relaxing on the beach in the Algarve of Portugal, then going on to England, where we are going to be doing a house and dog sit for a month near the Cotswolds. After that, all signs point back to the ol' USA. Where they have screens.