Where do we start this journey? If we start from the ages, where everything was without form, we realize that we are placeholders in the long span of this terminal universe. If we truly have to begin, to see Europe, in the previous length of 200 years, we should start from Greece, the cradle of Western Enlightenment, where democracy was carved out. We should see the ruins of Athens and how vulgarity paled her into the present, holding on to life support of Germany.
We should transit to see Berlin and hear marching sounds of the Prussia and behold the horrific remnant images of the holocaust, the ruins of the World Wars and also the crumbling pieces of the Iron Curtain. We should have that kiss, the new kiss of freedom seen around the world.
In Vienna, we relieve the antique of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now cut in chunk of states deciding their destinies. We should not forget Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo of Serbia, the villain who sparked the war by assassinating Archduke Ferdinand. We should stand where he stood and marvel how the rolls of the tanks roared after those shots.
We should go France – Paris and Normandy – and see Le Louvre, Eiffel Tower and its signature of its classic past. At Normandy, we should peer at the brave soldiers who smoked their blood in the hail of gunfire. We should kiss their tombs and listen to their chuckles dipped in freedom.
We should go the Poland to see the horrors of Auschwitz and how the beast in man raged so loudly. We should gaze at Constantinople of the Ottoman Empire and its reign that reached the Mediterranean Sea. Dearie, we will take sights on Brussels right from the footprint of King Leopold to the administrative center of ailing Europe. We should never forget the beast of the East and leap to St Petersburg and relive the October Revolution – how the Lenin rolled the tanks in Winter.
We should fly to Moscow, sober at the fiefdom of Stalin, behold the paragon of modern belligerence and adore the Red Square from where Yeltsin winked at the rolling tanks.
We should see good old shopkeeping London, and ask how this island once controlled two-thirds of the earth. Lets find the steamy coal plants of Newcastle, the cotton-loading ports of Liverpool, the royal palaces of WestMinster shining across Thames and the abiding legacy of Rothschilds. Lets ask the cyclists of Amsterdam how the ancient finance left their floors to the glassy walls of the Swiss.
We have seen everything but we have not seen Europe. What’s being in Europe without seeing Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence and Venice. We have not seen the obscene creativity that litter the streets of Rome and the enduring magnificence of Michaengelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. We should not miss Barcelona, we have something to learn from the Catalans and their forlorn dream of separation.
It is time to go home dearie, back to Africa, but we should feel some breeze and where else if it’s not in the playground of the rich – Monaco.
Maybe down the road, this our sojourn is an opening chapter of a book to come.