Frankfurt Pictures Berchtesgaden Pictures
Germany was my first and last stops and therefore my first and last impressions. My trip didn't exactly start off on the right foot and so Germany wasn't my favorite place. I arrived into Frankfurt at just after six in the morning and the hostel that I had booked at didn't book in until one in the afternoon. So I had to waste near seven hours in a new city, my first city, my first country, my first foreign language, and my first trip, all after being on a plane for thirteen hours and hauling around a pack filled with everything I own. I was initially terrified, coming from a small town where everything is set a certain way, a way in which I had grown accustomed to. Perhaps it was the jetlag that caused me to believe that no one spoke English and that I wouldn't be able to order even a small meal because of this. I think I walked around for about five hours before I built up the courage to walk into a bakery and order a croissant, the only thing I could read on the list. I didn't have a very pleasant time in Frankfurt but after talking to several people along the way, they all had bad first days too. It's like the first day of school when you just moved to a new town; it usually sucks but you get through it and there is always a better day ahead. The day after I arrived I got on a train to Salzburg, Austria, bypassing Munich in the process. On the train I was searched by police in front of everyone, it wasn't particularly humiliating, it was just very confusing. Getting hunted down by police and yelled at in a foreign tongue was not a good way to leave Germany. Sure I didn't give it much of a chance but the amount of stuff that went wrong or at least somewhat awry, was just too much to say it was merely a bit of bad luck.
I would return to a small town in Germany, during my time in Salzburg, called Berchtesgaden. This was the home to many of the Nazi leader's abodes, or at least summer vacation spots. Hitler's Eagle's Nest is on top of a mountain overlooking the town and is absolutely incredible. I went there for the history and as soon as I stepped foot in that town and on top of that mountain, I forgot all about it. The views were breathtaking. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life, it really was an unbelievable feeling being up there. The town of Berchtesgaden itself is such a nice little place that I would recommend to anyone visiting Germany, to go there.
Well the end of my trip meant going back to Frankfurt to catch my flight home. I had my return date changed and was told to go to "Bankfurt" a couple days early to get it sorted out with Air Canada. As you might have guessed I tried to avoid going back early as much as I could. I ended up not getting into Frankfurt until nine o'clock the night before my flight which was at ten the next morning. Believe it or not, on my trek back through Germany I was stopped by police twice! They didn't search me either time, just a passport check. One officer seemed intend on busting me for something, he even called in my passport to get a check on me, when he learned that I wasn't illegally there he started to scan my pack and just when I was sure he was going to tear it open, he left. German's are stereotyped as being uptight, hardliner, non-emotional typed people, and well from my experience that's more or less true. All about authority and efficiency, but they are nice, good-hearted people on the whole. Just don't ask for a bun with your bratwurst so you can make it into a hot dog.
©2003 Paul Inglis