A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Wow, embarassing...

sunny 16 °C

ok so not everything is peaches and cream over here. Over the past week or so my propensity to lose myself has moved onto other items. This really wasn't so serious until yesterday. This list is as follows, see if you notice a trend:

1.) My glasses (York, later recovered)
2.) my nalgene bottle (on the way to amsterdam, -$10)
3.) 100 euro (Berlin, -$130)
4.) my swiss army knife (Berlin, personal value, dad bought it for me when i was 7)
5.) my eurail pass (Prague, -$900°)
6.) my airline ticket home (Salzburg, for about 5 minutes)
7.) my mind (Salzburg, for that 5 minute period)

°i bought the insurance package for this so it should just be a matter of getting reimbursed

hopefully this is the end of the trend because i have nothing more valuable to lose. needless to say i will be very careful in the future. But when i couldn't find my eurail i was pretty frantic. to make matters worst, the conductor on the train (austrian) told me i could either buy a ticket or walk (exact words). When i tried to ask questions to another autrian transit worker in salzburg, he began speaking in english, and said he couldn't give me another ticket, which was not what i was asking him to do. he then said "this is austria, we speak german. sprekken zee deutch???" in such a sarcastic manner that i do not know how i managed to politely (seriously) explain that i just needed some info. he eventually sent me to another worker, where i bought another pass.

i then had to file a police report (for insurance) and thankfully the police were very nice and understanding.

silver lining of the day was when i checked out and found greta and lindsay (1st entry minnesotans) who happened to be staying there. we exchanged email and decided to meet up again in paris.

After that whole ordeal (ending with the police telling me to relax :-)i was really able to enjoy salzburg. its a gorgeous city, and in a valley that is phenomenal. Again, i have tons of pictures but have been having trouble getting them uploaded. Now i am in munich for a few days and might relax at a spa tomorrow...after i go to dachau of course.

Posted by Brainford 11:34 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Your chance to win!!! Read Below!!! Not SPAM!!!

14 °C

WIN!WIN!WIN!

Wanna win a really cool post-card from Prague, written by yours truly??? All you have to do is answer one simple question, the answer to which will amaze all and make you want to come to Prague...to eat!

Last night I saved my money and instead of going to little dinky museums, i instead spent 500 crowns (about $25) on a ticket to see a chamber orchestra perform Bach, Mozart (Little Night Music, Concertina in C), Vivaldi (Summer and Winter), Smetana (From my Country), and Dvorsak (Songs For a New World). Great stuff, but i wanted a cheap to dinner. I wandered around and found a great deal! A 3 course meal (vegetable soup, beef goulash, apple strudle) + hlaf a liter of great czech beer + tip = ???

If you think you can guess how much all of this cost, i will personally send you a postcard from Czech Republic. All you have to do is...

1.) Think of a number (dollars or crowns)
2.) Send it to me (post it here, email, myspace, whatev)
3.) include your mailing address so i can send you your prize!

Contest to close when i get to munich (10-22-06) So getyour guesses in NOW!

The winner will be announced on this very website it 3 days!

  • **minimum of 4 entries required for winner to be chosen.

Posted by Brainford 01:39 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Berlin never is, Berlin is always becoming

I Love it here

overcast 1 °C

So everyone i met on my journey told me how cool Berlin is, and they were right. I spent the first day here getting organized, cleaning out my pack, doin laundry, etc. No one else showed up to my 8-bed hostel until 11, when i was in bed writing, but when they did show up we had a great time!

I mentioned the 4 internationals last time, so u should have read about them already. anyway they convinced me to go out for dinner (at MIDNIGHT!) and the restaurants were teeming with people. I think people in germany actually stay out and party later than students at rutgers.

We got up eary the next day and went on a free tour of berlin and saw all the highlights in east berlin: The Reichstag, Brandenburg gate, Memorial for those killed in the Holocaust (this was a serious memorial costing millions of dollars and also included a museum), and we saw Checkpoint Charlie, parts of the Berlin Wall, Humbolt University (guys named Einstein and Marx went there) The Opera House, and finally Museum Island. The tour was 3.5 hours, amazing, AND the guide worked on tips. To give you an idea of how profitable this was, there were about 30 people on the tour, and each gave between 5 and 20 euro in tips. You do the math. (maybe we could start one of these in NYC???)

