“Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.”
- Mother Teresa
- Mother Teresa
I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to all the wonderful “strangers” I met along the cobblestones of Europe. Each of them created a unique heartprint for me. You will have to envision them through my written words since I did not want to post photos on a public website of these individuals. My deepest gratitude to all the “strangers” who cast a new light upon my path:
- My KLM flight attendant on my plane overseas – a wonderful woman who lived in Amsterdam. She spent some time with me sharing ideas of where to visit and what to do. She also shared some of her favorite childhood memories of growing up in Amsterdam.
- To the Dutch women who invited me to attend their prayer service at the Grote Kerk in Haarlem.
- To all the Innkeepers at our temporary “homes” – they welcomed us with open arms and blessed are goings. To all the local guides, that shared their knowledge about the local customs. To all the restaurant staff that entertained us with such delight.
- To all the “Nightwatch Men” at the hotels who watched out for me when I went on a late evening stroll around the block.
- To all the shopkeepers who spent time with me as I selected special gifts to bring home to friends and family. There was the woman in a Rothenburg wool store that found the perfect cape for my mom. The Florence jeweler who told me all about how he crafted his necklaces. The young girls in Rome who were delighted to entertain me and give me a bottle of cold water. The woman at the airport who offered to use all my coins (every last euro) when I made a purchase. And especially the Frenchman at Chanel 31 who made me feel special.
- To the American senior mother and son who shared lunch with me in Füssen, Bavaria. We shared an hour of conversation. When the older woman realized I was on a Rick Steves’ tour, she reached into her bag and pulled out the pages she had torn from his book. She said she always turns to Rick Steves for travel advice. The experience reminded me of how I used to travel with my mom.
- To the German woman who walked her dog with me along the Rhine River on an early Sunday morning. She did not speak English. However, she sensed that I had a love for her dog, a wire fox terrier. I grew up with a furfriend that was a wire fox terrier. I saw her the next day as we were leaving Bachrach. She waved to me and said good bye.
- To the cleaning girl at our hotel in Venice. She came into the room and realized I was not feeling well. She left and returned several minutes later with a pot of hot tea for me.
- To the British couple that sat with me at the Café Terrace at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I loved hearing their stories as they drank a spot of tea and I had a Florence Campari. Such a delightful hour!
- To the street vendor in Florence, who gave me a free plastic poncho during a downpour and let me stand under his umbrella.
- To the Italian nun in St. Peter’s Square who offered me her hand in prayer.
- To the laundry owners in Cinque Terre. They were a blessing to our team. We loaded them with wet clothes and somehow they got them all done in a day.
- To the taxi driver in Paris who drove me around to view the City of Lights at night, and he did not double charge me.