Leaving Santiago

So, while Eurotripping this time around, I’m without my beloved computer: because it’s heavy, takes up space (bad considerations when you fly RyanAir), and is something else to have damaged or stolen. However this means that I’m Internetless much more often then I’d like to be. Hostels sometimes ahve computers up for grabs. Key word: sometimes. So, I now have a weird posting schedule. Also, no pics for a while.

On June 2nd I left Santiago for the summer. Instead of boring you with a eulogy on my amazing home/not-home and how much I’ll miss it, I’ll just say that we had a week of going-away parties! My flat was stuffed with over 30 people, all crammed into the kitchen. We also had a designated smoking room (the closet sized laundry room) and a bunch of my home-made Kahlua to fuel the festivities. We naturally went to all our favorite bars for one last hurrah and tried to keep Katie from crying about how much she was going to miss everyone 🙂

I then spent 2 days cleaning and packing, and drinking coffee and not packing. Now, I have most of my possessions boxed up and sitting under Raquel’s desk–only keeping the small bunch of clothes and random junk I need for a month of traveling. The current pack isn’t purple, but it does comforably hold all my shit–thanks Quila!

I hopped a plane from Santiago to Madrid with minimal mishaps and backpack in tow, spent the day sweating in the oven that’s Madrid. Now, I was waiting to hear back from my friend Christian about crashing on his couch, which meant I spent the majority of the day with my backpack, waiting, hiding in parks and generally being annoyed that I was carrying my crap around. And I got hotter and more tired with no word from him…Eventually about 9 pm I gave up and headed to a hostel. And this is where it gets fun, because I have great timing. See, the moment I set my pack down in the room I’d booked for the night Christian texted me! Apparently he’d accidentally given me the wrong number and I’d been sending messages to no one the entire day.
Now, I prefer couches to hostels, so I set about trying to get my money back from the hostel and move onto Christian’s place. Luckily, I looked as tired and frazzled as I felt, and I barely said two words to the guy at the desk before he was nodding and promising me that everything would be fine. Sweet!
And then I promptly spent the 16E I would have spent on the hostel on Madrid street beers.

For those of you who haven’t spent time in Madrid, the streets are full of vendors. After dark, those vendors start selling cans of ice cold beer for 1E. During the summer months, half of your ‘going out’ time will be spent on a street corner, downing cheap Spanish beer, watching the mimes (hired by annoyed citizens to comically shush the drunk assholes under their respective windows), or the little Asian ladies threatening the Indian guys who enroach on their beer-selling turf.

Then, on Monday morning at some ungodly hour, I rode the train into Barajas Airport and collected Rachael, beginning our two days of enduring the Madrid heat, lounging in parks. We also attempted to sleep in the airport before our 6 am Paris flight, which was an epic fail. Don’t sleep there: the floors are hard and they constantly make annoying announcements.

Paris was it’s own adventure, but I’m about to bump up to the next cost bracket at the internet cafe, so caio for now!

Skyscrapers and more Beer: Spring Break pt III

I arrived in Frankfurt about 9 pm, completely sleepy and not having eaten in 10 hours (if you’re reading here Mom, remember that you can’t kill me from 9 time zones away). I grumpily managed to find the Metro and even found the South station, due to a lucky conversation I’d had with Paul that afternoon about the meaning of the word “sud.” My wonderful host Lena was waiting for me, and hauled me back to her flat in the party zone of Frankfurt.

Speaking of party zones, I managed to rally and we headed out to explore the district that night. Following the universe rule of Irish pubs, there were 2 in a 5 block radius of Lena’s house. And one had karaoke night. Guess where we went? Why yes, the bar with drunk Germans and foreigners trying to sing American music. One of the drunk Aussies was trying to get thrown out of the bar, by annoying the bartenders with constant high fives, singing “I’ll be there for you” at them, and begging for free drinks. He gave up, and bought me a tequila shot, yum yum. Lena and I eventually bailed, about 2-3 am, with the plan of actually being awake the following day (also with the plan of not being thrown from the bar along with the drunk assholes).

My day in Frankfurt was wondrously cold, full of paintings, sandwiches and coffee. A note: because I am a traveling bum, I didn’t realize that it was Good Friday until I noticed that NOTHING was open besides tourist attractions. And that included all the cute clothes shops, booo!

So I went to a museum and drooled over the amazing collection of avante garde oils, some that escaped from Hitler’s “Deviant Art” purge! When my brain was full of art, and I’d gotten sick of the too-bright abstract expressionism paintings, I went in search of food and better things to look at. Enter the center. It was full of tourists, surprise, and yummy sandwich shops. However, the buildings were gorgeous and I wandered around with my beer-soak camera for hours. And then I decided to check out the sky-scraper section of downtown. And promptly got lost, couldn’t locate myself on the map and ended up in front of a giant banking building.

