Europe 1983

Back in 1983, I gradumatated from high skool. Being so officially lernt and all, it seemed appropriate and timely to commemorate the event with a trip around Europe on trains for a month - just think of the newly-acquired profound wisdom I could share!

However original I might have considered this concept, I turned out to be not alone in this thinking: apparently there were six of us fellow graduating seniors of like mind, soon enough agreed to be chummily making our way around the continent... just as soon as school finished up and we put the squirt guns and bong pipes away. How continental! Oddly enough, with that fatal day approaching and given the grandiosity of our plans, this six-pack of comradery winnowed its way inexorably down to only two of us when push came to shove and Graduation Day finally arrived. Still, the trip was on!

Unsurprisingly, the milieu for the trip always was a given, primarily because we were already living in Europe at the time. See? Smart! And they done said we ain't learned nothing in high school and shood spend our summers wit still more skoolin'. Hah!

Practically speaking, this Eurocentric concept would dramatically save on a) airfare and, frankly, b) any planning. Moreover, being a euro-resident made us eligible for the locals' ticket, called an Interrail Pass. This cost perhaps half the price of the better-known Eurorail Pass (geared toward non-Europeans), plus it included about five more countries (notably the UK and Morocco). Yay for us Euro-residents, we thought. Accordingly, we'd have to go to at least one of those non-Eurorail countries to a) prove the worthiness of our efforts and b) show how cosmopolitic we were by already residing on the continent. That it was a twist of fate completely related to our fathers' occupations was a detail we could choose to handily ignore. We did.

Well, Graduation Day finally came; summer vacation began. University and the prospect of sex, drugs, and rock n roll - I mean studies! - still loomed a few months away. Jeff - the other remaining aspirant to travel - and I made an ad hoc list of gear we'd need, largely based on guessing. Tent, sleeping bags, stove, etc. - check! Some clothes, a money belt (we were sure there'd be many robbery attempts), traveler's cheques - got 'em! Ready!

And away we went. To Luxembourg. See, we had to buy the ticket first. An odd stipulation of the Interrail Pass was that you paid something like 50% of the price of all tickets in the country in which you bought the ticket. The pass would completely cover the other countries (well, mostly - we'd find out about surcharges soon enough.) Belatedly aware of this caveat, this called for an impromptu strategy with the trip mere days away. Thus... Luxembourg. To this day, our illustrious ticket-buying-day has been the only time I've ever gone Luxembourg's way. I can't remember if they speak French, German, Flemish or even Japanese there. And I guess I've never been interested enough to even check. That said... I think we went to a walled city surrounded by farmer's fields or something. Some people, cars, houses, cows...

More importantly, we got our tickets... and away we went! This time we locomoted (finally!) by train, seeing as we now had the pass and all. First stop: Paris. And here's where this little monologue comes to an end and my decrepit journal takes over... although "journal" could be seen perhaps as a misnomer.

What the tome actually comprises of are long-forgotten travel "notes" I rediscovered when going through some old boxes. They tell the story in their own... unique way, as you will no doubt agree. Keep in mind that I was 17 youthful years of age, and essentially as dumb as a rock when it came to travel. This was - I believe - my first travel of more than an overnight or two, and I would be on my own (sorta) for the first time in my life. The gore - I mean the glory, surely - lies in the details, some of which still baffle me to this day.

Why did I write these notes? (You will question the same.) Who planned on reading about this trip... like ever? (Apparently, you... like now.) Good questions, but now it's on with the show. I've put contemporary comments in [ ] brackets to ease your transition into an addled-at-a-young-age mind.

Countries in order of travel:
Luxembourg (to buy ticket only)

[Note #1, to put you in the mood: There was this odd habit of adding "-us" to many words in my high school at the time, a kind of roman-ization or latin-ification done as an unending joke. "Maximus" was often thrown in for good measure. No, I really can't justify it. I'm sure those who listened to us NEVER got tired of it, either. Without further ado...]
Logus Maximus AVG=$8.55 [per day - yep!, actually true]
$200 T.C. [traveler's cheques]
68 DM [Deutsche Marks - remember those?]
20 FF [for French Francs?]
$35 [U.S.A.! U.S.A.!]
$265 [Yes, I actually traveled for a month on $265. We really were that skinflint, too: one of our grand schemes was to travel on overnight trains to avoid paying for beds. We initially planned to sleep on the railed overhead luggage racks in the cabins at times, something we learned from a previous Interrail traveler. Didn't really happen. Though it did transpire a couple of times, even for as skinny as we were - and would further become - it was awfully uncomfortable, restricting ANY movement.]