Next, a nap, but then we hooked up with some of my friends other friends who are working in the French embassy over here. We played pool till midnight and it was a surreal experience hearing german cursing, french arguments (at lightning speed, some of which i understood) and english being spoken almost at random since it was the common language. Hearing so many people with an affinity for multiple languages (most spoke at least 3) again made me feel guilty for speaking like 1.1 languages. but again the others told me that no one in europe really cares because they realize the need for a common language and it might as well be english.

Oh and they love Bruce Springsteen in France, and Kevin (Keh-veen) got so excited when he found out i was from NJ. We later went back to his flat and watched a concert on DVD. Oh and then at 2am they all decided it would be a good idea to go dancing. Me and my dormmates decided we should prob call it a night, but still we didn't sleep till 3am after traveling on the freakishly empty subway. (pictures to prove)

I need to call Uncle Ernie's relatives now, and figure out when i am leaving for Prague. Hope things are going well at home and ACT broke legs this past week.

will write more when internet becomes free again.

Posted by Brainford 08:25 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Cologne Cathedral

Religion Light

semi-overcast 21 °C

When you first exit the train station in Köln, Germany, you are confronted with a MASSIVE gothoc/neo-gothic cathedral that takes up 2/3rd of the horizon. However, once you get past the size, you realize that people are everywhere around the base, and not just tourists either. While germany has become increasing secular over the years, the cathedral has remained a place for teenagers to socialize, families to take their kids, street artists to perform, draw chalk portraits on the sidewalk, and for people like myself to sit back and enjoy. While i was inside i learned that the cathedral was begun in the 12th century, but it actually took 700 years to complete, so it started out in the then-modern gothic style of france, but ended up being completed in the neo-gothic period. I have great pictures but the USB at my current hostel is out of order.

But Köln is more than just a giant church. Thats right folks, it is also one of the largest areas for shopping i have ever seen. We're talking 4 H+M's, at least 7 American fast food stops, and in a great twist of irony, 2 Christ jewelers. And that was just in a 2 square km area. Needless to say, it reminded me again how underdressed i am in Europe and how i wish i had more room in my pack for more stylish apparel.

My net time is about to run out, and i am going on a free walking tour of Berlin with a group of 4 international students who are in my dorm room (1 German, 1 italian, 1 French, and 1 Turkish, needless to say VERY interesting political discussions, esp concerning armenian genocide and frances latest political maneuver)

Next up "A Tale of Two Clubs"

Posted by Brainford 01:03 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

Soooo busy...and naps are sooo nice

sunny 21 °C

ok I am very sorry that i have not updates lately, i really have been all over the place and besides matt anderson said he would kick my butt if i was on the internet too much. I´ll just leave these few tantalizing details before i go out for the evening.

I was in Bruges for two days (belgium)

It was fairly boring, but had really good chocolate and pastries which i somehow only spent 10 euro on. Also met a really cool guy in a bar who explained the belgian voting system (vote or get fined, 5 parties, up to 47 candidates from each party) Tried 3 new beers, reviw to follow.

I was in Rotterdam for two days

Not the most exciting city either. Hated the art museum there. Met a couple germans and we went out and tried some more belgian beers. There are over 400 to choose from so you can see how this activity can take many nights.

After that i was in Amsterdam for 3 days.

This city is just intriguing and forces you to deal with a lot of questions about morality and community and how the state defines criminality. I really have why more to think about and say on the subject, but i must move on. Fortunatly i met a guy from Seattle, Gene, and we got to go to the Anne Frank Museum. This was by far the most moving experience of the trip. no matter how much u study the holocaust, standing in the house where so much fear and sorrow was felt is downright shocking. Many people go there everyday but it will never be enough. That will only occur when people start to do something about the other attrocities that are taking place in the world such as Darfur. I also have many complicated thoughts on this matter that will need more time to write out.

I am in Cologne (aka Köln).
Tomorrow i will be in wurzburg.
After that i will be in berlin for three days.

German keyboards switch the y and the z to facilitate the german languages love for "z" and this key (Ö) exsists. That should make diction fans happy.

I am thirsty and will now go get something to drink.

Hopefully i can more pictures up soon. I got bored in Amsterdam and did a study on "The Cats of Amsterdam"

Mom and dad, please do not let kyle make phone calls with my phone.

And don´t worry about leaving my morals at home dad, i "remembered who i belong to" as pop-pop likes to say.

Posted by Brainford 10:38 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

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