BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Germany in My Mind: Our Sunset Cruise on the Rhine

Reposted from a year ago

Germany is a memory of the crimson sun slowly fading beneath the pale blue horizon as the hulking white catamaran gently crawls on the Rhine.

It is a crisp June afternoon in Bonn and Jes and I are standing on the deck of the boat, savoring this part of Europe.

Age-old castles line both sides of the river. And fancy restaurants, too. There are young boys and little girls in pig tails racing by the shore.

There is a broken bridge from a forgotten war; Medieval churches nestled on green-covered hilltops; Birds flocking from one branch to another; there are other boats, too and million-dollar yachts with lovers locked in each other's arms.

We sip on our champagne to fight off the biting breeze but we are already in a stupor from the boat ride alone, enthralled in this bearable lightness of being.

Traveling is about discovering the foreign and the unfamiliar; of getting lost and taking everything in; of freezing the time and passing it; of painting with light and weaving stories; and of dreaming of Einstein's dreams.

Cruising the Rhine is all these and more.

It is a plate of flying hors d'oeuvres; of fresh green lettuce, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese; of bottles of ice cold Becks beer and the froth on our pursed lips. 

It is the warmth of the brown spring coat while holding hands. It is high-heeled shoes and brown boots; of hundreds of sweaty bodies dancing on stage. It is jam-packed, drenched-in-booze all-night partying.

It is about strangers dropping by tables; fake backdrops of photographs; of endless giggling.

It is about sharing Winston lights on the deck while freezing in the cold. It is waiting for the sun to set at 10 in the evening and waiting for the yellow moon from years ago.

Germany is a memory of a cruise one afternoon of June on a river called Rhine, with the love, dreams and the warm embrace backlighted by the setting sun.