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Morning photo: Along the Danube

“Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul … “

Sunrise over the Danube.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Danube River weaves together a rich and diverse tapestry of culture and scenery, and it’s also an important thread in my life. Both my parents grew up along its banks; my mom in Linz, Austria and my dad in Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic. As a young boy, I spent many weeks near the river at my grandmother’s home and since then, I’ve returned to visit as often as possible.

As they easily transcend national boundaries,  great rivers hold a fascination for travelers. This summer, I gathered once again with family and loved ones to complete a very special trip started by my dad long ago in another era.

Kayaking the Danube.

Rivers can connect cultures, but they often also form the borders between countries, or, in the case of the Cold War, between two completely irreconcilable ideologies. As a young man, my dad was on the wrong side of that boundary, trapped behind the Iron Curtain while his spirit longed to fly free. Eventually, he was faced with a tough choice; stay and give in to the ideology of fear, hate and cynicism, or flee, leaving behind his family and loved ones, knowing that it would quite a while, if ever, before they knew his fate. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Austrian evenings …

Warm summer nights

Old and new.

SUMMIT COUNTY — In the temperate, low-elevation climes of central Europe, daytime warmth lingers far into the evening. The latitude, quite a bit farther north than Colorado, also means the twilight lingers relatively late. All that means it’s a great time to go for an evening stroll and enjoy mood as day turns to night. This series of iPhone shots captures some of the mood around Linz, Austria. Continue reading

Euro travel: Frisbee, fussball and self-cleaning toilets

A post-modern European Grand Tour

Adriatic sunset in Piran, Slovenia.

“Planning a trip is half the fun,” I mutter, typing yet another set of dates into the CheapTickets.com search box. I repeat the mantra to myself, trying to stay calm while booking tickets for our summer trip.

Who ever coined that phrase never had to arrange three different itineraries starting in Denver, with connecting flights in Frankfurt, Zurich, Istanbul and Amman, then returning from Munich and London on different days. On top of that, we need to find someone to look after Comet the Golden for three weeks — and he’s pretty picky. I feel like Clark Griswold, trying to set up National Lampoon’s Ultimate Family Vacation.

Luckily, I have the world’s mellowest girlfriend. She also has plenty of experience planning and implementing complex travel arrangements, so I thought I might get off easy on this one.

“You’ll have to do it this time, babe,” Leigh says, closing her laptop and heading to work.

“Not good,” I say to myself, eyebrows starting to twitch stressfully. I’m the ideas guy. I can envision a Grand Tour: Belgian waffles, fairytale castles, strudel in Salzburg, gondola rides in Venice and Sacher Torte in Vienna. Details are not my strength. Heck, I can barely remember my own phone number and I only glance at my bank statements about once every three months. Continue reading

Morning photo: Random travel moments

Always keep an eye on the horizon

On the beach. Click on the image to read about the World Heritage dunes, as well as the mystery meat and talking bumblebees of Texel Island. PHOTO BY LEIGH WADDEN.

SUMMIT COUNTY — I know, it seems random, but sometimes, that’s what travel is — a series of random moments, linked together in a journey through space and time. Kind of like life, if you think about it. Following are a few more random scenes captured as Leigh and I rambled through Europe on trains, ferries, buses and on foot. Some of the photos link to specific stories, and others are, well, just … random, but you can always visit the Summit Voice travel section to get inspired for your next journey. If you have a random travel photo, or even an photo essay with a theme, that you’d like to share, send it to bberwyn@comcast.net. Continue reading

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