Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reminiscing Over Travel Journals

I recently found a travel journal I kept on our honeymoon trip (to London, Amsterdam, Austria and Germany) over 11 years ago. I've had fun reading through it and enjoying the memories it brings back. I'm determined to start keeping notes on all of our trips again.

It's great to look back on the places we visited, my descriptions and observations and remember all that we did on the trip. It was like a mini excursion reading through it. A bit of a history lesson at times, too, especially when you realize how technology and globalization has changed things, for good and bad.

Here's a line that really made me laugh, from one evening out at the local bar in Kufstein, Austria:

"One guy was drinking this mix of vodka and Red Bull (some type of soda(?) they have-they called it an energy drink). They called it fire water and he drank quite a bit of it through a tubing system they had set up." Yes, this was prior to the Red Bull invasion of America and its hard to imagine now that I didn't know what an energy drink was. I haven't seen anyone using the tubing mechanism here (it was basically like IV tubing) but now I'm going to have to start calling this combo firewater again. At the same bar, we met a "funny guy from Holland who loved American shows such as Jerry Springer"--I can't imagine the ideas some people must have of life in the U.S.

I got hungry reading all my descriptions of meals, especially the desserts in Austria. Now I'm craving pastries, ice cream and espresso. If I get back to visit these spots, I have my own little guidebook of restaurants and favorite dishes (and it would be curious to see which spots still exist). And, there's some self-awareness in realizing I've always had a "thing" for outdoor/local markets, checking out the local food customs and getting a crepe anywhere I can! Food and people watching--definitely two of my priorities in life.

As I often find with travel, reminiscing about some of the misadventures brings some of the biggest laughs. After a day exploring Innsbruck, we got on the wrong bus in Kufstein and ended up at the end of the line--at the bus depot with the non-English speaking driver. Thankfully, we carried the business card from the hotel and between our couple words of German and the driver's wife's broken English, we managed to explain our situation. They actually gave us a ride back to the hotel on their way (though my guess is that it was out of their way) home. One of our more memorable moments!

I'm going to go through and make a list of some of our favorite spots on the trip. I would love to hear from anyone who has been to them or has other suggestions or feedback from trips to the same cities...

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