My intention was to travel around Europe for a month and a half with a friend of mine. However, after only a week he decided that travel was not for him and immediately booked a flight back to the USA. This left me with a choice to make. I had thought to continue traveling around by myself for a little while, but after only a day in Berlin I was desperately wishing for some familiar faces and voices. Every time someone spoke Spanish I nearly attacked them in glee!
That first week of my eurotrip was spent in Germany and a single day trip to Zürich, Switzerland. We left Saturday night at 11pm on a six-hour bus ride from Sevilla to Madrid. From there we grabbed the metro and took a flight to Stuttgart, Germany to the house of my friend’s friend. The friend’s family was absolutely wonderful and provided us with anything we could possibly need. We spent all day relaxing around the house and eating the excellent food prepared by the family. The next day we went hiking in a small town near the Black Forest. There was a great nature trail with a wonderful waterfall that we walked along. We then took a drive through the Black Forest and a small trail called the “Hexenloch” which translates as “witch’s hole”. It was a beautiful view and the forest is amazing.
Tuesday was spent in downtown Stuttgart where I managed to buy some new shoes to replace my old ripped up pair. (Unfortunately I lost these at the hostel in Switzerland and have since been walking around in either flip flops or high heels.) We toured the Mercedes-Benz museum, which turned out to be one of my favorites and then traveled to the TV tower to have a great overview of the city.
Wednesday my friend’s dad drove us to Munich where we arrived in time to watch the glockenspiel (a really neat clock with moving figurines) chime the noon hour. Afterwards we toured the Residenz (rather like a royal museum) which took quite a long time and we still managed to view only 2/3 of the entire museum. The crown jewels’ museum was really neat and interesting to learn about. Then we had lunch and went to the Hofbräuhaus. The Hofbräuhaus is like a large beer hall and there I tried a dark beer with lemonade, called a Dark Radler. I managed to share the large (it was an entire liter!) with my friend. Apparently, this beer hall is (in)famous for being the spot where Hitler was arrested by the government and put into jail for speaking about his politics. We returned to Stuttgart early since the next morning we had an early morning train ride for Zürich, Switzerland. The next morning we bought the tickets for Zurich at the Stuttgart train station without any problem.
Zürich was a nice, compact city with a few keys sights but not overwhelming and easily done in the day we were there. We mostly walked around the city looking out at the gorgeous river and lake, saw two interesting churches (one with a creepy crypt and another with beautiful stain glass windows), and stayed out late to enjoy the nightlife. The friend I had been traveling with decided that he had had enough of everything and stayed in that night. My new friend and I took off for the clubs but without any real sense of direction. A bartender at the Big Ben Pub had directed us to the other side of the river and so we headed over that way. Once we were sufficiently confused my friend asked a random taxi driver (in really good German) the direction of the clubs. We had better directions but we still had to ask another guy where the clubs were. Finally three guides later, we arrived at the nightclub. The music tended towards techno and the cover and drinks were terribly overpriced but still it was a really fun night. We danced for a while and then relaxed on the sofas in the center of the club so we could check out the platform dancers. After dancing some more we tried and leave and my friend was assaulted by a German man who apparently (I don’t speak German) disliked my friend watching this cute little German girl dance. I was still buzzed enough that I was willing to settle the fight for him, but my friend worked out his German language skills and we escaped without incident.
We had planned to continue to Italy from Zürich but unfortunately, that was the one day that Italy decided to have a strike and I could not find a decent (inexpensive and relatively fast) means of getting there. At this point, my one friend decided not to speak a single word to me or his friend and so we headed back to Stuttgart to get things settled and fly to our new destinations. I went off to Berlin and he headed back to the USA. I’ve spent a little bit of time in this great city, but now I am ready to get back to the US and take some time to recuperate and relax. So long Europe, but no worries I’ll be back. I did have to buy a roundtrip ticket afterall…