After five years of going to Germany and continuing my travels in one direction to Asia, I will be traveling round trip to and from Germany this year. I’m not quite sure what motivated me to change course, except that I am condensing alot of short trips within Germany or Central Asia that feels exhausting just from the planning perspective.
This year, the big travel will still anchor in Germany. I’ll spend a couple of weeks in my favorite city of Dresden, taking a German course in my “home town”. Dresden is where I first started taking German classes in Germany, and where I fell in love with opera and classical music. After several years of attending the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, or Music Festival, I was compelled to learn German.
Travel Partner Gee Kin will meet me next in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the main adventure visiting three countries in the Southern Caucasus. Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan are at the southern side of the mountains and the crux of our curiosity. Remnants of Persian culture remain here. The confluence of multiple religions and cultures will also provide a wealth of history, ideas and further evidence of the Silk Road for us.
In reading the New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, I am fascinated by his updated perspective on the ancient trade route. It is now being regenerated by Chinese investment in the string of Eurasian countries that link Asia and Europe. Collaboration between many countries to manage and develop natural resources is well underway. Europe and the U.S. are destined to fall behind, unless they recognize the rising new powers and form partnerships for the next generation.
On return to Europe, I have booked a slot with Diane Olivier’s sketching class in the Olgarve, Portugal. I am looking forward to joining fellow student Karen and learning more skills from Diane, an exceptional art instructor. I may take a quick side trip to Lisbon and/or Porto while basking in the Southern European sun!
The last leg will bookend the trip with another couple of weeks at the Goethe Institute in Vienna. If you haven’t figured out by now, I have found my perfect sweet spot: park yourself somewhere abroad to learn a new language, keep your brain fit, and enjoy opera and classical music events at the same time!
For new friends, Welcome! Continuing followers will recognize the focus on art, architecture, museums, culture, and food. I normally post monthly on weekends, but during active travel I post two to three times a week. Stay tuned for this year’s travels with myself and others, and I’d be pleased to have you join me! Don’t forget to comment if you have questions or thoughts to share!