The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adventures on the train or ICE, ICE baby

Dum-dum-dum-dadadum-dum All right now stop. Collaborate and listen....

Okay, I'm totally kidding. If you're old enough to remember that song and will now be singing it for the rest of the day, you can thank me later. :)

So yesterday I had to go pick up M's car in Bremerhaven, which is the only port in Germany. Why did I have to go get it you may wonder? Because, even though it his his car, my name was on all the shipping documents and they would only release it to me. Also, if M had to figure out how to get there via train and then drive back, I'd never see him again.

I bought a ticket for the 5:45am train from HD to Bremerhaven. I missed said train by about 20 seconds. Literally I was running down the stairs to the platform as the train pulled away. I was so not happy. Stupid Deutsche Bahn and they're on time-ness. Sigh. Fortunately, trains are pretty regular here, but the next train involved 3 train changes instead of 1. I had to change in Mannheim to an ICE train (Inter-City Express, which also always makes me sing that stupid Vanilla Ice song), change again in Koln (Cologne to us Americans) to a regular DB tain (not as fast), again in Bremen, finally arrived in Bremerhaven 6 hours and 55 minutes later. Then I had to pick up the car and drive back home. The drive only took 5 hours, but I was driving really fast (I think my top speed was 127mph and people were passing me!)
While I was waiting for the next train I decided to take out my little notepad and write down impressions of things I could blog about later instead of trying to remember them all. See how dedicated I am to you people? When I sat down to go through them and decide what bits I wanted to actually use, I discovered that they told their own story. Instead of picking out a few and elaborating on them, I decided to post them in order as I wrote them down. When I was in the car I used to voice recorder thing on my cell phone, so don't think I was driving like a madwoman and trying to write at the same time. Also, I recrded myself singing bits of songs. Something noone else should ever have to hear unless I need to torture them (which is always a possibility, so maybe I won't erase them after all). So, without further ado, I present my day.

Cold. Bitter. Fingers freezing. Note to self: buy thicker gloves.
Sounds of a train station are vaguely romantic.
Train is freezing! WHY?
Creepy German guy staring at me.
Moon is huge in the sky. Still dark. Beautiful.
Stopped at a station. Couple intertwined on platform kissing goodbye. Backlit by a sign. I am mesmorized, even though I know I shouldn't be staring.
Sky lightening up.
Small towns nestled in valley far below tracks. Impossibly pretty. Like a fairytale.
Fields and vineyards lying fallow, covered in snow and sparkling in the sun.
Children skating on a frozen pond.
Medieval church at the center of every small town. Spire rising high over other buildings.
Snow swirls like a crystal white tornado as I step off the train.
New train. Bathrooms surprisingly clean.
People sipping coffee and tea in the restaurant car. All look sophisticated and utterly European.
Guy next to me thinks I'm German! Haha! Operation: blend in a complete success!
Bridges. Rivers. Cities. Pass by in a blur.
Change trains again. Double decker train. Sit up top! Gorgeous views.
Multi-spired cathedral.
Skaters on frozen canal.
Train station. Small, dirty. People bustling. Busy.
Taxi. Driver loves Americans. Good tippers he says. Not stingy like Europeans.
Cold air whips off canal. Stings my ears, blurs my vision.
Ships with funny names: Proud Panda, Fido, Sparkling Wine, Blue Suede Shoe, Mama's Boy
Parking decks filled with BMW's and Mercedes as far as the eye can see, waiting to be exported.
Shipping containers dangling from cranes. Sway in the wind.
Men who look exactly like the old sea captain in stories and books.
Car! At last!
Autobahn! Woohooooooo! Fast, fast, fast!
I drive like a Cullen! Mmmmm...Edward....
Ipod. Bless Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the nameless lackey who invented it.
...go on now go, walk out the door, don't turn around now, cause you're not welcome any more....
More towns, more vineyards, more castle ruins. Countryside is gorgeous.
.....girl you know you got me, got me, witcha pistol shot me, shot me...
Stop for gas. Ridiculously priced. $6.02/gallon.
Mmmm...soft pretzel.
....we kissed, after taking vows, but that night, on our honeymoon, we stayed in separate rooms...
Wondering if I should be worried that I know all the lyrics to U Can't Touch This and Humpty Dance
127mph! In the slow lane! People passing me! Unbelieveable! come and go, you come and go-oh-oh-oh. Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams: red, gold and green, red, gold and gre-ee-ee-een....
Dark. Can't see anything. Bummer.
Tired. Must sing louder.
....with his light brown derby and his bright green tie he was quite the handomest of men, I started to yen, then I counted to 10, then I, counted to 10 again.....
How high is 550 meters? This bridge is really high! (answer, fyi is 1804.46 feet)
Wonder how the towns down in the valley don't flood when it rains.
See the ghost of fog rolling across the mountains in the moonlight.
...and she's always gone too long, any time she goes away. Wonder this time where's she's gone. Wonder if she's gone to stay....
Oh! Ferarri!
Moon getting high in the sky. Red, almost full (waning) thin clouds stipe across it. Very cool. Makes me think of Edward. Sigh.
Frankfurt! Only an hour home!
Cab Calloway is a genius.
...she was a red hot hoochie-coocher, she was the roughest toughest frail, but minnie had a heart as big as a whale hidee-hidee-hidee-hi.... was a dish for old Ceasar, also King Henry III, but Columbus was smart, said you can't fool me, a chicken ain't nothin' but a bird....
OMG! Lit castle on a hill. Moon nearby, must stop and take photo!
Bloody freezing outside!
Bless seat heaters!
...Mmmmm...La, proved to much for the man (too much for the man, he couldn't make it), so he's leavin the life he's come to know (he said he's goin) he said he's goin back to find (going back to find) what's left of his world. The world he left behind, not so long ago-oooooooo. He's leavin (leavin).......
My voice is going. Sad.
My exit!
Home. Home. Home.


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I SO miss the autobahn. Did you ever get to aus fahrt? :)

monica said...

This is the first time I've been to your blog... I love this post! Makes me KNOW I have to read you like all the time. LOL

I'm subscribing!

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