The end

Trip Start May 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Flag of Germany  ,
Saturday, August 19, 2006

Back to Germany. This time, seen through very different eyes. Much more routine this time around. No longer shocked by the fact that I can't communicate verbally with most people. Public transportation is no longer daunting. The small challenges of travel are no longer really an issue. I walked a good 45 minutes trying to find the hostel, and this somehow seems normal. My frame of mind has gone, in general, from excitement to relief, as I am ready to soon be in one place for a bit, in my own bed, eating home-cooked food. Familiarity.

Anyway, Berlin. I botched the reservation dates, but the hostel guy found a spot for me. Really a weird guy. A mix of pompous, obnoxcious, and genuinely kind. One of those very well read types. Picture the nihilists in 'The Big Lebowski', including the crazy laugh, and that pretty much pegs him.

I forgot to go to the bombed-out church... again. The Reichstag was closed the day I went there to walk around inside, yarrrghh. The holocaust memorial was just as awe-striking and powerful as before. The Brandenberg gate is still a little over-rated. Some other stuff was still pretty cool. So my flight was at 6:00 or something ridiculous like that, forcing me to take the 30 minute bus to the airport at the very first time it ran, something like 4:30. So, being the frugal traveller, I decided to not get a hostel, but just lock my bag up in the train station next to the bus stop, and stay awake until the bus came. It was reminisent of my night at the train station in Vienna, without the crazy awesome random parking garage party. By that I mean, there were many awkward instances of quickly walking away from approaching homeless and/or crazy people approaching. When I went to get my bag from the lockers, one rounded the corner right as I approached my locker. I did an abrupt 180 and hustled out to the main street, where there was at least a little bit of normal-people foot traffic. When I cautiously went back a bit later, he was asleep in the locker room, so I quickly got my bag and bolted. Anyway, time travels veeeery slowly when you're watching BBC in a hostel common area at 3:30 am waiting for time to pass.

In London, I missed my connection, as I was given an impossile itinerary. After some more delays, eventually I was home, awake with only a few naps for about 48 hours. I got searched no less than three times, as this was ays after the uncovered terror plot scare thing in London. No liquids, no carry-ons larger than a CD-case, etc.

And then I was home.

The thing that I noticed that last day in Berlin, though, was how much I had been walking. I was on my feet and walking literally the entire day. I had to have walked 10-15 miles that day. It's probably the best shape my walking muscles will ever be in.

Also, I have read through a few of my earlier entries since returning home, and am really quite shocked at how incoherent many of them are. I can barely follow my sequencing of events, and I was there for all of them. I may go back and correct grammar, syntax, and general coherence of flow some day. But I may do a lot of things.
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gtrob on

Re: Hi there,
I appreciate your interest in my travel blog, but no, i do not feel that I wasted a single cent of my money or second of my time during that trip, and yes, I really, really did enjoy myself. I did not gain a deep understanding of most of the places that I travelled that summer, but that was not entirely the point, though I did do my best with the time I had. aside from that, I did, if you noticed, spend about two months of the time in Turkey, a place I made friends, dated, studied formally, and really did get to know. though I only got a first glimpse into the nuances of most of the other places I went, I did get to see landmarks and countryside, city streets, taste new foods and drinks, and have many adventure and excitement, even if not all of it was particularly dependant upon the place it was set. for example, if you read the post about when I was in sofia and I met the former drug addict. he was an american, like me, and it taught me nothing of bulgaria, but it was still a very eye-opening experience, and one I would have probably never experienced without travelling. and, as you said, I did learn that my time in Turkey felt more meaningful, but that did not mean that the rest of my time was a waste. Learning that lesson, also, was a valuable part of my trip, and was not one I could have gained second-hand... and it pushed me towards my next trip, the one I just returned from, which was three months spent entirely (mostly working) in South Africa (most of it is posted already).

So, I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression in my posts, but I did love every minute of my time travelling, especially the challenging times, and I felt it was an extremely valuable experience for me.

Happy travels...

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