Thursday, May 9, 2013

Europe Day Six! And Seven. And Eight!

Three days at once! Oh my. It sounds daunting, but it isn't really.

Monday, August 27th, I left England for Germany~

So it was a bit of a short day.

I rode with aralias to work, then we parted ways and I went to the National Portrait Gallery

Which was gorgeous. And I swear I took a picture of the Jane Austen portrait (done by her sister Cassandra, one of the only two portraits there are of her) even though I strongly suspected we weren't supposed to. But I couldn't find anyone to ask. And I probably would have anyway.

Then I went back to have lunch with aralias.

The obligatory fish and chips!
I know people say it's "different" or "proper" in England, so I made her take me to one, but... it tasted the same as stateside to me!

Then we explored the large Forbidden Planet by her work, which greatly excited me, though I didn't buy anything because I was traveling with only a carry-on.

Then sad goodbyes ;_;

And bussing back to her place.

But I sat in front! On the top 8D

I did final packing then bussed to... Liverpool I think it was, to take the train to Stansted Airport.

A parting shot of London 8D

So I flew Ryanair aaaand... they're very particular about baggage allowances. I held all my jackets and draped them over my purse, so I wouldn't have to stick it in my backpack.

I definitely would pack differently were I to do it again (like my water bottle was impossible to pack around D:).

Anyway, once you go through the security line there's nothing. No coffee shops, just nothing. I should have asked or looked at a map before going through really, but I just assumed. So I was really hungry :/ AAaaaand it was boiling in that airport, absolutely miserable. And they're very particular you wait RIGHT THERE at the gate, everyone, even though there's not enough seating for that (actually, they have security checks before the gate, so if you left, you'd have to do that whole thing again). The large windows faced the setting sun as well, so it compounded the lack of AC.

So when I left aralias' place I was full of "Baww sad such good times were had."
But sitting in that airport (at which I'd gotten to far earlier than needed, out of caution) I was very much like "Germany! I'm ready!"

I landed in Germany!

I think it was around 7pm? I'd have to check my logs. Anyway. Night. Jey picked me up with her wingman, who was a cool guy.
And off to her place!
Maaaan, Ramstein is far away from everything 8D I'd just booked my ticket to the airport she told me to and hadn't even looked it up, it was way further than I'd thought. So super lots of love to Jey!

That night there was craaaazy lightning. I woke up and watched out the window for awhile, it was spectacular, and incredibly close. So my first night in Germany started with a bang 8D

I thought I'd hang about locally the next day, and take it easy. Jey had warned me Ramstein is itty bitty, but I doubted, I don't know why. Jey recommended I go to Kaiserslautern on the train, as the next biggest town. She also lent me her iphone with the bahn app so I'd know the train schedule and be able to call her easily. So after I leisurely get up and eat breakfast etc, I wander down to the bank to get some euros then wandered through the main area of town and everything was closed, so to the train station.


I only had 50 euro notes, which the machine wouldn't take, so I ran to a convenience store across the street and bought some granola bars... but missed the train, even though I'd given myself 10 minutes to figure out the machine. And the next train was in an hour.

So I walked aaaaall around killing time. And saw a lot of Ramstein, because... it's itty bitty.

Ticket! Yay!

A street in Ramstein, on the way to the bank.

Part of a fountain.
I thought it was creepily endearing.

Anyway, so on to Kaiserslautern.
The train ride there was about... 20 minutes or so. And on the way... we passed a Pfaff factory! I was so excited! I kept hoping we were going to stop soon so I could backtrack and maybe they'd have tours or a little shop or at the very least I could take a picture but... no.

Ah well.

When I got out of the train station there were some signs and one that said old town, I thought that sounded good so headed off that way.

Well there must have been more signs that I didn't see that required me to turn because I ended up walking right out of the town. Then I tried to use the loaned iphone to figure it out but uh. Yeah that didn't work. I don't know what I'm doing.

So I decided to semi backtrack and set off in a diagonal pattern of wandering.

A church in the square I stopped and got ice cream in.

Loved this building art! I wish I knew what it said.

I did find the tourist center in this square, and got a little city map. I looked at all the things and made a route of the things I wanted to see the most, but it didn't matter because everything was very close to each other and I ended up pretty much walking the whole town.

But the first place I went, and where I spent most of my time (everything else was just walking and ooh pretty) was an art museum.

I love her dress.

And her sleeves.

Completely taken with this statue. I took different angles and such, but of course it doesn't capture how wonderful it was.

Or this one!

And this painting.

I enjoyed a lot that was there, but those were my favourites.

The museum was on a hill, at the edge of town, so I was able to set my camera up on some "art" in front of the museum and take that.

Also, it was so warm I took off the long sleeve shirt I'd been wearing under my tshirt when I'd set out (the internet told me it'd be coooold, full of lies).

That large building in the background is the train station, also on the edge of town, to give some scale.

Wandering wandering.

Ancient ruins.

This fountain had stuff all around it that was supposed to represent the town.

This is the important one 8D

It is entirely possible I'm mixing up my days here, or the time stamp on my camera is throwing me off, but I thiiink Day Eight was Air Base Visiting day!

Jey was able to take me about the base! It was like... Little America. Absolutely bizarre. Also much larger than I'd imagined.
Anyway, I don't think I even brought my camera, since I wouldn't be able to take any pictures.

We bought some salami at the market in the evening.


Also, euros are much prettier than USD.
Hopefully I'll keep this up!

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