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Archive for the ‘Travel’ tag

All Europe Logs Are Up!

January 10th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I’ve finished! I’ve posted all my journal entries, GPS logs, and photos from Europe!

Go check them out

Written by jarrod.carlson

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Day Ten: Homeward Bound

December 17th, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Philadelphia

We say goodbye to Jan and Europe

We say goodbye to Jan and Europe

Wake up. Take shower. Get dressed. Eat food. Pack shit. Say goodbye. Load car. Drive some. Refuel car. Return car. Check in. Clear customs. Clear security. Visit duty-free. Find gate. Make brown. Board plane. Sit down. Enjoy flight.

…nine endless hours pass…

There are still another few hours before we get off the plane at JFK! Then another two hours will pass until boarding the connecting flight to Atlanta. Then however long that flight is. Brian had slept nearly the entire trans-atlantic leg. Lucky bastard…

Written by jarrod.carlson

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Day Nine: Longest Post Ever!

December 16th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Tuesday had arrived. The last day for me in Frankfurt, and in fact, all of Europe. The thought made me a little sad as I woke up, freezing on the floor of Philipp’s apartment. What a night.

Of course I owe Philipp a great deal of gratitude, so I hope that if he’s reading this he takes no offense. But the floor was cold, and as Philipp left for work in the morning, I realized that I had spent more time in the night trying to stay warm than actually sleeping. And then I realized I was lying on - and not in - a sleeping bag Philipp had left out for me. Ha!

Well I still owe you many thanks, Philipp, for your hospitality.

Following an extra hour of sleep under the warmth of the other sleep sack, I got the day started at the early hour of 11:00. I felt guilty for having slept in the extra time, but I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be, so I just enjoyed it. I’m on vacation, after all.

I have to admit, though, that I was a bit stumped by the shower. Jessy’s shower had only one wall and no curtain, but at least the shower head was mounted high on the wall. Here, there were no walls, and the hand held sprayer only reached about shoulder height. So I guess I’ll be squatting for my shower? How do Germans usually do this?!?

My first order of business was to get things packed up and stowed away. In doing so, I discovered an extra set of.. “essentials” stashed in my back pack (in the event of lost luggage). Great! That would save me the trouble of washing clothes.

So on to my second task instead - the grocery. I needed some food stuffs to bring home to the states, and there was a REWE just across the street, and since Philipp had left me a key, I made for it. I picked up as much candy, chocolate, wine, and whatever else I thought I could carry home and pack into my luggage.

Next, I was hungry. I reasoned that this might be my last chance at a real, authentic Döner Kebab, and this was probably the best place to get it, so I headed for the international cuisines of the Hauptbahnhof. There I found “Max & Moritz” and had myself a Kebob. Sorry you missed that one, Brian, but I’m sure you’re enjoying your €70 company lunch in Göttingen, too.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jarrod.carlson

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Day Eight: I’ve Been Lost, and Found

December 15th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

When I last wrote, I had been in a Starbucks bu the Hauptbahnhof, thinking of what to do next. I had checked my bags at a locker in the station and gone on for the day in the city.

Since it was about lunch time, I decided to find food, and proximity to the Hauptbahnhof should provide a multitude of options. So I just began walking in some non-particular direction. I should have a GPS log to look at later.

The search quickly made me realize how different Frankfurt is than other towns I’ve seen on this trip and in past trips.

For one, it’s an understatement that this is a commuter town. The population nearly doubles by day, from what I hear. This also, unfortunately, means it has one of the most complex public transportation systems imaginable. They have Regional and Regional Express trains, S-Bahn and S-Bahn Express trains, U-Bahn subway trains, tram cars on the street, buses, and even public taxis! The network map looked like a bowl of spaghetti, dropped carelessly on the floor.

And that is exactly what I found for lunch - Spaghetti alla Matriciana - but not dropped on the floor. It seemed to be a reasonably authentic Italian restaurant (who’s name I cannot remember). I believe it was just north west of the train station. It was delicious, but even better was the beer. A private label, I gathered, called Pfugstäder.

After eating, I decided to tackle the transit system and go find the Christkindlmarkt - Frankfurt is supposed to have one of the biggest and best.

This long exposure of the market in Frankfurt pleases me

This long exposure of the market in Frankfurt pleases me

The market was (predictably) in the squares in and around Römer Platz - or just Dom. I walked through it a bit and was disappointed at how small it was, and filled only with food and drinks, which I did not want. I ventured down to the river and over the bridge to take some photos.

On my way back through the market, I realized my error. I should have gone left at Albuquerque. To the other side of the street was an incredibly expansive street market weaving in and down every side street for blocks! Wow! I had previously found only a small tributary of this enormous market. It was a kind of bendy, twisty, shopping mall, with tastes, smells, and sights everywhere. A man could spend hours visiting all the carts and examining all the wares for sale.

So that’s exactly what I did. But unfortunately, by this time, my phone was beginning to run low on power, so I couldn’t leave it on to track my whereabouts. Although I literally walked around the same three-block market for over three hours and almost never saw anything twice!

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

As the sun began to set, the beautifully restored medieval architecture glowed with a bright orange light, caused by the city’s pollution - not entirely unlike suburban Atlanta. I helped myself to a few “artsy” photos.

Not long after the sun had set, I made back for the train station. It was time to meet up with Philipp, who would be offering me his floor for a free stay tonight. I took the S-Bahn train to Niederrad Bahnhof, where Philipp picked me up in his black Ford Focus “Caravan”, as he called it. I guess that’s the fancy German term for hatchback.

After reaching his place and dropping my bags, it was dinner time. Philipp suggested the Paulaner Haus am Dom, and I couldn’t refuse. This place was essentially the Hofbrauhaus, but for Paulaner. So that is where we went. I ordered a round of tall Paulaner Hefeweizen for the two of us and for myself the Wienerschnitzel. God it was tasty! Maybe it was all the walking around… Philipp ordered something resembling the entire hind leg of a pig - Schweinsaxen I think.

After dinner, it was time to retire. I made up my spot on the floor and settled in for a cold night - the heat had been off in Philipp’s apartment all weekend! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jarrod.carlson

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Day Eight: Train to Frankfurt

December 15th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Although 06:00 came much sooner than I wanted, I didn’t mind crawling out of bed at 07:00 to start the day. Brian would be off with Hans to Schneider Optiks and then to Göttingen after lunch.

I, meanwhile, decided to liberate myself from the group and jump a train to Frankfurt am Main. Even though I hardly speak German, the process could not have been simpler. I found my train, which arrived just moments after purchasing the ticket, and by 10:45, I was at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.

From here, I’ll spend the day on my own in the city, and Brian has arranged for me to meet up with a friend when he finishes work around 17:00. So another free night. I do have to admit that it’s awfully nice for Phillipp (the friend) to take in a total stranger, but it will be good - I can see some city, save some money, and so forth.

Since I am currently at a Starbucks by the Hauptbahnhof, I suppose I should go make something of the day, yeah?

-- Weather When Posted --

Location: Frankfurt / M-Flughafen

Temperature: 21.2°F, Humidity: 67%

Written by jarrod.carlson

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