In Ghent, Belgium, the second city of our European side trip, I had the experience of a lifetime. I'm putting this as a separate entry, not waiting to get home and start my city by city blog simply because it is such a special memory for me.
Music is a huge part of my life, and you couldn't pay to have an experience like we stumbled upon, it seems to me. I'll copy the following from my journal from that night:
"If I were to pick a most memorable moment, it would have to be while John and I were strolling along some narrow side streets. We were off the beaten path but knew where we were headed. Rounding a corner, I heard a tuba run a scale, then three or four voices talking and instruments tuning. I stopped John and got the video camera from his backpack.
"We stood in a little alcove recording the beautiful music the small group (I think it was a quartet) made until they finished the piece. I had just stopped recording when John said, "Look at their view!" I turned around and there was a giant cathedral rising skyward across the road down a side street. There was a choir rehearsing at the same time, but you could only hear them faintly as we stood taping and listening. It must have been some kind of music conservatory... A person could find inspiration there, and peace."