---July 10---
Nothing [Why is this an entry if I haven't even left yet? I'm guessing there was an extra day of delay in getting started.]
---July 11---
4;23 train to Paris (exp.) - 24FF [How does that figure square with the 20FF above, and where did I find the missing Francs?]
9:03 arrive Paris - est [awfully exact for an estimated arrival! Or was that East? I shoulda learned French about 20 years sooner than I would.]
met John & Mark von UCLA - drunk off their asses [and that was a FACT]
followed rodger-dodger John through red light district [they had their priorities]
night of a thousand whores - behind every bush! [the brilliant pun, I believe, completely missed]
blatant advertising - John found price ($15) and checked 'em out glancewise [That is to say he talked up a lot of prostitutes in a drunken babble that I'm sure they greatly appreciated and never tired of]
slept in murkwood forest next to slut strasse [There were trees lining the massive boulevard to one side of the park, perhaps 15-20 feet apart, and with a prostitute stationed in between each pair. When the prostitutes ran out but the trees didn't, we put our sleeping bags on the ground and passed out.]
---July 12---
Bois Boulogne Park [We awoke with big slugs making tracks on our faces; we each pointed to the other and yelled "aiee!" How'd THAT not make the journal?]
Louvre (closed) - big on Metro [Where'd we go - who knows? This journal is of mysterious ends.]
Notre Dame [Check.]
Arc de Triomphe [Check check.]
Eiffel Tower (66 floors) - paper airplanes away - Blisterama [We decided to walk up the entire tower, a tiring affair. We were bored at the top of the staircases, so we made paper airplanes and threw them off into the awaiting wind for awhile, this only accomplished when watching our dripping spit fall away over the edge got boring. No surprise, we got major blisters from the stair hike. This "-ama" business was somehow in keeping with the latinesque "-us" and "maximus" lingo. Don't ask - I won't tell.]
Pompadou - Indians - wild music, K.A. instruments - tough dude - trident in stomach, nail boards, bottle breaking [I believe it's the Pomp-I-dou Center these days, much as then... K.A. means "kick ass"... There were a number of street musicians of varying nationalities that I could have listened to all day hunkered in front of the arts center. This one guy had a tough-guy act where people (gingerly) stuck a trident into his abdominal muscles and he walked them backwards. Then he broke bottles on his head, walked on nails, etc. I'm sure he's lived a very healthy life since.]
11:50 train von Paris - Nord - bye to Mark, John [you'll notice the random "von" or "de" which somehow gives that authentic feel to the journal without any authentic knowledge of the language beyond the odd phrase or preposition.]
---July 13---
7:00 Arcachon arrival (Biscay Bay, Atlantic, France) [Wow - France "done" in a couple of days - impressive!]
camped and got lost in sand/forest [We started trudging away from the small train station and headed into the woods with the intent of finding the sea. We got hot, sweated a pile, and finally realized we had no idea what we were doing.]
found ocean (stuff in station)
tanorama (little) [A glorious session of basking in the suns rays, as opposed to merely tanning, which I haven't done in years as the moles began appearing]
3:30+ train to Bordeaux [...and the '+' was for what?]
10:21 train to Madrid - 2 train switches (Bayonne, Irún) [I vaguely remember a middle of the night crossing where we stumbled through border security and switched trains as we did countries.]
---July 14---
9:00-10:00 arrive ion Madrid (Chamarin) - mit Swedes [MIT Swedes, not "with". Snazzy, bilingual!]
no shower, scumorama day [The scum would begin adding up soon...]
bummed around shopping area [Bumming is a good occupation for a bum.]
went to Prado museum [...seeing as we blew off the Louvre, might as well]
bummed around more - lost, found travelers checks [Here we have the 17-year-old version of a heartattack.]
Vegetable Day - Spanish girls better looking, shaped as a whole [This discerning observation was primarily in comparison to the sturdy German girls I had gotten used to seeing; my latinesque preference in women quickly went beyond the bastardization of the latin tongue. Being a "vegetable" was a desirable state among my most recent high school friends, the vast majority of which who were referred to, I believe, as "stoners". Ah, the legacy of the 70s!]
