The Bavarian countryside is so remarkably green.
After spending a week working at a convention in an old airport hanger, no matter how many times I tried I just couldn’t bring myself to get out my laptop on that train from Fussen to Munich – I spent the whole 2-hour ride with my arms dangling out the window watching the countryside fly by.
Ahhh, this is the life 🙂
By the time I made it back to the city, the weather had turned south again so I kicked back and charged up my batteries in the hotel lobby before heading out for a couple short hours wandering about. I decided the most efficient use of my last few hours in Germany would be to run through the Lonely Planet’s walking tour – a way to knock off as much as possible before my 11pm train to Amsterdam. Although I did get a good feel for the city just from running around during the convention, I hadn’t really seen any of its most famous monuments, nor had I taken even a single photo. Time to get out the cameras once again.
The walk was exceedingly pleasant, taking me through the bustling social city centers, down shopping arcades, past monumental churches and government buildings, and through an enormous central park where I had myself a nice little picnic – baguettes made from leftover groceries I’d picked up in Fussen, plus a nice cold beer. It’s so refreshing to be able to sip a cold beer in a public park on a Monday afternoon…something which for some reason would get you arrested back home in California
After dinner I returned to the hotel via surface trams, riding the longest possible loop around the city – a Bauma exhibitor badge includes an unlimited-use transit pass that remains valid until the day after the convention, so I figured it would be a convenient way to take in a few last sights before my departure.
Man, I can’t even convey how nice it feels to be back in a place with mass transit, where “going anywhere at all” doesn’t have to mean “wasting time doing nothing on a jammed freeway while simultaneously polluting the environment for no particular reason.” Anyone who knows me from back in the US knows that its lack of any form of transit is one of my biggest pet peeves; when I stay with my mom in Santa Monica, I don’t start the car even once for weeks at a time, riding a bicycle everywhere I can – to the gym, beach, store, and bars. For everywhere else, the only option is to get in a car and drive – 2,500lbs of metal just to move around a 150lbs person. So ridiculous.
Maybe someday the US will catch up with the rest of the world. I did read an article recently about a high-speed train network they’re “planning” to span most of California. That would be awesome – we’d finally be about where Japan was back in the 60’s!