On Agendas and Tolerance
There are many forms of travel that take you to many amazing destinations. Designer tours that fill your days with locations beyond compare. A package of amazing value in the sun/shade/snow/surf. But the more I travel the more I think it is experiences that make me whole. The unexpected. The unique. The unknowing. Allowing yourself to be sufficiently “open” to take the left turn when the guide book says turn right. For such moments to remember you need not travel far.
On this trip J and I decided well before the off that there was no agenda. Take each day as it comes and follow your feelings (thanks OB1 for that idea) – oh, and the fact we HAVE to be in Montpellier in the South of France for 29th June. The journey is the important thing, not the destination. As a result of our non agenda policy highlights so far have included bumping into the Pope, overtaking the Tour of Hungary bike race (no, wait a minute, the road we wanted to be on was blocked by police as the Tour flashed by in a blur of Lycra and shaved legs) and eating cheese and bread with a delectable smorgasbord of people from France, Germany and, er, Germany. Been eaten alive by mosquitoes, crossing 7 borders and tasting each unique culture and drinking lavishly local Unicum and Palinka in the middle of the day in a remote field at “Tsigi’s” caravan.
“Tsigi’s” amazing bar in, well, actually I have no idea where it was. It was in a field though, if that helps you find it.
In Vienna we said no tours, museums or galleries. We did say yes, following advice from Phyl and Neil the day before – see earlier blog (thanks both so much) – to 3 euro tickets to the opera to see Don Pascale accompanied by the Vienna philamonic orchestra.
I could see almost every 1709 faces of the audience at the Opera!We were standing in the back row – it was like looking into the Grand Canyon such was the scale of the hall
But in Vienna we also had the privilege to gain a glimpse of my first gay pride parade. An event that makes you realise that people are wonderful unique and amazing things. One of the most happy events I have ever been too. Thanks to all the mad, happy, ex centric, lunatic, chromatic, fantastic, crazy, normal, colourful, out there, “really!”, outrageous, stunning, is that legal, beautiful, ageless and totally bonkers individuals who felt comfortable enough to express their own skins in an environment of joy and peace to show how positive the world can be when we each show a little tolerance.
Attendance should be mandatory. It was my privilege. I am so grateful to you all.
In the words of the amazing singer songwriter Mary Gauthier –
“Drag queens and limousines,
Nuns in blue jeans,
Dreamers with big dreams,
these are my friends”