11:00 to Lisbon - uncomfy, snoring nun, smelly bum. 280 Ptas extra - valley girl attack, Dane [Here we have the classic shared train compartment: a 100-year-old nun passed out in the heat, leaning her head on my shoulder and snoring away as she undoubtedly drooled, too. Across from her was a bum who I thought indeed might be our first feared robber, and he really stank. The valley girls were some American college girls who managed to squeeze OhMyGod into every other sentence or phrase. The imperturbable Dane remains a mystery to this day.]
---July 15---
Money after 14th
T.C. $160 DM 68 FF 48 $13 PES 3279, AVG DAY: $7.3
$ = 7.5FF, 147.82 Pes. [Pesatas, Spanish currency. Now it's the Euro, too.]
10:30 arrive in Lisbon (9:30 Lisbon time)
traveled to Costa de Caparica (17 or 35 Bus to Capa de Seune), train to Belím, Ferry to Trafaria, Bus to campgrounds [ case you want to know how to get there]
Showered after Beaching it (tanaramus maximus) [This is frankly getting embarrassing.]
First Casualty - crab took chunk off my big toe [Finally! Something noteworthy!]
Bummed around the Boardwalk [No shit?]
Slept in Campgrounds [...since capitalized, apparently more interesting and important]
tan coming along, moustache not [...the important things to a 17-year-old]
---July 16---
Tanning (Golden/Red now), wave riding, slight sunburn [I think the oddly detailed first item prefigures the third, no? Golden red sounds downright godlike, however, don't you agree?]
Slept at campgrounds [...because this wouldn't be otherwise obvious]
Portugal - very cheap [when you live on a piece of bread and a yogurt cup for a day, it better be]
---July 17---
left campgrounds to Lisbon [What? and pass up another yogurt and piece of bread?]
bummed around Lisbon - went to war museum [When did Portugal last go to war? Were they in either of the World Wars? I don't remember reading anything about them since their famous and ancient sailing days and colonies, around 1600 or so, like EVER.]
spent several hours watch[ing] movie production of "To Catch A King," about Nazi 1941 attempt to catch King of England (now Duke of Windsor). Scene shot in front of train station and main square. Terri Carr (blond from Tootsie) stars (heard her talk nearby - airhead). Saw Roddy McDowell, Robert Wagner nearby (also Hart To Hart to be filmed later here). Talked with art director (Brit who lived in Athens last 20 years) - nice guy, not stuck up - gave hints about Greece - Jeff lost baggage ticket - almost trouble, guy wouldn't almost give in. [We were endlessly fascinated to have stumbled on a movie production. We overheard Carr commenting on us speaking "American", but were far more interested in Roddy McDowell because, let's face it, he was a hell of a chimp in The Planet Of The Apes. The scene at the train station over Jeff's missing baggage claim check got downright funny when he tried to speak French and Spanish - each of which he barely knew - and she (not a guy) let him know that A) Portuguese people speak Portuguese and B) she was speaking to him in English. He got the bag; she got the last laugh.]
met Canadian Blonde in station - damned good looking. Had to play boyfriend so Portuguese Navy wouldn't pick her up (they tried anyway). [What, my imposing 130lbs of emaciated manhood didn't scare them off?]
Montreal isn't that far from Detroit... [Good god, was I actually contemplating returning to Detroit? She musta been hot - I hope! True enough, I did go to nearby Ann Arbor and U-Michigan that fall, but at this time I'd like to set the record straight that it wasn't for our mysterious blonde's proximity... and Montreal and Detroit aren't exactly next-door neighbors in the first place.]
---July 18---
00:15 train to Badajoz - 468 pta fee [...because everyone wants to go to Badajoz, wherever it is]
5:45 Badajoz [05:45 wasn't as impressive-looking as 00:15, so let's not bother with the '0' again, shall we?]
7:30 (Spanish time again) on to Sevilla - bye to Canadi[a]ns Noon Sevilla [...or Seville to you. Let's not get started on potatoes and tomatoes.]
