The best souvenir of travel is asking new questions

This past week I’ve spent touring post-communist Europe in a way I’d not yet prior. In 9 days, I’ve been through Katowice, Auschwitz, and Krakow (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), and Budapest (Hungary). I now write from Vienna.

One of the primary things I’m reminded I love about travel is the new questions it gives you – about a place, about history, about ourselves.

In Budapest: What is it about the Jewish Quarter that’s led to such an artistic stir?

In Krakow: Is the Jewish Quarter the same way? Is it true in other cities?

For either: What does this have to do with the looming history of WW2 and the unspeakable black heft of Jewish extermination?

What’s the new government in Budapest up to?

Why was Prague so overrun with tourists during our stay, while Krakow wasn’t?

How and why are each of these currencies pegged as they are against the dollar?

What’s Purchasing Power Parity again?

Wait, what’s Byzantium? When?

Before they were Germans, were Germans Catholic, Pagan, or… something else? And who “were” they anyway? (What empire?)

If the Roman emperor was elected, … how?


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