I recently returned from a vacation to Bavaria, Germany. It was lovely, as one would expect, full of gorgeous mountains, centuries-old churches, small alpine villages, tourist destinations and all the bratwurst and beer your tummy could handle. It was an experience that I will always treasure.
However, the one image that keeps recurring in my memory is not one of the many wonderful sights we saw on land, but one seen from the sky.
Call me crazy (you wouldn't be the first) but - despite the growing inconvenience, cost and total lack of comfort these days - I love to fly. I always try to get a window seat and follow along like a child tracing a map - the winding roads and waterways; the thin, white edges of the sea's coast like a torn sheet of paper; the discernible landmarks; the mountains capped with snow; the pillars of Earth rising out of the desert, and so on. It's like taking a second trip.
Coming home from Germany, we went north - probably to avoid some storms that were pressing through France. Up across Belgium, across the whipping winds of the North Sea, over England's rugged coast. We flew over the Irish Sea, and then across Ireland above the legendary stone walls, so neatly arranged - gleaming the Emerald Isle of our imaginations. Hours over the open Atlantic, and then suddenly - icebergs, anchored so near the coast of Newfoundland and tiny houses and their weathered inhabitants.
I never saw icebergs before. I didn't even know they could drift so far south (or were we that far north?) From 30,000 feet, it was difficult to tell at first what the white spots were below us. Caps of waves? Bits of clouds that were popping into view? Boats? Then they became larger. There was even one so large I think it must have been a glacier (or not) with the bluest core I have ever seen. To think how cold it must be there, how the hearty the local people must be (I could not imagine winter there), and how blessed they are to have such incredible natural surroundings. To be so connected to the sea.
[I didn't take photos, but look at these from Downhome Magazine.
They serve as my reminder that the earth-bound destination is only half of the journey - there is so much of the world out there. And even if it is viewed from afar, enjoy. And I hope someday to take my earth-bound destination to Newfoundland and see those icebergs close-up.