1:10 train to Cordoba
met ex-convict, 5 years for smuggling 20 kilos hashish. just got out today and is trying to pick up connections to smuggle 200 kilos hashish into France ($100,000 profit) and will retire after smuggling $2.5 mil of Cocaine to England from Colombia. 5 years was no lesson, he says. Cool dude - Jeff frowned upon him. Has 3 estates [Boy - here's the full can of worms! I remember being impressed by his panache and enjoying his colorful story, while having no clue about the numbers. Jeff was rather worried about the conversation, but our new friend didn't exactly try to enlist us for anything or ask for money. This conversation was at a bar near the train station.]
5:08 train to Bobadilla - 90 pta fee [...a city name that sounds like something you eat or run from.]
7:08 Bobadilla - NO SHOWER TODAY! [I bet I didn't have to tell anyone in my vicinity.]
---July 19---
5:44am train to Algeciras [...on the southern tip of Spain, if you ignore Gibraltar - which is a good idea if you want to stay friends with the Spanish]
Money at Algeciras - after ticket (750 pta ferry - half price)
$13 T.C. $160 FF 48 DM 8 Pta 850 Avg: $7.65
Left Algeciras at 2:00pm. Medit. very blue! [from] ferry Tangiers at 4:30pm. 1/2 hour passport hassle for those such as I who didn't get it stamped on the boat. - AFRICA!! [Some might disagree with Morocco being African and all, but technically this is very true indeed.]
Bummed around Tangiers: very aggressive people; everyone's a "friend" and is trying to sell you drugs (esp. hashish) and half the time they practically shove it in your hands. Dinner was some kind of weird chicken with a weird green soft drink that tasted like orange at first and mint at the end. Spent rest of the day at the market (wild) - bought Lizzy a small present. Stayed the night at Le Detroit Pension (flophouse). finally got a shower. [Apparently Tangiers was a weird and wild place - or I was a wee sheltered or possibly close-minded (NO!) in my thinking.]
---July 20---
Took 7:30 train to Fe[z] (heard Casablanca sucks) [The FISH story! How'd I pass on the fish story? It's almost the only thing I remember about Morocco! Well, okay, all I remember of the infamous fish tale is that there were no seats on the train and we laid ourselves out flat on the floor in the aisleway for the overnight to Fez. Sometime in the middle of the night the train stopped and a bunch of heavy ladies came on board with even heavier bags of (fresh?) fish from the market... which they proceeded to bonk us on the head with as they stepped over us. Smelled like... roses.]
2:00 Fe[z], teamed up with Canucks (James, Caroline, Mark, Andy, Ian) from Vancouver and Mexicans - Edmonton Eugene and Dave.
Met tour guide at station Saed [more likely spelled Said] - seemed like a hustler but got us to ancient Fes (Fez, rather - tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.]. Stopped and had Lemon Chicken with Flies [flies underscored].
Went and saw mosques and old buildings - many alleys (15km across); each place has a well (120 or more).
Went to carpet shop (1/5 of stateside price) and checked out carpets [Really? Didn't check out the floor instead?].
Met Abdul - he thinks you can have sex on top of anything [...a prescient and modern genius].
Went to brass shop and clothes shop (bought African robe) [...which I kept for years and found itself in a few Halloweens, thank you very much].
Fact - screw a Morroccan girl, 5 years in jail if you don't marry her. Dave [not me, sniff!] got offered.
Went to Berber home for dindin Shis-kabob, pigeon, mint tea (leaves inside) [if I remember correctly, and I do, the mint tea was a cup stuffed to the brim with mint leaves and likewise heaped with sugar. No wonder there were so many rotten teeth about with that sweet national obsession of a concoction], weird soup [wish I knew - was it good?]. Got "Charlie's'" addresses. [Huh?] Took taxi to station.
12:00pm to Tangiers
---July 21---
2:45 change at Sidi Kacem
7:15 Tangiers
