This story is also available in the following languages: French
As a child from Lotharingia, I was always attracted, not to say fascinated, by the East beyond the Rhine border. What was there beyond the beautiful Alsace with its half-timbered houses and its inhabitants speaking a Germanic dialect? And beyond this Germany which, in my father's youth, had left in 1944, so many wastelands waiting for the slow post-war reconstruction?
For me, the time of travel came after my adolescence. Beyond Europe, of course, since an "iron curtain" forbade individuals - except those adhering to an ideology that I did not share - to go there as tourists. In 1987, I was welcomed at Bucharest airport by female soldiers armed with Kalashnikovs as we got off the plane, my friends and I made our way to the austere waiting room for twelve hours of interminable and tiring transit.
This was Europe! What I didn't know was that the death knell of this fractured Europe would sound two years later, allowing me to rediscover Romania, its neighbours and more.
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