So my trip has nearly come to an end.
I’m not ready to head back to reality yet. Having too much fun being a traveler and just following life.
Backtrack to Prague.
I have to say my first hour or so in Prague was somewhat reminiscent of the movie “Hostel”.
You know, Slovak language…No idea where I’m going…No one speaks English.
The one major difference was that in “Hostel” there was a group of travelers and here I was alone. Interesting situation I might add, especially around ten o’clock at night. Seriously. If ever in life you’re feeling a bit lackluster, try getting lost in a completely foreign place. If you don’t wind up dead or worse (and yes there are some things worse than death), you’ll come back with some amazing stories.
After wandering around the train station in circles, I opted for the method that has served me best throughout this entire trip:
Point and walk.
So I did.
In doing so, I found out that Czech cabbies are not only extremely crooked, but extreme assholes as well. I had a good four near misses with taxi drivers. When the fifth ran into the back of my skateboard I decided to take a break on the nighttime venture and plopped myself in the nearest hotel.
My body needed a break and I had a little time to re-situate myself before continuing on.
I woke up the next morning, and in homage of the film aforementioned I checked myself into a hostel. This was a great place by the name of St Christophers.
Fitting for more reasons than one.
In the room I had five other bunk mates.
Two of them were adorable British brothers (whom I could not understand to save my life), two were Americans, and the last was an Aussie (like nearly every other traveler I’ve met in Europe).
Within the first hour of meeting the British brothers I was lovingly dubbed…the “Devil”. Second hour?… “Racist Devil”.
Moving pretty fast there.
Devil- because I managed to talk them into going out drinking that night (despite a 7 am train ride the following day)
Racist- because upon getting teased for my music selection, I put on Spice Girls and asked if that were any better…
…and then asked how it felt playing alongside Scrooge in a Christmas Carol.
Ensuing hours= Pub crawl, dancing, beer, beer, and …beer.
Jump to nearly sunrise the next morning.
Eyes forcing a squint and hangover bashing my brains in, I see the two brothers with perplexed, little hungover faces staring below my bunk. They were in a mad scramble to make the train but something was definitely slowing them down. Come to find out, the bunkmate beneath me was butt naked lying on the covers. (Clothes apparently became too much a burden when he got drunk).
A swift smack on the ass and they left with their loving send-off from Prague seared in their minds.
On a side perv note, I would like to add that the bathroom situation in the room was hilarious. Apparently the architect/interior designer found it absolutely imperative to put a pane of frosted glass in the bathroom wall. This pane, for whatever reason, had no frosting at neither the top nor bottom of the window. Not only that, but they also thought it was a great idea to push one set of bunks up against this glass.
And that bunk would be mine.
I had a perfect birds-eye view of the entire bathroom from my bunk and this lead to some very awkward bathroom moments. Hysterical nonetheless.
Anyways, the remaining bunkmates (2 Americans, 1 Aussie) and I grouped up and became known from there-on-out as Team Bomb/Absinthe/Awesome/etc.etc. (the name was ever-changing along with our nicknames as well)
My name was Map.
“That’s a stupid name! I want another one…”
“Can’t choose your nickname Map. Gets choosen for you.”
Together we went wandering throughout the city of Prague. It was old, it was beautiful, it was going through a Prohibition Era.
Country-wide ban on all alcohol over 22%.
At one point I was using my fantastic navigational skills and got us lost down an alley.
“Map…are you sure we’re headed that right way?”
“Um hello. My name’s Map isn’t it?”
No clue where we were going.
But we did wind up finding an “Absintherie”.
Here they served everything Absinthe.
And yes, that thing I know you’ve been craving all day…Absinthe Salmon.
Posted outside on the door was a great sign that basically read Fuck the Government. They were going to continue selling their absinthe regardless.
Random places like that just made this city all the more amazing.
Went out with the boys that night and had great time. What was not so great was waking up early in the morning, having ten minutes to pack and be out the door, and then rush to the train station to make it to Munich.
Us the day before:
“Yeah! We’re gonna pull an all-nighter! WOO! We can just sleep it off on the train, no worries!“
Us the day of:
“…What the fuuuuuu-“
Silly team. There is no such thing as sleeping on a train bound for Oktoberfest. What were we thinking? The train was straight out of the movies. Completely packed cabins, people using up every inch of cabin and hallway space that they could. Pretty much partying in each cabin down the entire length of the train. A few hours into the trip and the trains entire bar supply was completely wiped out.
As soon as we arrived in Munich we set out to find a place to stay. Oktoberfest began in the morning and we would need to get our livers prepared. Somehow we managed to get a room straight away from the train station.
We walked in the room.
One bed. Four bodies.
“Looks like we’re sleeping sideways!“
That idea lasted a couple hours and then we split our team and went to bed.
Sam Cooke woke us up bright and early the next morning and we set out for the Oktoberfest parade.
