A Long Goodbye (Part 2)
This next part is going to be less detailed, more for excess of stories and lack of time than anything else. Like my earlier post about Munich, I’m going to do a bullet point list of things. If I forget anything, I’m certain someone else has taken pictures, or written it down. We’ve got a lot of excess to sort through, that’s for sure.
- After our recovery period post-London, we went to Salzburg in Austria. It’s another old European city like Prague that escaped most of the major destruction of WWII, and so it’s still colorful and winding and gilded. In Salzburg, they seemed to love four things. 1) Good food, like the excellent beer house we ate at. 2) Fine coffee; it was impossible to go a block without seeing at least two cafes. 3) Gourmet chocolate: We stopped at a store that had samples on conveyer belts, and a fountain for sampling their thick hot chocolate. 4) Classical music, because it was after all the birthplace of Mozart. As I love all four of those things, the city and I got along well.
- Also in Salzburg, we toured our first real castle. We’d seen a number of palaces and small castles in Germany and England, but this was an actual keep. Positioned on a mountain over the river running into the city, it was a fortress of towers and slitted windows where archers could rain down arrows. There was even a torture chamber, and if you looked out the windows you could see manacles set in the stone where they hung unfortunates. The castle had never been conquered by an invading army, and I could see why.
- I will desperately miss being able to travel places on trains. Being able to grab breakfast at the train station and then hop onto a train for Austria or the Czech Republic, settling down into our seats and kicking off our shoes rather than having to focus on a long draining drive, that was fantastic. The same can be said for the city trains and underground systems, which were wonderfully easy to navigate in Munich and London.
- It can’t be said enough how absolutely wonderful our landlords were. They treated us with every possible kindness, inviting us to the waterpark with them and even taking us out for Greek on our last night here. I never expected them to take much interest in us, but instead they went above and beyond, caring not only about our comfort but also about our general enjoyment of our trip. If we come back here in the future, I only hope we can stop by again.
- There are some small things that it’s going to be hard to lose, too. Fresh baked bread every morning from the bakery that is literally a five minute walk down the road. Beer that’s cheaper than soda. The small Italian restaurant across from our closest train station that served us up amazing pizza and drinks while we waited for our taxis.
All that said, I can’t wait to come home. These five weeks away have been wonderful, but apart from running out of money, I’m also starting to feel the edge of homesickness. It will be nice to come home to friends and family, to my own bed and space. Being able to understand everyone again will come as a nice plus too. Nonetheless, even as I leave I’m already planning my next trip back. For the World Cup, at the very least. Even in a month, we only scratched the barest hint of the surface of what just Germany has to offer, let alone the countries that we only skimmed or even missed altogether. For now, though, I get to say goodbye.
Auf Wiedersehen, Deutschland. Du bist wunderbar.