Sunday, August 31, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen


Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Elvis at Check Point Charlie(Frankfurt- Sunday, August 31, 2008)It was easy finding the right train to Frankfurt this time. Hans actually walked me to the proper deck and made sure I got on. He wasn't surprised that I knew which door to get on to get quickest access to the bar car. There were only a handful of people waiting at this door as most people were fighting to get themselves a decent berth. Little did they know the lounge seats are more comfortable and there's quite a bit of storage space for luggage that doesn't require lifting your luggage above your head. I decided to take it easy and pace myself a little. I actually started my trip with a nice strong coffee. Yes..s you heard right, coffee. I was a little tired from last evening and I needed a pick me up.

I did a little house keeping with my gear and packed up what I wouldn't be using and put everything I needed to survive the next 18 hours in my shoulder pack. Moving my luggage around is thirsty work so I ordered a beer and the moment that bitter golden nectar touched my tongue my plan to take it easy went right out the door and I turned into a werewolf and began to guzzle. A couple of couples sat across from me cramped into a small table. I could see them scoping out my luxurious space and I knew they were jealous of me. They started playing some card game and they were speaking English. Judging from the girls accents they were Americans. The guy seated at the table with me made a terrible error when he got up and grabbed his bag to go for a walk. He was a big guy and between the two of us we were taking up enough space to seat half a dozen people with a nice spacious table. He was blocking one end and I was blocking the other and we had our gear strewn about to keep people away.

The minute... no the second he started walking out of the bar car the Yanks swooped in and took over his place. Now they began to crowd me out and I wasn't the least bit happy about it. But not unhappy enough to stop buying beers. You know they say alcoholism is a disease (the only disease where you can yell at someone for having it) and like many diseases it would seem it's contagious, because once my American cousins sat near me they began to order beers. The girls were drinking faster than the boys and after the second round the girls overtook them and ordered a third without them. They abandoned their card game and one of them asked me for a pen in slow loud English to which I responded in slow loud English, "of course I do".

The husbands both laughed and the conversation was struck. We ended up drinking all the way to Frankfurt together. As it turned out the one guy was the son of the German ambassador to Croatia so we had a great discussion on Croatia entering the European Union (which I think is a mistake in my personal opinion). I love traveling by train. I always meet great people on the train. When we arrived in Frankfurt we exchanged emails and I made my way back to the Memphis Hotel.

Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Beer at Frankfurt Festival

When I arrived in Frankfurt a month ago there was a festival on the river. Now, a month later, there was another big celebration going on. It was absolutely amazing! There was a big carnival on one side of the river and on the otherside there was probably eight different pavilions set up with stages and different bands and music styles playing at each of them. And talk about food and drink, it was unbelievable. You could get anything you wanted. I had a couple of margaritas just to change it up a bit and then went back to beer. The best thing about buying beer from the vendors is that they serve it to you in a glass stein and you just pay a 1 Euro deposit. You're free to roam the streets with it and if you don't want to return it you don't have to. If this were Vancouver, people would be killing each other with the glassware. Here in Frankfurt, not even a sign of aggression. This is how life should be. And then, to top off the end of my adventure... FIREWORKS!

Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Elvis Drinks Beer in Frankfurt

It was a fitting conclusion to a trip that spanned two continents, nine countries, and five thousand kilometers. I traveled by plane, train, car, boat, foot, tram, bus, ferry, and of course motorcycle. There were so many wonderful experiences and one bad one. I met amazing people wherever I went and the world became a smaller place for me. The trip was done and here were the fireworks to commemorate it. Frankfurt welcomed me with open arms and now it said it's goodbyes in dramatic fashion. I decided to keep the mug as a souvenir of this moment. I had to catch a flight back to Canada in the morning so I only drank until three in the morning. In retrospect I would have been better off taking my luggage to the airport for storage as I didn't sleep at all. I returned to my hotel and packed the minibar into my daypack, had a shower, and headed for the train station to catch the metro to the airport. I knew my way around pretty good so getting to the airport was a breeze. It seemed only yesterday that I was at this very spot beginning my journey and now as I ascended the elevator up to the terminal the trek was over.

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