Shower [...obviously of great importance, if only because of their rarity on this trip], caught ferry (last two people) by bribing officials [my first and only bribing to date (I'm anotating this in 2009), classically performed with the official ignoring me until I waved enough cash in front of him] and going through car port [...the rear vehicle loading ramp, which was actually being lifted as we hopped on] ([passenger] gang plank already closed) - 10:30 ferry [Hey, what's a trip to Africa without a bribe?]
1:00 Algeciras - celebration dinner of sorts [I remember a boisterous introduction to the graces of sangria, then a bit of lolling about.]
5:00 Bye to Canucks [Did I dare call them that to their faces? Highly doubtful - and I don't remember, either. Would they have cared? Their hockey team in Vancouver - awarded years after this trip - would be named the Canucks.]
10:00 train to French Border - with Dutch [...apparently notable only for being so. I more remember some kids on this leg of the trip seeing my Detroit Lions sweatshirt and saying "Detroit" aloud in French, which sounded cool to me: "Day-twah!" Also we completely roasted on the dusty train and accumulated quite a layer of dirt for our nonexistent efforts.]
---July 22---
11:00 Madrid train change
22:00 Hendaye, France T.C. $120 FF130 Avg=$9.8 [ ohmigod - bustin' the bank!]
---July 23---
00:00 Bayonne - Layover - camped [Where? By the train station? (This will be relevant later.)]
5:55 train to Juan (Cannes) - French Riviera [I'm sure the snooty set was stunned - literally - to see us. And move away from us, quickly.]
---July 24---
Beached it in the French Med [Because, you know, that's what I ALWAYS do on these petty little vacations - yawn.]
train to Monaco at 4:20 [apparently I had no idea this was the bong train!]
Monaco - Snorkeled by rocks off beach [Bet THAT was clean.]
8:40 train to Pisa - Danish girl [AND?!?]
---July 25---
Money - T.C. $120 Avg = $9.6 DM = 8 [Whoa - keep it under control!]
7:30 Pisa
Saw leaning tower [ if poor Pisa is known for anything else, not that it shouldn't be], other monuments, bummed around [...which I do a lot of - haven't noticed yet?]
2:37 train to Rome - Carl from Utah [All I remember of Carl is that I asked him if he was a Mormon, which he wasn't. We then had a conversation about kooky Utah, which could have been Mars for all I knew. Sure seemed that way per the confab.]
8~9 Rome - went to Pension L10000 1500L=$ [I should have mentioned here that it was my first bath in 5 days and that the water ran black down the train - this memory is still vivid. The lady that ran the pension - a spare bedroom in her house - had snagged us at the station, but she was honest and nice. And she obviously had no idea how filthy we really were. Then again, how couldn't she have noticed?]
---July 26---
Did Rome [Wow! That was quick! (see my Europe 2004 travelogue for a better commentary on visiting Rome)] - Colliseum, Vatican, Catacombs - San Callisto 150,000 Christians [buried there in them, not chasing me down the street], some hid out, 5 levels - still going [adding more bodies, or just excavating?], aquaducts, Roman Forum, St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza Venezia, many other monuments - all were rather incredible. [Ya don't say! I'm getting tired reading through this litany of monuments knowing the lay of the land better now. I covered the same territory over the course of a MONTH in 2004. That was a bit of walking! And here there's no mention of the Pantheon, perhaps the most incredible of all of them.]
6:30 train to Naples
9:00 Napoli ['cuz I'm like all Italian now after 2-1/2 hours on the train. That's Naples to you, simple Englishman!]
9:54 small train to Pompeii [...where it was 100 degrees and we tired quickly of ash and volcanic rock in favor of something to drink.] slept at Pompeii campgrounds - 3500L ea. [which was probably like 25c given the status of the Lira back in those days. Okay, maybe it was all of $2.50.]
---July 27---
Did Pompeii for a couple hours - hot and boring [ I said, although I'd likely enjoy it only a decade or two later as I became ever more the history buff.]
Went to Naples AB (and N[ATO] Base gate) by metro from train station to Bognoli, got short ride from American in Dip[lomatic] Corp to Base. U.S.S. Coral Sea [in port]
Food, haircut, Laundry, products, telephone call ([sister] Mary) news [from home]
took shuttle to N[ATO] Base. [Sad to say, but we were awfully excited to get inside the military base and experience again our pathetic version of the comforts of civilization - I mean home!]
