I got this postcard from Luxembourg but actually I am already in Germany, writing to you from the train station in Münster. It’s been a crazy few days and I never had the time to send this from the city. The card’s gonna have a stamp from a different country, I’m sorry; but at least the picture is right. Do you like it? The street is near Kaale-Kaffi coffee shop. Like the only nice thing in Luxembourg.
I’m kidding, of course. But I had the worst time getting in and out of there.
I started hitchhiking early in the morning from the South of Germany, near Munich – early, because I knew I had a long day ahead of me. 400 plus kilometres to get to Strasbourg. I couldn’t believe I was going back to France. I really have nothing against France. I don’t. But actually I do, so I just don’t know why I was ending up back there. But I didn’t think I could get the whole way to Luxembourg city in one day so I figured, make it a stopover, then next day do the remaining 200 kilometres, easy peasy.
Uh oh, no.
Everything went so well until I got stuck on the outskirts of Stuttgart in some good-for-nothing little town called Königin for two and half hours. That’s a German word for a Queen but I did not feel particularly royal as I swung my little cardboard sign around at cars who sped past me without even as much attention as an eye-roll. Because obviously my life is a novel written in the 19th century by a forlorn British country maid, the weather was quick to match my mood and dark clouds gathered above.
I finally managed to get a lift to a rest stop on the side of an autobahn going towards Karlsruhe, the general direction that I needed to take and also the home town of a German boy I’d met six years ago and who had helped me lose my passport on my last night in Australia. (Clearly, the place is cursed for me.) I met a Lithuanian hitchhiking colleague, and we stood together in rain smiling at cars and trucks for another two and half hours before I called it rage quits, changed the destination on my sign and hitched a ride into Stuttgart city centre.
Good bye thirty euros that I had already spent booking that hostel bed in Strasbourg.
Temporarily defeated by my terrible luck, I decided to book a Flixbus for the next day and ride to Luxembourg city in style. Another thirty euros gone. I arrived in the city an hour late and greeted by pouring rain, and checking the directions I’d got from my couchsurfing host, I realized I was literally on the other end of the city than where I was supposed to be. Oh well; another bus it is, then.
As we snailed through city centre traffic, I kept checking the time. I knew that my host lived in another town and that the last bus I could take there left at 6.25 – and the city bus was destined to arrive at the terminal at 6.23. The driver apparently didn’t even know what country he was driving in since he had no idea where the bus station, that was a literally on the other side of the building, was. So I spent ten minutes running around an empty lot trying to find anyone else in the surroundings before figuring out that I’d missed the bus.
I tried hitchhiking. You can guess about how well that went.
The public transportation tickets in Luxembourg are valid for two hours, so I hopped in a tram heading back towards the city. My map app showed a youth hostel about a ten minute walk from the end station; after trudging through a wet and frankly very creepy park I arrived there and was immediately greeted by herds of teenagers milling about. Their stares bore into me. Who knows what they were thinking about. Probably something demonic.
I had finally got there just to be told that the hostel would be booked out for the next three days.
So I cried a lil bit, signed up for HotFinnishTropheeWives dating service so that the next time something like this happened I’d have a shoulder to cry on (I mean not really, but I kinda wanted to. Anyone want to create that page just in case I have another mental breakdown?), then pulled my shit together and booked the cheapest room I could find in the city. 70 euros gone. I had a miserably small Pizza Hut pizza for dinner in my little twin room and went to bed.
Touring in Luxembourg wasn’t special. I don’t have much to say about it. When I finally made it to my Couchsurfing thing the next night, though, at least my host was incredibly friendly and very funny.
A new day is a new day, even when hitchhiking gods are temporarily out of order. I made it to Cologne without too much trouble – and then got completely stuck again. AGAIN. After standing in the rain for three hours, I took the tram to the main railway station. The cheapest train going to Hamburg that day I could find was 44 euros and went through three transfers; the other option would have been a 20 euro bus ride through the night.
I think I’m done with night buses. It’s official. I’m old. Give me senior discounts. And these kids need to get off my lawn.
So that’s why I’m writing to you from Münster, one train behind me and three left to go. All I want to do right now is wash my hair and maybe cry a little bit, but some guy just complimented my Star Wars shirt so that cheered me up a bit. (Actually his exact words were ‘I LOVE Star Wars!’ but at this point I’ll take it.) I’m really hungry and tired and just so done with fast travelling. I can’t wait to get to Georgia next week and actually stay put for a few weeks.
And I really don’t want to complain, you know? Because it’s a life I chose for myself and if it’s too much I literally could just stop doing it, so it seems silly and childish to be like ‘Oh no, my precious euros! My eight-hour-sleep! My sanity!’ But sometimes it’s just hard. It’s exhausting to plan and to go and leave again and talk to all these new people that are about as permanent in my life as Lady Gaga’s hair colour. It’s hard to be so far from my old friends and feel like I am fading away from them. And I love travelling alone but sometimes I just wish I would have someone who could take even a little bit off the weight off every once in a while.
Anyway, I feel better now. I just bought a chocolate muffin and my friend’s coming to pick me up in Hamburg. Thanks for letting me rant. Hope you’re doing better than me.