It feels quite sad again to have finished writing up our 2741 mile round trip. I do have to say that if F and the boys said that they wanted to do exactly the same thing again leaving today I would happily run upstairs and pack a bag.
Watching some of the videos reminds me of the laughter, impressions, stories, jokes and general banter that went on whilst we were on the road or sitting in the tent, many of these remain in our day to day conversations and mealtime japery.
As we noted at one stage T loves the fact the we have ticked off so many European Mountain Biking Parks, and in the last couple of days we have been chatting about going to Montgenevre again (last summer's favourite park) or Glentress (the previous year's best park) or venturing more to the east of Switzerland or even into Austria. I don't think I'll be able to spend four weeks on the road again for a while. Gutted.
We did some looking back at videos from the Scotland trip and some of the runs there were really good too. Midges were a pain, mind you.
We were so grateful that we were able to have the Landy. Whilst not the most comfortable Continental Grand Tourer we were safe and there were no problems.
The thrill of being able to get up into the mountains to play and take photographs hasn't left me, and I want to go back and see more, so would be happy with T's plan of other parts of Switzerland or Austria - although most of us want to get back to France ASAP.
The culture bit of the tour, especially in Ravenna, was fascinating. I loved learning about the Arians when at College and so to feel like I actually met them in their Churches and Baptistry was really stimulating. I had been in two minds about to what extent they may or may not be thought of as 'Christians' (the point at issue is their view of Jesus as being fully man). The mosaics in the Arian Baptistry seemed to tip my thinking away from seeing them as people with a slightly flawed understanding of who Jesus was. Their misunderstanding was based on, what to them at the time I am sure, was the logic of the day - God was spirit and eternal and not physical and earthy. The addition of the pagan deity (or was it Neptune) in the scene with John baptising Jesus, I think, shows that this misunderstanding easily led to a compromised view of far more.
That sounds judgmental - how could we know what it was really like then? As I read and write about issues to do with our move in the autumn this keeps coming back to me asking me again and again where my own understanding about who Jesus was might be shot through and distorted by the comfortable middle class environment within which I have growm and developed and in which I now inhabit my waking hours.
My just under 1500 photographs are now on my computer, and are a regualr feature of my random photo screen saver, so I find myself reminiscing as images appear on the screen. In addition, I have a really good A5 Box File into which I have placed my journal, along with receipts, maps and other snippets that I can go back and browse whenever I wish.