train to Naples Station (metro)
10:25 to Brindisi, teamed up with Phillip (Italian) [dunno what "teamed up" meant, but most likely we watched each other's stuff as we waited first for the ticket office, then to get on the boat, then during the trip over, etc...]
---July 28---
9:00 Brindisi
picked up ferry tickets - borrowed $28 - Jeff [to, from? included in my meticulous totals?], bummed day by reading and sleeping in main square (teamed with a brit - Chris) [once again, the mysterious "teaming up". I'll attest vehemently that this had nothing to do with showers or fallen bars of soap, thank you very much.]
6:30 boarded ferry, shower [because it must be noted]
9:00 ferry leaves
---July 29---
KORFU "vege isle" - bye to Phillip [Thanks for the TEAMing! Finally, we achieved the desired vegetable status! That's cuz we were completely whipped from the touring we had been doing. Rome was the final straw. We didn't want to do ANYTHING.]
Went to Kalousades camping, snorkeled about and left - fair area, lousy camping.
got a ride hitching with a crazy German who drives a Citroes Convertible [I vaguely remember he didn't stop smiling from ear to ear and was likely drunk. But a HAPPY drunk!]
San Georgio camping - good beach - snorkeling - tanning - good price [if I say so myself, not that it was apparently worth noting]
---July 30---
still San Georgio camping - snorkeling, tanning - took motorbikes for a couple hours, got fins, Jeff wiped out somewhat and had trouble getting started again - night at bar [Actually, it was a pretty nasty wipeout for Jeff on a rocky and dusty road, resulting with a shredded leg of blood. But he would be okay - and we weren't exactly going to hunt for a doctor.]
---July 31---
San Georgio camping still - beached it by myself for mega hours as Jeff and Chris took bikes for the day and specked out next place to go. Jeff lost canteen somewhere - CATASTROPHE! Avg = $10.2 - shower [Broke the $10 barrier!!! This could not stand! The canteen was something of a joke it need be said, since we were always near civilization and could always buy a Fanta or a Coke. Our pre-trip French Foreign Legion mentality apparently hadn't disappeared by this time, however.]
---August 1---
11:20 Bus to Korfu town - Chris bought ticket
bummed day in Korfu town - shower [*Sigh.* This focus has gotten more than a little old.]
slept under flatbed trailer truck near port [Now HERE is some robust traveling. Only missing the stick and all belongings in a handkerchief.]
---August 2---
7:00 Eolos ferry to Patras (Chris took 7:00 Ionis) [I guess Chris the Brit was still around, but I have no memory of him on Korfu for the several days we were there.]
5:00 Patras
waited for Chris's ship Avg = $9.7 [...and then Chris disappears from the journal for all of his importance]
bummed at Patras, read Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected" [Aw, the literary genius at play in repose - or was it work?!?]
---August 3---
2:08 train to Athens (Norwegians) [I believe these were the Norwegian girls we happily saw sunning themselves, sunny side up and rather naked during our days at camp. A highlight of the trip, as I do remember vividly.]
7:00 Athens
went [to the] Acropolis, went through mega shopping district [Snore... the Acropolis... I actually have some pretty good memories of walking around through these vast ruins, but I probably tired of the detail it would take to write 10 or 20 words about it.]
9:00pm train to Venice - 2 Brits [and...?]
---August 4---
still going to Venice, through Yugoslavia - Drug Check [What's REALLY most notable about this is that it was an epic-lengthed, nonstop 40-hour train. Belgrade was the only main stop, where we were sufficiently paranoid about being in a communist country to do more than stick our noses to the window. The Italian border was a much bigger deal, since they ran a pack of german sheperds through the train to "control" the uncontrollable drug trade that passed through the area.]
---August 5---
12:20 Venice
