Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trafalgar's European Explorer 2006 memoirs part 1

Trafalgar European Explorer 2006-March-28

I think this picture was taken in Italy, on the very best night the entire tour group had on Trafalgar's European Explorer tour.

I can't remember the date of the tour exactly, but I do remember that around 2005, I was thinking about a vacation again, and my on-again mostly-off-again friend Nesha (she tends to fall off the planet completely, even though we live in the same neighbourhood) was intensely interested in the outcome. She urged me to pack no more than one backpack for the entire two week trip, and take a couple of cheap cameras to take photos. Which I sparingly did, because even back then, I just wasn't into pictures -- Who would I share them with? Close friendships seemed hard to nurture at the time and it just felt like I'd have an inventory of pictures with no context for anyone other than myself.

Anyway, on that trip, we pulled into Italy late in the evening, and it was snowing. After supper, some of us went around the back to build a snowman with the South Africans and Australians on the tour who'd never seen snow. Of course, the snowballs started flying and we had a grand time of it.

The lady in the picture was from Australia, and if I remember correctly, was some sort of lottery company executive. We somehow bonded over the trip, maybe because we were both travelling alone, and I remembered we ended up feeling quite close.

I recall that she had had a wonderful time in the snow, and was happy to tell everyone just how "awful" it was to have been dragged under a tree and had it shook over here, causing all the snow to dump right on top.

At the very end of the tour, when we were back in the London hotel, and were to finally part ways forever, I think we nearly broke into tears. She gave me a very firm hug and told me to take very good care of myself.

And that was the last I ever saw of her. Saddest part is, four years later -- I can't even remember her name.

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