2 friends, 3 week, 10 cities

Imagine this, 50 years from now. We’ll be sitting on a porch in big comfortable armchairs, a gin tonic in our hand and some olives to snack on. We will look across the yard, where our families are playing in the garden and the barbi is doing its magic. We’ll be laughing and reminiscing the adventure we had together that one time in Europe and it will go something like this…

Do you remember, in November that year I wrote you a message, more as a joke really, because you were in Australia and I was here in Spain. I asked you, if you wanted to drive across Europe with me? You replied “We’ll see”, then January came around, I said my goodbyes to Valencia and left for Barcelona. So here we were, just the two of us with our ridiculously big bags and many bus rides ahead of us.

Do you remember, our first dinner together over a year in a little tapas restaurant in Barcelona, where I tried ordering in Spanish but the server kept replying in English? You thought it was funny and I was a little frustrated about it. You wore the funkiest red sneakers with those pink panther socks, of which you had a second pair for me. Do you remember, when we got up just after dawn the next day and walked to the Sagrada Cathedral, or Sangria as we called because we kept forgetting? And oh, do you remember the amazing avocado on toast and coffee we had in the little empty cafe just outside it? From here we walked to all major sights. Not to forget you were wearing your heels and I was wearing your sneakers because my boots didn’t fit and I had blisters at the back of my feet before our journey had even really started. Do you remember the view from the park across Barcelona or that cool thrift shop we stumbled upon at the end, where if they would have had my size, I would have bought a pair of sneakers?

Do you remember the next morning, when we had breakfast in the same cafe as yesterday, but unfortunately without avocado toast? And then we drove across the boarder to Lyon, Paris. Do you remember, how we ate all our snacks on that 9 hours drive so quickly, halfway through we were out? We walked through the charming little city Lyon at night, where it’s lights greeted us from across the bridge. Do you remember our bad travel timing, always being somewhere on a Sunday? All the shops were always closed, which was probably better for both our wallets and bags, as they were ripping at the seams. We walked up to the castle, saw the view and eventually even found that colosseum you so desperately wanted to see. We ate brunch in the cutest little cafe and found the coolest little chocolate shop, where you proudly bought truffle mustard. Ahaha, and do you remember the Madeleines we tried, that were soaked in rum of which we only found out afterwards? Ah, that was funny. That little shop was like our own little Charlie and the Chocolate factory moment.

Oh and do you remember the next morning, when we had forgotten time, ran across Lyon to the bus station only to just make our bus to Paris? Yeah, I remember it had a little delay, but where is the fun in not overdramatising a little here and there? The crossword puzzles, we were too impatient to solve and again the lack in snacks on our train ride, do you remember? In Paris, do you remember our little room and the gorgeous view we had right to the Sacre Couer. Oh and our lovely roommate, what was her name again – no not the one, who arrived at four in the morning – the other one. Do you remember Paris is where I finally did invested in a pair of sneakers, thankfully. We walked painlessly down the Champs-Élysées all the way to the Louvre, where the queue to the toilette was longer than to buy tickets. Do you remember, we didn’t see the Mona-Lisa but hey I peed at the Louvre? OH AND IT WAS PARIS FASHION WEEK!!!! You even have a picture with the male models posing in the background, haha. Remember this was the day we ate three crepes within 30 minutes because they were just soooooo gooooood!!! And then I almost got scammed at the Eifel Tower, but you came to my rescue. Remember when we ended up in the metro during Paris rush-hour, at our stop I raised my voice a little “Excuse-moi”, everyone spread out like flies and you walked behind me apologising to everyone for it? We had a good laugh about that.

Oh do you remember the next day we went to Versailles? What a remarkable sight. Remember when you got in for free and I had to pay 20 bucks, which was our daily budget? Yeah, I remember, that hurt a little, but it was soooo worth it. Too bad we visited during winter, when the gardens were pretty much flowerless. Ah, imagine how beautiful it must be there during spring or even in summer. And hey, it was pretty cool seeing those painting from our history books live on the walls. Oh how much bigger they were than I thought too.

Haha and oh my, do you remember, when we tried to be healthy and not snack on our shortest bus ride from Paris to Bruxelles and we didn’t even last half an hour? Haha. Do you remember how clean and modern our hostel was, but also how sketchy was the bus station? Yeah, I remember. Oh and how could I almost forget! The pizza restaurant, where we were the only two people who actually ordered a pizza per person and then desert afterwards. Do you remember how delicious the desert was. I can just taste that eaton mess in my mouth. And remember, when we could have seen that little peeing statue for free but we couldn’t find him, so we paid entrance to some museum instead? That was pretty dumb.

Do you remember on our next stop in Maastricht, where we visited our two friends and had asian food for dinner. That was the best! It was my birthday that weekend. We didn’t really celebrate though did we? Oh wait, haha no, we went shopping, had French fries and went to the gym! I got the coffee liqueur from you that birthday. It truly was a lovely gift. Thanks again for that.

Of course you must still remember the 12 hour bus ride just to visit our two friends in Bielefeld! We barely snacked on it. That was very surprising. It was so cold and gloomy during our time there. The animal park was nice though. It was kind of sad, that we didn’t see the wolves but do you remember the duck on the frozen pond, who kept slipping? He was a funny dude. Yeah, and the next day we wanted to go mini-golfing but everything was closed or full so we went to the cinema instead. Good times, good times.

Oh and we also went to Hamburg, do you remember?! Hamburg was funky. The artist in our friend group definitely did not disappoint with her tour through this gorgeous city. You bought that leather jacket for 15€ and we went cafe hopping. Do you remember that little cafe, where we doodled on receipts and tissues, while enjoying cheesecake and coffee? The ‘Fischbrötchen’ at the harbour, ah that was divine, do you remember? We really enjoyed Hamburg didn’t we?

Do you remember on our way to Leipzig, the police had stopped our bus and checked everyones ID’s? How weird was was that? Ah but staying with your grandparents was absolutely lovely! Thank you for showing me around your little town. It’s funny how we met in one of the biggest cities in the world but both our families are from such little towns originally. Oh my gosh, do you remember when firstly we walked 3 km to the next city to the train station along the highway because there was no proper walking way? And then we had missed the last train back and so we had to walk home in the middle of the night through a really dark path? I remember how your grandparents were looking at us the next morning with disbelief, that we didn’t call them. But we were young and so the adventure behind it tickled our pickle just a little too much to call for a rescue ride home, didn’t it?

On our last bus ride to Munich, where we found the coolest burger place and had the funnest night accompanied by beer in our hostel and the best pasta the next day, remember I looked at you and said imagine this, 50 years from now. We’ll be sitting on a porch in big comfortable Armchairs, a gin tonic in our hand and some olives to snack on. We know it takes 9 hours by bus from Barcelona to Lyon, France, to Paris another 5 and to Bruxelles just about 3 hours more and then another 2 hours to Maastricht, Netherlands. We know it takes 12 hours by bus from Maastricht to Bielefeld, Germany. 12 very long hours. So long, you are on the brick of going crazy. It’s like a plane ride across the world, only that the plane was on wheels and the actual distance between the two cities was maybe 4 hours by train at most. But we were young, our budget tighter than skinny jeans. We had no worries and a lot of time. We will look across the yard, where our families are playing in the garden and the barbi is doing its magic. We’ll be laughing and reminiscing the adventures we had together and we would cheers to that.