When I told some of my friends about this roadtrip, some mumbled: “Mhhhhh I dunno, that sounds like more work than fun…” When learning about our route
BERLIN – BAMBERG – (MUNICH) – VIENNA – BUDAPEST – PRAGUE – BERLIN,
they exclaimed “What the heck… U guys hyperactive!?” And when I pointed out that we would drive these more than 2,000km by car in only five days – well, then the reaction strongly depended on my friend’s nationality. People from huge countries such as the USA, Canada or Australia were like “fair enough” – the Germans, however, … they kept silent but probably thought that my travel bug had had some offspring…
So, let me convince you that it was totally worth it.
We, that means me and the two lads I have already been to Paris with in February, started early in the morning and made our first pit stop in Bamberg. Why? My brother
lives in that beautiful Bavarian town! Reason enough for me and because he is also one of Germany’s top baristas, it was easy enough to convince my tired travel buddies to join. Rather spontaneously, I decided to stay for the night. It was totally worth it (I adore my brother’s cute baby daughter…), yet, that change of plans also meant that I had to catch a Flixbus at 5am in the morning in order to meet up again with the boys in Munich where they had spent the night. Trust me, there’s literally nothing good about a 5am-bus except the fact that you will most likely have many seats for yourself. Desperate to get some comfortable sleep, I tried every yoga position I know of. You know, like
- The Plank: stretching out on four seats over the aisle (Problem encountered: your ass will sink low and you end up in a weird V-shape hanging between the seats…)
- The frightened Embryo: curling up tightly on two seats (Problem: whichever way I turned, the unrelenting buckle of the seatbelt was always poking into some part of my body)
- Brace, Brace: forearms on seat in front of you, forehead lying down on them (Problem: what always looks so comfortable on the info sheet of airplanes, is not comfortable at all…)
Anyways, I made it to Munich in time and we kept driving to Vienna. I am tempted to do my Master’s degree there so I was keen on visiting the city and its university. Plus, an old friend from back in school now lives there and I wanted to catch up. In the end, the city was rather a disappointment but then again, one afternoon is probably not enough time to get a valid impression. I can’t even pinpoint what I disliked, it was rather a negative gut feeling – something I never had when visiting Melbourne or Amsterdam for instance. Our rather shocking “highlight” of Vienna was when we witnessed a carriage driver beating a young man with his whip. Not kidding. I mean yes, the lad was kinda boarding the carriage pirate-style on a busy intersection but come on! Whipping him!?
My mate J. hosted us for the night and because we all got on so well that he spontaneously decided to accompany us to Budapest. Off we went again! If Vienna was rather a disappointment, Budapest blew me away from the moment we drove into the city. That capital has got some serious flair going on! Its streets were bustling day and night! There seemed to be a million of great street-food places, cosy cafes and hip bars. Nevertheless, the city also offers enough room for quiet sit-ins at the river, sweaty workouts on Margaret Island and stunning views from Gellért Hill and the Citadella. For two nights, we stayed in a really luxurious Air BnB which was even cheaper than the local hostels! Time flew way too fast and by the time of our last sunset over the city, I did not want to leave just yet… Man, I could really see myself doing an exchange semester here.
But duty called us back to Berlin (don’t worry, Sebastian, this is no teasing metaphor! I really did mean work!) and so we said our good-byes and got into the car again. Speaking of it: This loyal house on wheels was the main reason why we managed to keep our expenses down to a minimum: It’s running on LPG and also allowed us to offer rides to numerous people via blabla car.
Mayyyyybe we could have done without the hassle of driving into Prague only to rush to the river, see Charles Bridge, take a selfie, eat Trdelník (although not originally from there…) and rush back to the car again – but hey, the boiz had never been to Prague before and it was on our way back to Berlin anyways. We arrived back home feeling a little groggy but also more aware of how truly AWESOME the EU is. I mean, travelling around here is sooooo easy! We could have never done a trip like this so easily with proper passport controls at all the borders we had passed. I am literally unable and unwilling to understand why people would want to throw this freedom of travel away. It’s a gift. And so were my travel buddies: I have seldom met people who are so much fun and so little drama to travel with. Cheers for that!
Nonetheless, I am looking forward to be sharing my next trip to Andalusia with Sebastian again (who has by now successfully passed his exams). What we’re doing there? Our trip will go along these lines: road trip, voluntary work, rock-climbing, horse-riding, surfing, hiking. Yeah I know, it’s always the same with us, isn’t it? 😉