➡️In a zig, ↘️a zag, and then ⬆️a zog, this will start out as one trip, turn, and end as another.
Of course, this complicates packing.
Winter in the Netherlands
In Amsterdam, I’ll continue exploring my western ancestry, looking through the windows that open in art, music and history. I hope to compare what Beethoven says about exquisite beauty to what Shostakovich says about the power of finding beauty amid the ugly. And I expect I will learn more about beauty, ugliness and their intersection through the mature insights of the young Anne Frank. I’ll also explore the Dutch Golden Age, and intend to gaze in awe at Rembrandt’s “Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq,” – the “Night Watch” – and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid“, and then I’ll die in front of the most stunning still lifes ever painted.
Puffy coat, boots, gloves, scarf, dresses, tights, fancy shoes, jeans, sweater.
Next I’ll head south.
Spring in a former Dutch Colony
In Cape Town, South Africa, where spring will just be easing into summer, I’ll witness the birthplace of a nation that sprang from the Dutch Golden Age when farmers from the Netherlands colonized to supply fresh produce to the ships of the Dutch East Indies Company on its marine silk road. We’ll hang out on the V & A waterfront, gondola up Table Mountain, and take a couple of day trips to the Cape of Good Hope for, among other things, penguin viewing, and to Cape Winelands for, obviously, wine tasting. And again, here in Cape Town, I will be shown how to counter the ugly with beauty and humanity through the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela.
Rain Jacket, umbrella, cardigan, shirts, black jeans, runners.
Summer in the Southern African Desert – Namibia & Botswana & Victoria Falls
From Cape Town, we’ll be flying a couple of hours north to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. After Windhoek, no cathedrals, concert halls or art museums. We won’t be seeing the world through filters, it will be nature, unplugged. Animals in their habitat – striped, spotted, long-necked, maned, trunked. Animals I never imagined I would see in “person.” Nature will also have stories to tell about beauty and ugliness that I will have to interpret for myself. This is a vast country with only about 2 million inhabitants. We’ll spend the better part of three weeks here before heading east through Botswana to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls. Namibia is a place described as a good entry point for a first trip to Africa and a great place for families. Africa, for babies. I’ll take it!
Binoculars, hiking boots, fleece, hat, linen pants, linen shirts, cotton tees, tanks, shorts, sandals.
Once again, I’m off. Ga Verder! Gon Voort!
Luggage: 26″ – 88 L, when expanded – hey, not bad packing!