Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Eine woche im Süd Deutschland: Quick and Dirty

I left work at lunch time to go home because I forgot to bring my chargers for all my electronics and I realized I would have the opportunity to hike so I should bring my boots and knee brace, I grabbed my things and was on my way to the train station but had to wait for a bus, when I got to the station I waited again and boarded a train to Kassel-Wilhelmschöhe where I waited to board another train, while I was waiting I thought I heard a familiar voice and tuned around and there were Olga and Paulius from the BIB, they were going to Frankfurt to fly to Hong Kong and we were on the same train, we sat together and talked a bit on the ride before they had to get off to get a flight, I stayed on the train to Mannheim and got off, hopped on a train to Stuttgart and it was totally packed but people still needed to get through, I was stuck standing in the hallway with a stroller luckily it was only a 30 minute train ride so I arrived in Stuttgart and waited for my regional train to take me to Uhingen, this train was about 15 minutes late by when I arrived in Uhingen Philip was waiting for me and took me home, I ate and talked with Joerg some warned some soccer and then a comedy show and went to bed (oh and we drank some good heifelweissen and red wine too).

It seems everyone overslept, I set an alarm for 7:45 but it was unfortunately for pm not am, I still got up at 8 though and showered before having coffee and breakfast with Tanja, we talked a bit then she drove me to Plochingen to get a train to Stuttgart, on this train I ran into Philip and he said "you should have told me, I could have driven you" oh well he was in too much of a hurry, I went to Stuttgart and boarded a train to go to Karlsruhe Hbf where I sous change to a train to Freiburg but the train was late so I missed the train to Freiburg and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one, I finally arrived in Freiburg and tried to follow the directions to my hosts home but (leave it to me) I got lost, luckily my host came and met me at the tram stop I got off from and took me home, on the walk there I spoke in German but I still feel like a six year old when I speak but at least speaking reminds me that I know more than I think I do, we had tea and spoke about plans for the evening and couch surfing and life, she took a nap and I stayed in "my room" and read a book for a few hours, I can't believe I haven't mentioned this yet but it's snowing!, we went to pick up four of Eva's friends and all piled into her car, her friend from Israel had some friends visiting and we all went to another friend’s house where we shared dinner, they didn't have enough food for us though so while most people ate we sat and watched and then we made and ate pasta, it was interesting hearing all the languages at the tabs with German English Russian Chinese Polish and Hebrew it was quite the mix, we hung out but finally left to take the girls from Israel home, we went in for tea and hung out to just talk (the whole night I was by far the youngest but I still had just as many adventures and mishaps and such as everyone else, it makes me feel so grown up and experienced), we finally came home at about 2 AM and went to bed.

I woke up and "showered" but since Eva lives in the top of the building all the ceilings are slanted like the roof and standing in the tub isn't really an option so it was like a bath with the shower head, I talked to mike another couch surfer who would show me the city during the day and we mad plans to meet for breakfast around ten and I made tea then just relaxed until I had to leave, I went into the city and met with Mike a couch surfer who would show me the city, we went for breakfast and had a buffet of meats cheeses bread and other items, we walked in the altstadt for a bit but then took a tram then a bus to go to the longest gondola in Germany, we went up the hill and couldn't see much due to the low clouds but we hiked and talked a lot, finally after maybe three hours of walking and climbing we went down on the gondola again and went back into the city, we went up another hill and onto another observation tower to see the sun setting and the city lighting up, we went back down and said our goodbyes and I went back to my hosts home, she had just finished cooking and we ate and drank tea together while talking, I showed her some things from the US and where I lived and she helped me to find another city to visit because I couldn't find one in Lindau, we talked until maybe 10:30 then went to bed.

