Many Happy Returns: Why revisiting makes sense
“I’ve done central Europe and have no real interest in going back,” said the traveler we ran into on the train though Spain last month. Cities from Berlin to Budapest had, it seemed, been ticked off as done and dusted.
It’s a common view that, as long as there is virgin territory waiting to be covered, it makes no real sense to revisit old haunts. But actually many of our most enjoyable journeys are repeat visits.
During the past month, we have revisited two superb Alpine rail routes that we have mentioned in previous posts on EuroCheapo: the GoldenPass route from Lucerne to the shores of Lake Geneva and the Bernina run from Tirano in northern Italy to the Swiss Engadin region.
The pull of Poznan
Yes, we are indeed creatures of habit. We return each winter to the North Frisian Islands, each year discovering something new in the seascapes and skies of that windswept part of Europe.
It was with that spirit of happy rediscovery that we spent a long weekend just after Easter in the Polish city of Poznan. We stayed as usual at the Hotel Brovaria, opting for one of our two favorite rooms (nos. 23 and 24 are the ones to go for, each having a superb view over the Polish city’s celebrated town square).
We made the usual round of churches, from the pink Parish Church (over-the-top Baroque within) to the magnificent brick cathedral on an island in the River Warta (nicely restrained in its interior decor). We ate at Cymes restaurant, which mainstreams on central European and probably not-quite-kosher food that recalls Poznan’s Jewish heritage. But Cymes does have a marvelous wine list, a rarity in Poznan, albeit a list with a twist: the restaurant serves mainly wines from Israel.
Unexceptional moments in exceptional places
We made time, just as we do on every visit to Poznan, to drift from café to café. Coffee at the Cocorico, tea at the Weranda, a post-dinner digestif at The Lizard King.
It was an unexceptional weekend in an exceptional city. We followed well-worn rituals and loved every minute of it. We sat in the square in glorious spring sunshine and enjoyed an afternoon nap when the showers moved in.
Sometimes a repeat visit is good for the soul. The lure of the new and the unfamiliar is incredibly seductive, but a return to well-trodden terrain is often welcome balm for the jaded traveler.