The last week has been very eventful, and the internet here is free, so this is going to be a long post.
Long story short, after Madrid I went back to Le Vignaud. I wound up staying a little over a week, longer than I had planned, because there were 2 celebrations. The first was the 50th anniversary of Jason´s neighbors, Jean-Francois and Lucienne. They set up a large tent in their front yard and filled it with about 50 Frenchies, plus us American crashers. The food was in a separate tent and the wine was everywhere. It was pouring rain, and the tents dripped everywhere, turning the yard to a muddy mess. By the time the strawberry cake was served, a guitar had been found and the singing commenced. I didn´t know the words, but I could generally understand the songs and a good time was had by all.
The next day was the birthday of our American friend Gigi. She and her boyfriend Alex came over to Jason´s house, as well as our British friend Darren, and we made a party. Jason shucked and fried up some oysters, and we made some delicious poboys complete with Avery Island Tabasco sauce that we bought at Carrefour, the European Walmart. Apple pie a la mode came next, and suffice to say we all went to bed stuffed. The next morning we had biscuits and crepes for breakfast. It was quite a weekend for binge eating!
So on Monday, after all these parties, Jason and I drove up to Paris, and I took a train to Munich. With my railpass I only had to pay €4! I was in a 6-seat compartment, but I was the only one there. I put up the armrests and laid across 3 seats, and it was comfortable. I arrived in Munich at 7AM only slightly blurry eyed.
I went on a free tour of the city, and the American guide was pretty cool. Outside the Frauenkirke he was telling us the legend of “The Devil´s Footprint,” which involved the Duke of Munich making a deal with the devil. Of course, the duke tried to cheat the devil, and when he found out Satan declared (in the words of Kevin the guide): “This aggression will not stand!” I laughed, but no one else did, and Kevin continued with the story, in which the Duke wins and keeps his soul. Once we were inside the church I saddled up to him and asked if the moral of the story is “The Duke abides.” This called for a high-five, my first in a Catholic church, but hopefully not the last.
So everynight in Germany has involved drinking. The first night I went out with some people I met on the tour for a beer house crawl, including the hofbräahaus, complete with the umpapa band. The next night I went to an Irish pub with a German guy I met at a Jesus street rally, where I heard “Blueberry Hill” played live by an ex-pat. And I did it all in my new orange sandals… Oh yeah, I dig Germany.
This morning I woke up in Munich and took a train to Regensburg, about 90 minutes away. It was a nice little town, and walking through a park some people at a picnic table offered me a drink. The Germans like to drink and they like to share. They also like mushroom cafes, and who could blame them?
After a couple hours in Regensburg I hoped back on the northbound train for Nuremberg. What a wonderful city! I have to say, I like it much better than Munich. Walking around town, you always see at least 1 church and half-timbered house. I met a Hare Krishna and found “American Store,” which sells mostly camouflage and Jack Daniels souvenirs. But I did buy a paper American flag. Later on, walking through the market, I found a gift for my mom. I can´t say what it is but Mom, you are going to love it!
The hostel I´m at in Nuremberg is pretty nice, and very friendly. I just went out with a guy who works here and 2 other girls, to another Irish pub (I do like the whiskey). Tomorrow I am going to do more Nuremberg sightseeing, then catch a ride to Prague to chill with Izzy for a couple days before going onward, eastward, to Krakow. It is turning out to be quite the adventure!