I woke up and made tea for Eva and I and again we talked a lot, I still hadn't found a host. But at least in Augsburg it is a large city so I could find a hostel no problem, Eva and I said goodbye and I went to get on a tram to the train station to leave Freiburg, while at the train station I received an email from a host from Australia who could host me so I got on a train and went to Karlsruhe where I would need to switch trains to go to Augsburg, I arrived in Augsburg but my host couldn't meet me until 8:45 PM so I had a long time to wait to meet so I locked my bag in a locker at the train station and went into the city, I wandered and saw some churches and had some food in a small cafe then went to meet Andrew at the Irish pub for a quiz group he was in, while there I met some couch surfers and even a girl from commerce, after four rounds and a beer we walked home, we stayed up and talked a bit but then went to bed.

I woke up to the sound of a ringing like a telephone but it was someone at the door, Andrews German girlfriend was here and we talked and hung out a bit before they went for a morning run, I showered and read some then they were home, we had breakfast together and I got to try vegemite for the first time (Andrew is from Australia), around 12:30 I left the house and went into the city because Andrew had to work, I started by going into the Rathaus and for one euro I could go up and see the golden room where there was a sort of classical concert going on, after walking around and taking some photos I left and walked in the city more, I stopped in some churches and even went to the oldest social settlement in the world, there was a bunker from WW2 there too with an exhibit and there was another museum to see too but people were still living there, I couldn't help but to think how weird it would be to live in a museum, when I was finished I went into the city and found another church which was playing organisms so I sat and enjoyed I for a bit (the same song I remember playing at day care during nap time), I went I to the city and found a yarn shop where I bought some wool and needles so I could knit on my trip, I walked inherent city more and found the Augsburger Puppenkiste (puppets that were used in a TV show for children in Germany comparable to sesame street in the us), I went back to another church where there was a children’s child performing then went back to Andrews place, he wouldn't be home until 9 but he said his roommate might be home at 7 PM so I took a chance and went back because I was cold and tired, Mitch was home and had another Italian friend over, he let me in and I sat on the couch to read while him and his friend were in his room, eventually him and his friend came out and we talked, they were shocked when I told them it's usually considered rude to ask an American who they voted for because on Italy of you don't talk about it people think you have something to hide, finally Mitch's friend left and Andrew came home, Andrew cooked himself dinner and we relaxed and talked for a few hours before he finally went to bed and I did the same.

Andrew and I both got up at about the same time and he went again for his run, I had breakfast and took a shower and he returned, we talked and hung out for a while but he had to work and I was going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I said goodbye and hopped on a train, I had a change to make on the way but finally I arrived and my host Cori was waiting for me, we went home first to drop off my bag and have a drink but then we drove around a bit and she showed me some of the city and he typical Bavarian building paintings, we then drove up to the panorama and took some photos before we went to her favorite restaurant and had dinner, after dinner we again drove around a bit then went home to relax, she went to a sauna but in Europe nearly every sauna is bathing suit free and yes that means nude, as a pride American I wasn't comfortable with going so she set up her computer and I was able to check my email and Facebook etc., when she came home around 11:30 we relaxed and takes on the couch before retiring for the night.

Cori and I got up and had breakfast then went into the mountains for a coffee but she had to work so she dropped me at the train station and for 44 Euros I went on a train to the top of Germany the highest mountain interment that is, I had to take a train then a lift up and it was clear and beautiful there, my cell phone even went into roaming at one point telling me I was in a different country, I went into the museum there and just wandered some, I sat down in the highest beer garden in Germany and had a Zugspitze coffee (with alcohol) and an apple strudel, I eventually went down on another lift that took me to the ebisee and hopped on a train back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, once there I wanted to sit down so I walked back in the direction on Cori's house but stopped and walked through downtown Partenkirchen, I got a bit lost on the way back and since it was a public holiday nothing was open but eventually I found Cori's house and went in, I sat down but immediately wanted to go again, I left and walked to downtown Garmish where I looked inside a church and the shops while also looking at the building paintings and went home, I arrived at Cori's house and showered and waited for her to arrive from work, at about half past nine she was home (she's a nurse in a psych ward), we talked and she got ready then we went to her friend fin's house and had a drink and waited for her other friends to arrive, once everyone was there we went to peaches a bar that had a karaoke night and listened to the horrible singing of the Germans while also having some tequila and beers, we then walked to another bar so cleverly named "Bar 2.0" and danced for a long time, there's an American army base in town so I me some interesting army brats and an over active African American boy who wouldn't take no for an answer when it came to dancing with me, finally we left around 2 and Cori was our DD and drove us all home, when we arrived at Cori's house we talked a bit and then went to bed, when I'm tired my German gets worse and when I'm drunk it gets better weird.