–It started sprinkling
“Um…Let’s start walking to the tent…”
We pushed, shoved, and dodged our way through the mass of lederhosen and dirndls until we somehow managed to get up to the door or the Löwenbrau tent which was shut. Literally thousands of people were trying to get in and there was a strict two man out, one man in policy.
I made my way up to the very front and tried speaking my Germlish with the Security guy until we made friends. He then let me in and locked the door.
“Aber meine Freunde!”
Nope. They weren’t getting in.
What should I do? What could I do? I know. Get a beer.
Ran off, got a stein, and then sat cracking up with the security guys as I took pictures of everyone standing out in the rain.
Maybe I am a demon sometimes. But it’s all in good fun.
Eventually managed to get them in, and from there on out it was just one blurred night of steins, dancing on tables, drinking songs, laughter, and very, very great people.
A few München Musical Hits?:
“Who the fuck is Alice”
…I can’t even count how many times I heard those songs.
This post is getting too long. My hangover is telling me to stop writing…
Discovered it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the Germans and their superhuman beer-drinking skills.
I wound up in Füssen. This is a quaint little town a few hours from München that hosts the southern terminus of the Romantic Road.
I was there with a clear mission: Find the Neuschwanstein Castle.
Why, you may ask?
Well, to make a long story short, my grandfather (aka Papa) was a badass. Nobody screwed him over. If they did, he made sure they got their comeuppance.
Case in point: Someone owed him money, they didn’t pay up, he went to their house with a trailer and took collateral.
Collateral in this instance happened to be two paintings, a dining-room table, and a cabinet…all larger than life, and all from this castle in Bavaria.
You’d walk into his house, “Eh…you realize that this painting covers your entire wall right…”
It was awesome.
Anyways, this was nearly the one-year anniversary of his death and due to his ensuing obsession, I knew that I had to leave a piece of him at his castle.
It would mean a lot for him to know I saw this place…
and I think I should get bonus points because it was a definite .007 mission to get there.
To begin the trek I started a town away and skated in the general direction I thought the castle may be. Wondered for a brief moment why no one else was out…
Oh wait, it’s because it’s pouring down rain…and it’s a good number of miles away. Uphill.
Press on grasshopper.
A few hours in and I was almost convinced I was going in circles…Woods definitely have a shitty layout don’t they? Everything just looks the same dammit. If it weren’t for the sporadic shots of the castle playing peek-a-boo through the trees I think I would have wound up in Switzerland.
The scenery around this town was breathtaking; It’s no wonder that Disney based the Sleeping Beauty castle off of this. The trees were big and lush, and the water was a hue I’d never even seen before. Pictures just cant do it justice. One of the best things about this mission was the fact that I found a random ladder in the woods leading up to the tree-tops…
Maybe I shouldn’t use the term ladder…It was more akin to a bunch of sticks grouped together in a totally sketchy ladder-esque fashion. It was so random that naturally I had to climb it. Got to the top and sat for awhile looking out along the forest. It was beautiful.
I found the final resting place for my Papa just below the castle walls in the waterfall that runs down beside it. Said my goodbyes and left one of his hunting medallions and another token of his.
Since the journey to get here was pretty much all uphill, the downhill trek was far more entertaining. About an hour prior, I was meandering down a river and made a Brazlian friend who was wandering as well. Together, we sat on my skateboard and flew down the hill screaming German phrases the whole way down. I cannot even imagine how many rolls of asian film we are now on. The whole way down people were filming and trying to take photos.
It was great.
Just the little things in life.
I continued my trip by following the Brazilian back up to München where we parted ways at the station and I met up with a couch-surfing host. A choice which furthered the destruction of my liver, but made for some great memories.
Example: The first night we went out to his bar, left at about three?, and then somewhere between the hours of three and six we scaled a two-story home, went tagging, and climbed multiple fences. It was not until having slid halfway down a tiled roof (in the rain) that I paused to ask myself what was wrong my brain.
Haven’t come up with an answer yet.
The next morning he says, “My roomate just asked if I got in a fight last night…What’s this bruise?
“Oh. Yeah. Remember that one point when I said ‘I got you! I’ll give you a boost!‘…? Well, we fell over and I’m pretty sure you slammed your face into the wall.”
One more night at Oktoberfest and I was spent on the train ride up to Berlin.
Amazing city. Reminds me a bit of New York, minus all the hustle and bustle.
Would love to live here.
Don’t have patience to write complete sentences anymore.
Last night went a little like this though:
Drunken guy at train station. Creep. Hilfe! Saved by hockey fans. Made friends. Went to hockey game. Fireworks indoors. Nachos. Songs. Chants. Berlin vs. München. Ich verstehe nicht. Bus. Train. House. Bier! Alee Alee Alee. My name is Claudia Schmidtt. Dance. Dance. Band. Meine Papier. Club. Mayhem.
I’m headed back to sleep for a bit.
Addresses in Berlin are impossible to find.
The S-bahn and U-bahn are intricate.
Australians are taking over Europe.
Germans drink a lot.
Schnuckiputzi means sweetheart.
Don’t sing München toasts in Berlin.
Prague, Czech Republic.
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany.