Sorry for the delay in writing…as you may recall, Sebastien and I were headed on an epic road trip last time I wrote a post. While I had hoped to write a new post after phase one (which consisted of five days) of this road trip, we spent our one night at home frantically doing laundry and getting new groceries to get back on the road again the next day. So, on our first day of driving in phase two, I wrote a rough draft summarizing everything I wanted to mention in this blog, in the pages of my diary. Sebastien figured that technically, that means that I’m sharing my diary with the world, but in reality I wrote this particular entry with the intention of seeing it published. Plus I should mention that you’re lucky you’re seeing the typed entry here, instead of what is written in my diary, considering my horrendous hand-writing. So what is written below is what I wrote on July 16th 2012.
The first half of our road trip was a great success! The whole plan for this trip began with the idea to go to Denmark for the weekend, to join Sebastien’s family where they were on holiday. Back when I had the waitressing job, we figured we could only have a trip that lasted for a few days; I didn’t know if I would have the time to take the trip to Austria I had been planning on ever since I made friends from there that were on exchange at my university. In a way, quitting the waitressing job was great since it allowed me to travel as much as I want, especially once Sebastien finished his semester. And really, isn’t the reason I’m over here in Europe to enjoy all that it has to offer? As soon as we knew I wouldn’t be working for most of July, we began to plan the trip to Austria, which would take place right after we arrived home from our weekend in Denmark.
A few weeks before we were due to leave for Denmark, I noticed that a friend from the UVic German Club, Marina, had recently arrived in Lübeck. When I mentioned this to Sebastien, he suggested we find out where she would be when we were heading to Denmark, since they are fairly near to each other and he has always wanted to see the city. When I emailed Marina, she informed me that when we were heading to Denmark she would be in Mölln, which is a small town quite close to Lübeck. Sebastien and I decided to leave a day early on our road trip so that we could meet up with her, and check out Mölln and Lübeck.
Then, two days before our trip, Sebastien called his grandparents for a chat. By the end of their conversation, they had suggested that Sebastian and I should visit them on our way to Mölln and spend the night, since it was so close. So by that point, we were leaving the next day, Tuesday, instead of on Thursday as we had planned a month before.
Tuesday evening with Sebastien’s grandparents was a lot of fun, and very relaxed. We had delicious venison with pasta, and mushrooms that his grandfather had freshly picked from the forest. I appreciated the calm pace of conversation, since that way I could understand a lot of what was being said. The next morning, we ate eggs that had been purchased fresh from a farm down the street. Apparently, while Sebastien’s grandfather was buying the eggs, he told the farmer’s wife that I would be bagpiping and she should try to see if she could hear me playing…she said that she didn’t have a great sense of hearing, but later on she told Sebastien’s grandfather that she could hear me loud and clear! After I practiced for a little while, we said our goodbyes and got back on the road. We only got lost once on the way to Mölln, and were able to find Marina easily. She had previously lived in Mölln during High School; she said how hardly anyone there speaks English, so she was forced to improve her German very quickly while she was there. Very different from Berlin, where store vendors switch instantly to English after hearing me speak, and almost everyone I know here loves to practice their English on me! We checked out the old parts of the town, including the Cathedral and Till Eulenspiegel’s grave. He was a famous Court Jester, and while I had never heard of him before, he is apparently very well known in German history.
After we walked through parts of the town, we all went to an ice cream parlour. I had ‘Spaghetti Eis’ for the first time, which consists of spaghetti-shaped vanilla ice cream over whipped cream, with strawberry sauce.
After our ice cream, we parted ways and Sebastien and I continued on to Lübeck. I had no idea that it would be so gorgeous there! It’s apparently famous for having seven large peaks, and each one was connected to an amazing cathedral or other form of architecture. We had a tourist map with a recommended route of the city, and it led us past all of the impressive buildings, and down various narrow streets. In both Mölln and Lübeck, we noticed that the weather was capable of changing drastically over a matter of an hour or so…while some of the pictures I took were under a grey sky, some were in bright sunshine!
At one point, Sebastien and I wondered why in the world there were so many churches built in such a small area…the fact that the city has seven peaks is very impressive, but I can understand why no other cities have that! It’s almost a bit silly to have five or so cathedrals within a 15 minute walk of each other. But either way, we had a great time walking through the city, and then grabbed some snacks at a grocery store on the way out of town. We drove for another while, and spent the night on the side of the road by a wheat field. It was a good place to pull over, except that we could hear wild boars rooting around in the field beside us; Sebastien tells me they’re harmless, but I still didn’t get out of the car for the rest of the night. The next morning, I played my pipes for a while in the field, and we then continued on our way.
Next stop was the ferry terminal, where we parked the car and waited for the ferry that would take us to Bornholm, Denmark. The ferry ride took about three hours, and we could see the chalk cliffs in the distance as we were leaving the mainland. I hadn’t known this before, but the difference in value of the Euro and Danish currency, the kronor, is rather large. I saw some cosmetics for 113,00 DK, and first thought that the decimal must be in the wrong place. In the end, I bought a coke; I paid 5 euros for it, and received 9 kronor in change! 9 kronor isn’t enough tor eally buy anything in Denmark though, so I got to keep the pretty coins.
Once we got off the ferry, we met up with Sebastien’s family. They were staying at a small house in Bornholm, and had been there for nearly two weeks by the time we arrived. We went for a swim in the ocean shortly after, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and playing uno. During uno I learned my new favourite German word, which is ‘fuffi’…it’s a word for fifty, in the same way Canadians say they have a toonie. Personally, the fact that it is pronounced ‘foofie’ makes me think more of a tiny poodle than money. Our next day in Bornholm was absolutely gorgeous, and we lay around in the sun for most of it. It all reminded me a lot of when I used to go camping in BC at Koocanusa Lake – the only significant difference to me was the fact that, while camping in Bornholm involved wholesome meals with fruits and vegetables, camping in BC had always meant sausages, cheese buns, and coco-puffs! Unfortunately, the next day was rather rainy, but we went for a jog and another swim. Due to the wind and rain, there was a lot of seaweed floating around in the water…it actually reminded me a lot of the scene from the movie ‘Airplane,’ where the couple are trying to be romantic as they’re lying on the beach, but there are slugs everywhere and pieces of seaweed hanging off of them. However, it was still a lot of fun! We later went for a leisurely drive, and tried some of the smoked fish that the island is known for.
On Sunday we headed back home – Sebastien and his dad biked to the ferry, since we couldn’t fit everyone in the family car. The ferry ride went smoothly, and Sebastien and I returned to our own car afterwards (which actually belongs to his parents, but was used by us for our epic road trip). Once back in Berlin, we dropped by Seb’s parents’ house. I said my final goodbye to Seb’s sister, since she will soon be in China for three weeks and won’t be back until I’ve already returned to Canada. After that we headed back to the house, spent one night there, and are now on the road again. We are now heading in the direction of Switzerland; the countryside has begun to get a lot more hilly, and there are gorgeous towns tucked in amongst the green landscape. We have been through several tunnels, one of which was nearly 8km long. We passed one road sign that said we were passing Eisenach, which I thought was really cool since I had spent a lot of time there when I was on tour in grade 11. We will spend tonight in Würzburg, Germany, and tomorrow we shall continue on to Switzerland.
We have now reached the end of my diary-blog entry…Sebastien and I are about to head out for Friday night fun though, so I shall write more later! Thanks so much for reading!