We’ve been in Europe for a week, and I thought it was time to check in.
A couple of general observations: both Austria (surprisingly) and the Netherlands (unsurpisingly) are more diverse than on my last visit (fourteen years ago). I’ve actually seen more Muslims in Salzburg than in Amsterdam (though mostly of the sort who cover their heads but wear fashionable western dress otherwise).
We haven’t encountered any overt anti-Americanism, not even from relatives.
I guess I’ve been surprised by the lack of obvious security in the train stations. I’ve gone through exactly one metal detector (and that was in the Rijksmuseum).
The Knippenberg family highlights so far have been Delft (lovely town with great squares and churches) and the Maria-Plain pilgrim church outside Salzburg (where my folks were married back in ’55). The latter gives me anecdotal evidence that Catholic piety is alive in central Europe--there was beautiful spontaneous singing, and, gosh, I shook the hand of the Arch-bishop of Salzburg.
More later, probably after we’ve spent some time in Italy.