specked out Venice - St. Mark's, port, city [...and that was that! We walked various bridges and canals, gaped in the great square of St. Mark's, but otherwise we weren't overly jazzed up about the place. A conversation with a professional soccer player at the train station, primping and preening with his sweater sleeves folded across his chest, was more interesting. At the time we took him at his word that he was a pro. He probably worked at a pro SHOP, as in a golf course.]
---August 6---
1:05 [going] to[ward] Bern, Switzerland - talk to Swiss [now there's a shocker in der Schweiz (Switzerland in German, yes it's tough keeping up with my world-traveled ways. Peon.)]
7:05 Milan - Bern [ this point I was happy to be pointed homeward]
12:00 Bern
Bummed about in Mall under station and a little in surrounding city, Shaved, washed hair in sink at train station [Hey - at least I didn't SHOWER. More black water made its way down a drain sans complaint.]
4:30 to Lucerne - Jewish lady (like Granny) [I'm sure she would have been thrilled to know the comparison.]
7:00 Lucerne - saw fire-breather [further proving that street musicians always have had an impact upon me], bummed [better now than never - the trip's almost over!]
10:07 to Zurich
11~ Zurich - spent night under tree [This is actually a classic story where we exited the train station and pitched our tent on the grass on the curbed island that separated the two directions of traffic on a major boulevard adjacent to the station. We just plopped in our vestibule and crashed; heavy traffic in the morning woke us up, so we packed up in front of astonished commuters passing us by and returned to the station. Why the police in order-happy Switzerland never gave us the boot remains a great mystery to this day. I've told this story to numerous Swiss who are absolutely flabbergasted that A) we did it and B) we got away with it.]
---August 7---
7:05 to München
12:00 München
Bummed in Munich - Hofbrauhaus, Hofgarten, Nymberg palace - the works [...did I eat a big hot dog - wurst - or something?] - met MSU girl [...must be Michigan State, as my brain at the time didn't comprehend Montana State, Mississippi State, Missouri State and the rest of the lot with the University of Michigan looming in the fall for me] - met St. Louis For Exceptional Kids [...won't even touch it. Okay, I will: I think this was some kind of organized tour. By the way, Jeff and I parted company here so he could visit a friend in the area - surely that merits mention?]
11:05 to Köln
---August 8---
7:00 Köln
Church, Rhine [Why I don't mention that this is the most impressive church I've ever seen escapes me. The two steeples that etch into the clouds were absolutely dizzying and amazing to comprehend. And I'd seen a LOT of churches, even by then.]
Bonn - Bundestag, Rhine
11:07 to Ludwigshafen - met Australians [Who were certainly thrilled to meet me, of course.]
Rhine river cruise by train [...the tracks paralleled the river, a very popular tourist thing to cruise by boat and see all of the castles]
Changed mind [from what?] - Bingen - Bad Kreuznach - KAISERSLAUTERN [...and so I returned home unannounced, looking a bit like a skeleton and in desperate need of - you guessed it - a shower.]
NO RAIN FOR A MONTH [Oh yeah! How'd THAT happen?]

[Pictures. WHERE are the pictures, you ask? A very, very good question. Five rolls of film were shot as Jeff and I made our way around the continent. A better survey of monuments and our abject filth could probably never be found. And it never will be, apparently. Upon our return to Kaiserslautern that summer, Jeff moved to the States and on to university life (coincidentally at William & Mary, where I'd attend graduate school years later) within the week. He had my rolls of film to develop, and develop them I'm sure he did even as I never saw them or him again to this day. We lost touch via our mutual contact Jim, a friend of Jeff's and an acquaintance of mine who would get Jeff's new address at school. And that was that - Jim never got it, and soon disappeared himself. As the pictures can only have been of the finest quality and taken under the most seasoned of eyes, I wonder about them still. I don't remember the action of even one particular shot being taken, but I'm sure they'd be no less than amusing. Perhaps that's why I never got them back - they're in a museum!!! Or... not.]

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