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Ending with a BANG!

Written on: Wednesday February 3rd, 2010

A journal entry from: Sun, Sand and Wind

Ending with a BANG!
 
After 35 days, 9 flights, 3 different countries/cultures, I'm "back"!
As I write this it is currently 5am, and obviously with some jetlag I am wide awake and ready to go with the day.
 
It is safe to say that the trip only got better and better as the weeks went on, ending on such a great high! As I had last left you, I was on my way to the Cyprus airport in Larnaka. My flight to Cairo was smooth but with a very bumpy landing, I then had the really fun time of killing NINE HOURS at Cairo International before taking my 5am flight to Frankfurt. And so the funny thing about the Cairo airport is that; in order to get to the check in desk and get your ticket, you must first pass a preliminary security desk. Here at this area they ask you for your ticket... which you obviously do not and cannot have until passing them and getting to the service desk. So after some arguing you will be told/gestured that if you pay them they will let you through to get your ticket. *This was not my first time having a hard time here, and as I refused to pay, I had to wait 5h before going back and arguing again and finally being let by.


My flight arrived in Frankfurt around 8:30am, and I'm not going to lie I was pretty excited to see Tobias and the others (I think the most excited I had been for the whole trip). *The main reason for the stop in Germany was that for a small price I could have a longer layover and would thus have the opportunity to see some old friends who I lived with in Australia and to go see some family as well. I had organized sometime before to meet my friend Tobias, who was there to pick me up. We then proceeded to downtown Frankfurt where we spent 5h or so, walking around and having a couple coffees and "pretzels" *I must have eaten a dozen pretzels or more in my few days in Germany!! The city of Frankfurt is the only one in Germany with a true skyline and was rebuilt after WWII. The weather wasn't very nice, but I still found it to be a nice little city, and it runs along the river Main. We then continued on S/E towards his parent's home in Rieuneck. This was my first autobahn experience and it was something else. It was raining/snowing outside, and therefore Tobias decided we should take it easy, and "only" drive 140km, lol. This made me laugh quite a bit, but it was fine, he's a good German driver.
We had a really nice time at his parents and had a real Bavarian meal that night for dinner!

 The next morning we headed on our way to Heidelberg 1.5h SW where we would meet the others for the weekend. It was a snowy drive, but we made our way to Susn's flat. *Susn was one of my flat mates in the Convent back in Melbourne, and she has a smile unlike anybody else that can make anyone happy. Toby and I were both excited to see that smile again, and of course her! From there we only had a few minutes to walk to the train station to meet Wanja who was arriving from Berlin *Wanja also lived in the convent for a short while back in Oz, and we hungout a faire bit and like the others became good friends, him and Toby are some of the most easy going guys you will ever meet. On our way back to Susn's we met Hanna! *I lived with Hanna for almost 1 year in Oz, and had seen her once again in NYC back in 2008, she is in a sense like a sister and we always looked out for each other, seeing her was probably the best, but also saying goodbye was the hardest! Sven, who was one of my best mates down under then met us that night. So one by one we were regrouping, and it was great to all be together like we had once been before. Some of the Germans hadn't see each other since Oz as well, so it was great to get everyone together, and it was as if we had just last seen each other a few days before.

We went out that night, and the next day checked out the town and the castle looking over the river Neckar. The town is a big uni town, so there are many students and a real good vibe. It wasn't destroyed in the war, so therefore still has lots of old buildings and a lot of character. That night we made a meal and just had a real relaxed night together. The next day, I had to take the train North of Frankfurt to meet some family. Tobias and Sven had already left and Wanja, Susn and Hanna walked me to the train station, it's funny because I don't consider myself to be an overly emotional guy, but it was quite sad saying goodbye to everyone and especially getting onto the train. You know inside that you will see these people again someday, but who knows when. The time spent together was by far the best part of the trip, and they are just such a good group of people, that you don't want to leave.

But alas, to the next time!I had a 3h train ride to Waldsolms-Brandoberndorf, where I was greeted by Gabi, Julia & Lukas *Some distant cousins and good family friends. I was really excited to be there because both Emily & Natalie have both stayed there and visited a few times, along with some other family members. So I was excited to see where everyone had been and to see the 3 of them. We had a nice walk around the village that day and checked out the farm, followed by a relaxed evening *Even did some sliding in the fields. The next day when the kids went to school, Gabi took me to see a really cool castle in Braunfels. The castle was amazing and really appealed to the child in me, its 750 years old and still has some of the original family living there. There was an amazing collection of art inside and pieces from all over the world. After meeting up with Julia & Lukas we had a nice lunch and then went to Gessen to a mathematics museum, which was unlike anything I had ever seen. All sorts of experiments which you could try and problems you must try to solve. Surely I left smarter then when I arrived! The next morning Gabi and I left Kröffelbach around 5:30am to get me to the airport to catch my flight. The time with them was a lot of fun and it is just a really nice area with smooth rolling farmland and small towns packed to the max with character.

My flight back to Toronto went well, with a short period of heavy turbulence... but not a big deal. After making it through customs Dad was there to meet me, and it was real nice to have him pick me up and to finally after 5 weeks, understand what people were saying around me!!! I think the funniest thing about the whole trip, is that nothing seemed to ever really phase me. I luckily was never sick or home sick, and never found myself in any dangerous situations. I enjoyed the whole time, some more then others, but looking back it was a great experience and I think I will walk away having learnt a lot. Not only about other parts of the world and how other people live, but also about myself. The whole trip was great and only got better and better as it went on. The biggest thing I really realized on the trip, was when traveling through Egypt, and realizing just how lucky we all are to have what we have and to live where we live, whether it be here in Canada, Oz or Europe.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it, and I look forward to the next blog worthy trip!

Until the next time, Take Care!

David W. 

 

From s#2 on Feb 4th, 2010

Excellent conclusion to your trip!