To the Centre of Europe / Walhalla

She travelled from Antwerp, to Schengen in Luxembourg, to see The Princesse Marie - Astrid, the boat that the Schengen Agreement was signed on. But it wasn’t there. It’s in Germany now, in Regensburg, and sails as the MS Regensburg on the River Danube. It takes people on day trips to The Walhalla Memorial which is a short journey from the town. She found out The Walhalla Memorial is a hall of fame that houses statues, or busts, of significant figures from German history. When she left Schengen that day she saw a car parked by the road with a picture painted on its side. It didn’t occur to her until later that it depicts a scene in which a Viking ship sails past the Walhalla of Norse mythology, the great hall of Odin, where warriors who have died in battle gather in heavenly revellry. The car, she thought, had Russian license plates.

Image: Valhalla. Max Brückner. 1896