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Hey There


This is a moment that only Europe can give you - getting lost in the winding streets of the old cities until all of a sudden you catch a glimpse of greatness peaking at you through a narrow sliver of tightly packed buildings. Buildings that house families, going about their daily lives in the midst of the wanderlust tourists who are hoping they can find their way out of the age-old maze. I know I'll get lost, even if it's momentary, as my sensories get overloaded with the sights and sounds around me. Flowerboxes, daily laundry and football flags hanging from windowsills. Stray cats nap in stray sunlight beams. Kerchiefed adorned grandmothers fussing with the fruit vendors. Street level shops filled with trinkets that can't possibly all fit in my luggage. Wait, did I turn left or right? I peer up to see a slash of blue sky between the rain gutters, it's still daylight so I keep myself lost. Left, right, and right again, around another corner where all of a sudden new shapes come into view at the end of the alleyway and rise above the terra cotta rooftops. This labyrinth has been keeping a monumental secret from me until it felt I was ready for it to be revealed. I'm automatically drawn to this new sight and almost miss seeing a pastry shop I'm passing by; "Whoa, I don't know what that is," I mentally point out a piece of flakey heaven to myself, “but I am definitely coming right back to find out." Time returns to me as the skies open up and the sun finds my face, I realize I still have plenty of time left to this day for exploring. I take a deep breath as if the air is different here than in the darkened passageways I’ve just emerged from. The open promenade invites me to take a few steps back and I look up at this grandiose structure that stretches its façade and points to God. I walk around and take it in, sometimes foreboding, sometimes simple, sometimes smooth, other times jagged. Churches are like people, sometimes the outside reflects what you’ll find on the inside, other times you’re genuinely surprised to find something else. I notice the noise level has slightly increased in this open space and it’s time for me escape the bustle and head inside to see what I’ll find, back into more darkness. But I can’t help but wonder; what time does that pastry shop close…

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