Last night I decided to try to organize some of the papers piling up beside my desk and I came across my travel journal. Here are some things that I thought were so fascinating as to recount in those pages:
When I arrived at the airport to check in and fly across the ocean to Stavanger, Norway… the ticket person discovered that my flight plans included a 10 day, 2 hour layover in New Jersey. I’m sure New Jersey is lovely to people who live there but I really had my heart set on more exotice places like Berlin, Krakow and Prague. So my mother called the travel agent who made the error and she (the agent) drove two and a half hours to Raleigh to give me new tickets that had me leaving the next day sans 10 day layover.
When I arrived in Stavanger, I was majorly sleep deprived and had a miniature bottle of wine in my hands when I greeted Katie, Josh and Katherine. I fared better than Katherine though, who was dragged to a party the night she arrived and was pestered constantly by people asking her if she had a boyfriend. She finally exclaimed, “I’m a lesbian” and tried to crawl under a glass table to take a nap.
When we were trying to get to the ferry, we had to climb a fence because we couldn’t find the entrance… and I fell. P.S. Oliver, stop laughing at me.
The hostel in Berlin lost our reservation so we had to stay at a pension. Katie was disappointed that we weren’t going to be staying in the gay district.
Our first night in Berlin we went to a restuarant where some drunk German kept coming to our table and talking to us. The only German words we knew well were ‘Yes’ and ‘Thank you’ so we kept repeating them. When the waiter finally shooed him away, he told us that the man had been asking for Katherine’s hand in marriage.
Firetruck ladder interpretive dance!
We didn’t figure out until the last day how to pay for the public transportation… so basically we had been travelling illegally for the past 3 days on the buses and subway.
Katie got smited by a steel door when she tried to sneak into the restroom at the Berlin train station without paying.
On the overnight train to Krakow, we were woken up several times by armed guards. Customs agents. And when I say armed, I mean like AK 47 armed. You try waking up to that two inches from your face and see what it does to you. Well, actually we were so friggin tired we didn’t pay much attention.
Feet. Pain. Ow. Duct tape. There are a lot of comments in my journal about that.
The second day in Prague we went to the train station to get tickets to Budapest and a policeman stopped me and asked me for my passport. Fortunately I had it on me… but normally I left it in my room. After that, I kept it with me.
We saw ‘The Mummy Returns’ our last day in Prague. Czech, Russian, and German subtitles. That was only a problem when the characters spoke ancient Egyptian because we didn’t get the English translation. Although that didn’t really detract from our understanding of the plot.
One night in Venice, Katherine, BB and I decided we wanted to see the sun set over the water. So we kept heading west trying to find well… the end of Venice. What the HELL were we thinking?
The train ride from Venice to Munich sucked. Really sucked. It was so insanely crowded. Basically if you have a Eurorail pass, you can get on the train. Doesn’t mean you can get a seat though. Katherine, BB, and I were in a compartment with 3 Equadorians who kept hitting each other in the groin with water bottles. On one of the stops, Katie got off the train and came to our window yelling ‘Our train is going to NICE! Where is your train going!’ It turned out that somewhere along the way, the train would split and one part (the part with Katie and Josh) was going to France whereas the part Katherine, BB, and I were on was going to Germany. So Katie and Josh got on our part of the train but had to stay out in the Hall with the rest of the 2 million backpackers. I’ve always wondered what would happen if Katie hadn’t discovered that when she did.
Apparently in Munich, there are clothing optional sections of the city parks.
In Amsterdam we stayed in a Christian Youth Hostel in the middle of the red light district. They gave us a little bible pamphlet on check in. I wonder if I still have it…
One of our travelling companions, wanted to go to one of the Coffeeshops. He came out all excited saying “It’s like a grocery store in there!” Then he proceeded to list a whole bunch of different types of weed. Stupid, innocent, naive me thought there was only one. Learn something new every day I guess.
So that was Europe. Guess you had to be there.