Preparing to leave our bags with British Airways in Nashville for the first leg of our journey, Nashville to London direct
I’m sitting in our hotel room in Nashville. Laurie is at a doctor’s appointment and when she’s done, we’ll grab a coffee somewhere. We have a leisurely mid-day planned….and this afternoon we head to the airport. We’re headed east and off to Europe!!
Last year, we visited a place of my younger dreams, and skied Chamonix, France. It was incredibly easy to get around, a beautiful place, considerably cheaper skiing than in the states, relaxing and unrushed. We simply enjoyed it. While I thought I was too old to go back to skiing after so many years, last year’s visit to Chamonix showed me I’m not too old yet…..even on the big hills.
Kicking back with a coffee in the Nashville airport
This was a very big deal to me. It meant a lot to find out that something I was very good at in my youth was not totally diminished by age. It made me feel younger than I feel some days, making me want to do it more. We’re going back to chase this dream again, planning to ski in the new year in Chamonix. I can’t wait to do it again! I’m so happy I get to share this with Laurie. We skied a lot in our early years together……maybe it makes us both feel younger.
At the height of my skiing youth, the 1984 Olympics were held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. After they were complete, my lifelong friend Brian and I were seriously discussing a trip to Sarajevo to ski. Packages were cheap after the Olympics and we were serious about going, but life intervened and things changed. I moved north to Maine and although Brian and I remain very close friends to this day, we never made it to Sarajevo. A vicious civil war ensued a few years later putting that dream to rest forever.
Or so I thought. Years have passed and the war is over. Yugoslavia no longer exists, being broken into multiple countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to heal and it is no longer home to the strife and war that tore it apart in the 90’s. This trip, I go there in pursuit of this dream of youth with my wife.
While we don’t plan to ski on this leg of the trip, we do plan on exploring Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as part of Croatia. Our stops will include Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia, and Mostar and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Eastern Europe had continued to evolve after the fall of communism and this area is no different.
We are especially excited about our visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia. For the record, Bosnia and Herzegovina is ONE country. That’s its name. Croatia is quite vast and we plan on going to two cities on the Adriatic. Croatia has also become a very popular and very affordable vacation spot for Europeans. The summers there are supposed to be fantastic.
The Nashville Airport has live music in several different places, making BNA one of the nicer airports to spend time .
A LOT of history has transpired in this area in the past 25 years. In lieu of skiing we plan to immerse ourselves in the culture and history of the area, and learn as much as possible. While Islam is the most prominent religion in this country, it is a vastly different brand of Islam from many of the middle eastern countries. Most Muslims are secular, wear western clothes, smoke, drink alcohol, and very often don’t even worship.
The people are reputed to be some of the most friendly in Europe. They’re not jihadist….they’re much more likely to buy you a beer. I plan on researching the matter further, but most are not Middle Eastern in origin, but Slavic. IF I understand it correctly, they became Muslims in the 14 or 15 hundreds as a way to relate better to the Turks for business purposes. Multiple religions (Orthodox Christian, Muslims, Jews, and Roman Catholic) have peacefully existed side by side for centuries. The recent problems were actually the agitations of outsiders and not those from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We start off with British Airway’s new direct flight from Nashville to London. Get on in Nashville and the next stop is Heathrow. No transfers, no layovers, awsome! If you’re reading this, we’re in the airport and if not already in the air, it’s not far off. Tag along with us…..Let’s go to Europe!