I think it is human nature that we try to make sense of our world, to organize what we encounter in life so it makes sense with what we already know. I had this experience on our recent cruise along the Rhine River. Each place I saw, I thought, “This is like . . . ,” and tried to compare it with a place I had already been.
Much of the Rhine reminded me of the Columbia River. Not necessarily the section of the Columbia where I grew up, but the Columbia River Gorge downstream toward Portland, Oregon.
Here’s a picture of the Columbia River Gorge:
And here’s a picture of the Rhine I took on our trip:
But, of course, there are differences. I didn’t see any waterfalls along the Rhine, as I have seen so many times along the Columbia. I don’t recall vineyards right along the Columbia, as there are along the Rhine, though there are many vineyards in both Washington and Oregon in the hills beyond the Columbia.
And there are no castles overlooking the Columbia.
But the hills above both rivers offer lovely overlooks of the valleys below. Here is a picture I took near Vantage, Washington, of the Columbia River this summer:
And here is a picture from Marksburg Castle looking out over the Rhine:
The vegetation is different, but the majesty and power of the rivers are the same.
And now, after our Rhine River trip, I have a whole new set of familiar images to match against my future experiences.
What have you seen in your travels that reminded you of home?