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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Break and Lux

We got onto the train EARLY from Paris to Frankfurt, but we made it and we settled nicely into our seats on the familiar ICE German train.  As soon as we took off, the woman checking tickets started to come around and make sure that we were all valid for the journey.  There was a man who thought he was going to make it all the way to Germany without being asked for a ticket apparently because he didn't have one.  When the ticket woman asked for his passport, he didn't have that, either.  Great!  So, they called the authorities at the next stop and he was made to stand by the door the entire ride until we got to the border of France.  Around the border to Germany, the German police came onto our train car and started asking everyone for their passports.  By everyone, I of course mean non-white people.  It felt like Arizona, but the racial profiling wasn't to Mexicans, it was to Middle Easterners.  But, I'm not going to knock it because it worked.  Three people from our train car were without passport.  The police man explained that they were having a lot of trouble with Afghanis trying to get into the country, and that was the reason for the asking.  However, Braden and myself were never once questioned and they carted away 3 Middle Eastern men without passports (including the man without a ticket).

With an eventful morning behind us, we were excited to get into our old stomping grounds of Frankfurt am Main.  When I say that, it's with disdain, as some of you may remember (from a post called, "Yeah'), Frankfurt is where my friends and I were robbed by a Romanian Neo-Nazi.  We stayed inside the train station and had McDonald's and Starbucks, though, so no harm done. 

From there we went to Jena and I repacked and watched some Desperate Housewives (which I secretly am caught up with).   I was also able to meet up with some of my friends from Jena that were about to go home that I would probably never see again. 

From Jena (actually, I think from Erfurt) we left again to Luxembourg.  We were on the train almost all day, but that's fine.  Neither of us were SUPER excited to see the city, it was more of a "let's check off a country" sort of thing.  We did get to ride through the Rhine River Valley...and let me tell you, it was beautiful even in early spring.  I would imagine it is stunning with the grapes and the leaves.  

When we got into Luxembourg the tourist office was closed and I couldn't find us a map anywhere.  I had no idea at all where the hostel was and I hadn't even Google mapped our way there, which is something I always do.  So, that was kinda a fail.  Thankfully, we had the address and it told us which bus to take.  When we got to the bus driver, even though all the signs were in French and the man probably spoke English, I decided it would be a good idea to speak to him in German...why?  Because.  I'm smrt.  Well, I totally mis-pronounced "einzelfahrt" (one-way ticket) and his didn't understand me at all until Braden, laughingly, corrected me.  He doesn't love me.  He just likes to show how much better at German he is than I am.  Well...regardless, we bought the ticket and got off on the right stop.  From there, we walked around to a school and a restaurant that smelled fantastic and then down a hill until we finally found the place.  We had to wait in a long line, but we got into our room and all was perfect.

After getting settled, we decided (reluctantly at first) that we needed to go out and explore at least a little bit.  I mean...we'd probably never come back to Luxembourg....ever.  So, off we stole into the night for some food and adventure.  The city walls are still in tact and our hostel was at the bottom of them and everything in the town was onto of a hill.  So....what has become my personal FAVORITE pass-time, we climbed a steep hill.  For some reason, this one really hit me and I was super light headed until we got into a Pizza Hut (yay!) and ate.

After dinner, we explored some of the city.  All of this was at night, so the pictures aren't fantastic, but this is what we saw of Luxembourg.

It's a super cute little city with lots of hills and walkways for pedestrians.  I suppose it wouldn't be a terrible place to live...there isn't much to visit, though.  In any case, I got my postcard when we got back to the hostel and off we went to bed.  And, after Madrid, we really didn't want to have another hostel story...but we do.  Luxembourg was one of our other bad hostel nights.  After we had been sleeping for about an hour, a man walked in and turned on the light, for like 20 minutes, while he was getting his stuff together for bed.  It was really annoying, but bearable.  It wasn't to the Irishman who was sleeping in the bed below the one the man was getting ready for bed.  He began to yell at the man to turn off the light.  The man, who was Indian, said that he would then be unable to see (they have such proper English).  A fight ensued, but the Indian man just climbed up into his bed.  From there, he said, "someone can please turn off the light now."


Well, we all know how the Irishman just LOVED that.  He threw a fit but ended up getting up himself and turning off the light.  The Indian man the preceded to fall asleep and snore LOUDLY all night.  The Irishman incessantly kicked his bed, but he never roused.  It was not the best night of sleep, but we were only there until about 5AM, so it wasn't a big deal.

In hindsight, this is the place that I should have just stolen bedsheets from and saved myself like $30...but, I'm not that smart.   

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