The trip we took to Austria a few weeks before our departure from Moldova was a fitting epilogue to our European tour. More important than the festival D attended and the stunningly beautiful Wachau Valley we visited was the opportunity to spend some time with close friends whom we might not see again for several years. In the same vein, our stopover in Ireland en route back to the United States can be accurately described as a prologue to our home leave.
Time won’t stand still, especially when we are on vacation. It has been three weeks since S left Moldova with Munchkin, and two weeks since D followed suit. In that time, we visited Ireland, spent some time with D’s parents in Connecticut, made separate trips to New York, and are now catching up with S’s family in New England.
Because of its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has changed hands about as often as the balance of power has shifted in Europe. Settled by the Greeks; occupied by nearly everyone, from the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians to the French and Venetians; ruled by Arab caliphates and the Ottoman Empire; administered by the British; and for the last 40 years divided in two, Cyprus is a microcosm of European history. It would have been a shame not to explore at least some of it.
“Did you read Beryl Markham’s book, West With The Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer’s log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers…I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book.”