Howdy all. I’ve taken the idea for this post from the blog ‘I’ve Bean Travelling’, to look back at previous travels and see where I was on a certain day in another year. Today I am taking you back to 2011, and back to Cologne, Germany. In fairness, in August I am not usually traveling and the only diaries I had for an August post to look back on were from 2011. And in fact it’s not the most interesting day either, but it was a day that saw me sampling the Deutsche Bahn, the rails of Germany, and any day on a train is a good one in some respects at least!
The 7th of August 2011 saw me making the journey from Cologne in the northern part of Germany southwards to Munich in Bavaria. I must have been trying to keep my costs down. It was a Sunday and there was and probably still is a special weekend fare you can buy that allows you to travel on basically all trains that aren’t the fast trains. I see by my ticket that I paid 39 Euro for the ticket, not sure if it was a two or one day ticket, but still it’s not a bad way to spend a day and the most direct route is 455km so it’s less than a Euro per 10 kms. The only way it might be cheaper I guess is if it was an advance fare. Well in advance.
My first train was from Cologne to a place called Koblenz, and left at the not too early time of 932am. I wrote the bulk of my journal entry on the fifth train journey, so most of my thoughts came to me at that time I guess. The second train was Koblenz to Frankfurt, then Frankfurt to Wurzburg, Wurzburg to Nurnberg and Nurnberg to Munich was the fifth one. In fact, I was going out to stay with family who are outside Munich, half way to Salzburg if not a little more and so that was the final train trip of the day, and I guess that meant that I covered over 500km for the day.
For lunch that day I feasted on bread rolls and Jaffa cakes, which I do tend to really get into when I travel and let me say, I always regret later, they don’t sit well in the stomach and you regret for two or three hours after you’ve eaten them especially if you are like me and scoff a whole lot down in one sitting. Oh but they are delicious!
Interestingly on this fifth train journey of the day I remarked that it was beautiful outside, lots of forests, and yet it was juxtaposed with quite a bit of graffiti. The aisles were full on the train and so they opened up the front carriage, which for some reason had been closed despite the fact that the train was packed.
I got philosophical whilst on this train journey about beer drinking in Germany, writing that I’d found people drinking on the street everywhere as I guess it’s a normal thing to do there. I wondered to what extent the country has to deal with alcoholism and drinking to excess, but to be honest compare to my own country, or a number of other countries I could easily name but won’t, it seems to not have as large a issue, at least from what I could see as a visitor. Could it be that by it being socially acceptable to have a beer when you feel like it in public, walking down the street or in a fast food place, by removing the stigma to some extent, people were more likely to drink ‘responsibly’ as we’d say here down under? This might be a good question to comment on! Certainly a number of European countries have a much more visible and obvious problem with alcohol. Having said that I do remark in the ol’ journal that I had seen a number of arguments in Cologne that appeared to have occurred thanks mostly to people drinking.
From this point I left the diary for a few days and completed the entry on the Wednesday it seems, some three days later. This often happens when I stop for a few days in one spot, somehow when I’m on the move I keep the diary better. It was a bit of a dash at Munich to get to the next train, the platforms weren’t very close but the train I took, and I didn’t record what the final station was but it would have probably been Bad Aibling, if not Rosenheim, was a little late.
By the time I arrived at the final station of the six-train day, it was 830pm or so, but it was Summer and there was still some sun about. I was picked up for a few days in Bavaria by my Uncle. And that my friends, is the story of the seventh of August 2011, today nine years ago. Do you know what you were doing on this day? Please comment! Or comment on beer! Thanks for reading – May the Journey Never End!