Naturally, this was confusing and annoying, as the entire town was either at church (yeah right) or still hungover–so, no one to ask for help. However, I wandered a bit and guess what? I found myself in a red light district on a lovely Friday afternoon. It smelled like piss and was a lot like the creepy part of downtown Portland (you know what I mean, Rae). I then tripped over the Frankfurt Occupy camp, which yeah, still exists. It looked like the Saturday Market, minus the tie-dye and with fewer port-a-pots, eww. After escaping from that, I found an old church with a tower, which I’m starting to think is a thing in Germany. And I climbed up, got a bunch of lovely pics, and headed back to my house for a rest that didn’t involve being surrounded by tourists.

That night, I hung with the amazing Lena and her roomies, discussing politics, Occupy, and the meaning of life with Germans and a Dutch guy. It probably goes without saying, but we drank beers and wine while philosophizing.

The following morning, I hauled my butt off the couch at 5:30 a.m. (ewwww) and got down to the Main Station (known as the Hauptbahnhof, German is weird) to get on a bus to the Frankfurt Hahn Airport. Two hours later, I was waiting for my flight back to Spain, until I learned that the snow had delayed things for an hour. Grrrr, I could have slept a little longer, was my first thought. Eventually we got in the air, and I could try to ignore the Ryanair flight attendants and sleep a little bit. Yeah, right.

To Be Continued…

 

 

So. Much. Beer. Spring Break pt II

Now, I must foreground this post with an expression of appreciation for my awesome host Paul. True, Munich is epic in its own right, but he easily made my trip ten times better. Plus he has a French press!

So, I touched down in Munich to discover that Ryanair’s lying schedules are annoying. Specifically the fact that I’d been scheduled to touch down at 5:00 and it was 4:30. I had half an hour to wait in the ass-end of nowhere, Bavaria, until my ride got there. However, I am very experienced at waiting because my method of travel requires it (broke-as-fuck eurotripping, that is). My ride was the aforementioned awesome Paul, who’d volunteered to drive out to the Ryanair “Munich” airport and pick me up. Now, understand the depth of his niceness: the Ryanairport for Munich is about 100 km outside of the city. And, on the ride back into Munich, we stopped by an old abbey/brewery. Apparently the monks used to make awesome beer, back in the 14th century! And yeah, it was delicious 🙂

Upon arriving in Munich (post beer-drinking), we went downtown to visit the Hofbrauhaus, which is a giant beer hall in the city. Aside from the giant delicious beers I drank (not pictured, because I was otherwise occupied and didn’t get my camera out), the place itself is phenomenal! Also, there’s a Bavarian tradition in the bars of sitting with random people and making new (drunk) friends. Seriously, you just find a table with a couple empty places and sit your ass down, chatting in whichever language they speak (English is almost always spoken by Germans, lucky for me). So on my first night in Germany I drank a ton of beers, met some random Germans, and ended up in the gayest part of Munich, think Madrid’s Chueca (or CC’s in Portland). Apparently the bars are great, who’d have guessed?

The following day, I bummed around and visited a modern art museum. Of course, I also bought a bunch of new clothes, because I am not as cultured as all that, and giggled about the abundance of Bavarian costumes in the shop windows. Now, I am as culturally sensitive as the next person (which means I get drunk and laugh at stereotypes), but something about lederhosen just makes me want to point and laugh. However, I was told that I could pull off the girls’ version of the costume. Considering it consists of a cleavage-creating top, corset, and a poufy skirt, I’ll take that as a compliment, I think…

Continuing my tradition of enjoying German beers, that night I tagged along with Paul to his friends’ place, where we drank wines and beers before heading downtown on the Metro.

Night #2 was similar to the first, meaning that I drank beers and made new friends. Also drank Jegermeister, which is a dangerous thing for me as it usually causes fun adventures (here and here). However, no one died and I made it back to my couch alive.

The next morning, Yulia the Russian and I went park exploring in Munich. We also climbed a giant church tower, went shopping again (I bought a wallet, but no purse), and drank loads of coffee. That evening saw Yulia run frantically all over the city to make it to her concert on time, and saw me missing my train to Nuremberg. Yeah, yeah, mock away. Sadly, I never did get to explore that city, because the following morning, bright and early (sort of ) I ran off to play catch up to my 2nd train, which would drop me off in Frankfurt!

To Be Continued…