I was travelling through 3 different countries today.
This trip has been inspired by many similar projects, the first was when I was a 16-year-old in 2013, when I became immersed in the Discovery Channel documentary of the British explorer, Ed Stafford, who made a Guinness World Record walking the entire length of the Amazon River – This was sensational and I just had to discover who else was walking long-distances and sharing their journey on the interwebs, so I had a search and found Christoph Rehage, a German in his late twenties, his walking line currently in Uzbekistan, who is walking from Beijing to his home town of Bad Nenndorf!
I was connecting 3 trains (and 1 bus) altogether: [BUS] Luxembourg City –> Thionville [TRAIN] –> Strasbourg | Strasbourg –> Offenburg | Offenburg –> Freiburg.
After dilly-dallying around the train station looking for a legendary German with a distinctly huge beard, I finally found Chris!
We proceeded to have some munchies at a Muslim restaurant, was beautiful!
It was a peculiar experience to be able to ask someone the same questions of significance regarding walking across countries as I was repeatedly asked. From inspirations, to how many blisters one can possibly accumulate, to backpack gram-shaving techniques – well, Chris uses his caboose, a trailer he pulls along behind him as he wanders from Beijing to Germany.
I am continually astounded at how technology has expanded our reach of possibility. Just 50 years ago, one would have thought what is commonplace now, to be within almost unfathomable realms.
I literally sent a bunch of 1s and 0s converted into pixels in the form of our written language to be viewed on a device ridiculously more powerful than the computers that sent man to the moon,(BIG-BREATH), to a person I was only aware of because some of my very pixels were given instruction to broadcast Christoph Rehage’s story to my device, all via wireless fidelity radio waves. THAT SOME VOODOO SHIT MAN.
Because of this sorcery, I was able to meet one of the most incredible people on the planet. That is bloomin’ brilliant.
Within an Irish Bar with all United Kingdom flags adorning the walls (SCOTLAND), whilst watching Bayern Munich destroy Arsenal 5-1 [ 🙁 ], we ended up drinking many German beers. Most of the room seemed to not be too amused with Bayern winning and Christoph was soon shouting ‘Schizer’ which I found gloriously hilarious. Chris’s Chinese girlfriend dropped by for the last 2 hours too [I’m terribly sorry, but I just can’t for the good of my noggin remember her name, she’s lovely though!]. I was absolutely fascinated by their ability to converse with me in English, to the other punters + bar staff in German and to themselves in Chinese. INSPIRATION FOR LEARNING LANGUAGES, BRAH.
As, I say, many beers were consumed, so many that my Couchsurfing host Sebastian’s calls were not heard buzzing away in my pocket and I believe he had given up on myself actually arriving at his home. Upon checking my phone some time later, I felt like quite the spoon – but hey! I think I was a little justified as I was getting drunk with a bad-ass Continent walker 😉
Chris’s photo ^_^
I eventually made it to Sebastian’s around 1.10am and he surprisingly didn’t get mad at me, however he certainly wasn’t up for some laughs, that’s for sure. I was a right rude chap to him not arriving on time, I must say – and I apologised profusely. He still delivered exceptionally well with a double bed, the wi-fi code and instruction on the whereabouts of the bathroom etc., whilst evidently in a state that only occurs when some Scottish numpty wakes you up mid-sleep asking to sleep in your house.
JUST BEFORE I LEFT THE PUB THOUGH, DOGGIES ARRIVED. LOOK!