Travel Journal Overview: Buses that work, shops that are open, and a blog still in the making. This was Germany.
A not so tearful goodbye, a bag full of not so tooth breaking Spanish bread and pork steaks led to a farewell to that place I do not know is a blessing or curse to me. I’d back tracked through France to Barcelona once again. Why I did not head straight to Poland from Paris is a mystery. Other than to say after several years away friends have a persuading ability. And, I was after all on a search for home. There were still some unchecked places in Spain to visit.
Now it was on to Germany. The over night bus was one hour late… a crash delayed it… hmmm, nice start. Then the beauty of a 14 hour bus trip gone into a 17 hour, and so begins my first real experience with Eurolines. Thankfully I had seat to myself for the entire journey. Unforntuately the destinations had also changed, now a new list of stop overs had appeared on the front of the bus, and a dreaded transfer. There is a reason why I hate transfers, usually because they happen in the middle of the night and in another language.
I also had my first experience of European overland immigration… I thought all the borders were open now?!! The French border post was at night and resulted in one poor Chinese man being escorted off and never to be seen again for not possessing a passport. The German border was ridicuously long, all our passprts taken for 30 mins. Granted the two dodgy youths on board were taken outside and questioned, luggage searched and begrudgingly let back on board. The one mowhawked dodgy character insisted the latest fashion trend is to pull tracksuit pant uop to the knee while teaching his african proteghi how to stand at a corner and observe people for opportunities (make it a little less obvious, I would suggest).
Added destinations meant, it would take longer to get to Stuttgart. Karlsrushe springs to mind, never heard of it before, all I know that instead of following a near direct line, Eurolines moves up the west of Germany and transfers folks into a little mini bus destined for Stuttgart. Germany efficencey had taken over, and we were rushed to Stuttgart only 3 hours late via the Spanish side.
Germany I have to say I like. It works. Period. A phone call from the station to my old travel friend led to a quick stop off at the Eurolines office to grab a timetable to Poland. I was sped along to many of the Touristy sites in Stuttgart, namely a big tower that was once the highest tower in Europe, or something equally lackluster in the near tourist devoid super rich car town of Germany. Yes the giant illuminous (M) revolves on a tower like structure in the center of the city, though viewable from nearly everywhere I went.
However, this was not a sightseeing trip, as is depicted by the only phone photo I took there, yes it was of the Giant evangelical (M). This was to see my first real travel partner. And to be honest it was just like all those years ago, our conversation took off as if we had been traveling together all these years as well. Tales of travel past, but more of the present and travel future took place. Epic ventures in the Himalaya and Nepal took up plenty of our talks. And, concreted my desire to travel here. It was over these conversations I realized for the first time in all my traveling experience I was on a tight timetable. I had to give one month to sort out Visas, particularly the Iranian one in Turkey.
It would have been good to stay longer, but as I returned to Eurolines to purchase a ticket to Krakow I knew I had to move on. Of course the Euroline time table was once again listing something on another planet, the 5pm bus was actually at 2.30pm, not a huge difference, but I needed to buy somethings. German effeciency took over again, and what I could not do, nor find in Spain was a breeze in Germany. International Sim bought, good but cheap sunglasses bought, phrasebook of east europe in english obtained, headphones bought, cheap padlock bought, and all done in a morning or two.
I sat on the bus stop waiting, would it be actually be on time…
Related Links: Germany Country Travel Guide