Cori and I woke up around 10:30 and ate something quickly before going to the city for coffee, we tried to find the craft store but had no luck so instead we went to a few other shops and stopped for more coffee / tea and then she took me to the train station, I caught a train to Munich but there was construction on the track so I had to take a bus for part of the way, my host in Munich wouldn't be available to meet me until 6 so I decided to stop in another city on the way since I had so much time, I decided to stop in Sternberg and sit by the Sternberger See (or lake) in the sun, what a beautiful view too!, after a few hours I hopped on a train to Munich again and when I arrived at the main station, I left and walked to Marienplatz where I was to meet my host, I was there at about 5:30 PM and I stopped for a cola at a restaurant, I was supposed to meet my host at the fischbrunne but with the construction in the square I couldn't see the fountain and I asked some people and was told that Mary's column was where I was supposed to be, I waited until 8 PM at Mary's column and my host didn't contact me (plus he didn't have a cell phone) so I went and got a hotel for the night near the train station, I paid 44 € for a crappy tiny room without a bathroom, I took a shower in the hallway where there was a common bathroom for the whole floor, and then went to bed.

I woke up on Saturday around 8 AM and went downstairs to have breakfast, the one redeeming factor for this hotel was the inclusive breakfast, I had a typical German breakfast of rolls with different cheeses and meats with coffee / tea and juice, when I was finished I grabbed my bag from my room and went downstairs to check out, I was able to leave my bag at the hotel while I went into the city which was nice, I left the hotel and went back to the Marienplatz to wait for my Munich Free Walking Tour to begin, I stopped for a cappuccino at a café and met a man and wife from Minnesota, I then went to take my tour of Munich, the tour guide while a very nice guy is living in Munich because his girlfriend lives there yet he doesn’t speak German and doesn’t want to learn it either, I feel like the fact that he didn’t speak German really detracted from his tour of the city, none the less I did learn some things about the city while on the tour and I even met a nice Chinese girl too, after the tour I went back to the train station and grabbed my bag from the hotel, I hopped on a train and was on my way back home a day early, my train was making a stop in Göttingen and so I decided I would see what Marilena had planned and if she wanted to meet up, she had a birthday party for a family friend to go to but she invited me so I got off my train in Kassel and took another train to meet her, on this train I met a guy from Algeria who asked me for my email address, finally I got off the train and met Marilena outside, we went back to the house and had dinner and drinks and I saw her parents too, finally we drove back to her house in Göttingen and went to bed.

We woke up and got ready because it was Marilena’s Oma’s birthday and we had to go to Kassel to celebrate, we had a small breakfast and hung out with her roommate Roos and her boyfriend, finally we drove to Kassel where we had Chinese food at a buffet, everyone was a bit surprised to see me so soon as I hadn’t seen them since 2007 the last time and now it was twice in one year, after lunch we said goodbye and Marilena and I went to her parent’s house for a coffee, then we went to see her horses and drop off some food and stuff for them, it was getting late and we were a ways from the train station so Marilena drove me back and dropped me off, I hopped on a train to go home and was on my way, I had to make a change but my train was running a bit late, luckily the next train waited for us (I think it was the last one for the night), and I was in Paderborn again, I waited to get the bus and went home where I spent a while on my computer and before I knew it the time was already past midnight and I went to bed.  

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