Guten tag from a funny German train from Frankfurt to Berlin (frooooom Frankfurt to Berlin in every disco I get in my heart is pumping for love, pumping for love....)*. Germans are SO ORGANISED but the one thing they fail at is numbering trains! I am sat on seat 78, CC next to me is on seat 76, in front of me is 77, in front of CC is 75... but then, across from 75 it's 71, and in front of 71 it's 62 and 64 – we have failed to find 72, 73 and 74, as well as 79 and 80 (behind us is 81). Ok, in any case, it's confusing, and people were still stood in the corridor with their suitcases ten minutes after the train had left, desperately trying to find their reserved seats.
Luckily CC was the first on the train so he was able to bag perhaps the only two unreserved seats for us. I like Germany because reservations are only recommended, not required (like in France where, depending how early you reserve, they cost 6euros or 18euros) (I obviously did not reserve early enough). Italy with it's 3euro/10euro reservations are fine too, because you clearly get more quality and speed the more you pay. But Germany is so simple when you don't need reservations. For tomorrow's Berlin to Copenhagen we will try and reserve though – it was VERY lucky that there were two unreserved seats we got here...
ANYWAYS day 20, which actually was yesterday, I'm catching up! (Though this'll probs only be published in a few days... I'm writing this on the 9th) Another good day. We had a very relaxing morning at Maria's – she had class till 12 so me and CC had a nice breakfast, leisurely packing, internetting, etc.
Then the three of us went off to the town – same bits as the previous evening but much warmer, more crowded and sunnier.
|Germany is too windy for hats :(|
We found the awesome Coyote Café to have lunch at where I had the best salad I've had so far, CC had the “best nachos in Europe”, which he gave a 7 out of 10 to (NZ nachos are apparently 9 out of 10) and Maria had an awesome looking burger. And cheap as well! (Anything is cheap compared to Switzerland and France!!) (Literally in Germany you get a shampoo for 1,80euros, whereas in France the same one is usually nearly 4euros!!) (We thought in Switzerland that expensiveness is a must to gave a good quality of life, whereas Germany proves that you can be cheap and still organised and have a working country!) (Enough brackets maybe now...)
|OM NOM one of the best restaurants so far, if not the best!|
Then a very hurried walk back home, rushing to the bus, and got on the train that left at 17.20. Bye bye Maria, it was awesome seeing you!
|Cool Heidelberg church|
Only just over an hour in the train this time round, and we arrived in Wiesbaden at half six. T (my relative) was there to meet us, and she drove us to her place, about 10minute drive away.
T is Finnish, but has been living in Germany for 30 years. So she speaks fluent Finnish and German, and very good English as well when she does speak it. T's husband K is German, with very limited English. He is quite old with memory problems so he frequently forgot we didn't speak German, or just spoke a mixed-up language, which was amazing language practise for me! Also T got mixed up with her foreign languages and a few times I had to tell her “the language changed again” when she started speaking German especially to CC.
I was very excited to notice tho how much German I did understand from them. And K having a limited amount of things to talk about really helped me – repetition is the best way of learning the language. The first time he asked me what I studied (French and History) T had to translate from my Finnish to German for him, but the second time he asked I was able to reply, in German, all by myself!
Sometimes there were four different languages going on – Finnish, English, German, and CC's default foreign language, a few words of French. Everyone translating for everyone, it was good fun.
Anyways, we had a lovely dinner, and then we drove off to the Rhone-river (the same river that went through Basel!), where we had yet more icecreams (SNICKERS-icecream OM NOM) and enjoyed the sunset. T explained that just a month ago the ice cream parlour was closed and you couldn't drive there because of the floods – crazy.
|Snickers icecream OM NOM|
The highlight of the day, maybe even the holiday, happened here: We had left K to sit on a bench while we had a look at Wiesbaden castle/mansion. When we came back he had already struck up a conversation with a family of three kids sat on a nearby bench. We came over to them, and within ten seconds the little girl ran over to me and hugged my legs! After she had finished hugging me the little boy followed suit, coming over to hug me for a long time. CC and the dad started discussing money for me and the little boy's marriage.
BEST MOMENT EVER :')
T had prepared a guest room for us, and I just love it how happy she was that we were there and she could host us. I was told to use the towel she prepared even though I had my own with me. “Saves the towel for your later travels.” She looked sad when I assured her she didn't need to prepare us lunch for tomorrow's train ride, so I said sure, we won't say no, but don't feel obliged... So, now we have with us four home-made sandwiches, two croissants, chocolate, a packet of biscuits, two bananas... I love T :')
And, if I stayed with them for even a month, the amount of German I would learn!! Since I've done a year of German, I have the basics, and I can now see that I could really improve it if I just got immersed in it for even a few months. I feel even CC learnt more German in a day than French in a year. :P
|The Rhone river :)|
Tomorrow, (well, today), BERLIN! In a four-star hotel... hopefully lol, if the reservations were ok. I really don't know how to work real hotels. We'll see.
*For the less knowledgeable, this is a song by Cascada (I think) which actually goes “From Paris to Berlin”.
Last minute edit: Nope, actually it's by Infernal.