26 February 2008

Hiking Madness

Hello everybody!

Sorry I haven't been updating the blog as regularly as before. I was preparing to move into the temporary flat before, but now I'm here and settled. Now I'm waiting on my language school materials to show up so I can start learning German again in earnest. I'm really looking forward to that. When I get good enough, I can start doing odd jobs to support myself and fund my travels. Not to mention the fact that I can maybe meet some people then. I do pretty good on my own, but I won't lie: it would be nice to sit and have a beer with someone, or to have someone to hang out with from time to time. Especially if they're into music.

My friend Vinnie asked me what a typical day is for me here. Well, I get up between 7-9, have a few cups of coffee and watch "Malcolm In The Middle", "Scrubs" and "Quiz Taxi". Then I usually go to the internet cafe to sort out some bullshit debacle with my bank or whatnot. By the time I have that sorted out, and check my emails, the power is usually drained on my laptop so I go back to the flat to drop it off.
Then, I either go to the market, have lunch or go on a hike or bike ride. There is no shortage of trails and bike paths here, that's for sure.
Then I chill at the flat, watch "Die Simpsons", have some dinner and either go for a walk, call people back home, or watch TV I can't understand until bedtime, which is between 10-12 lately.

It's pretty hard to fill up the days sometimes. That's why I'm really looking forward to starting language courses and getting on the internet. Still working on my visa. I need my proof of insurance and a letter from the school and I'm done! Then I will be official and I can start setting up services.

Anyway, Sunday I went on a super long hike. I meant to go up to Schwarzenburg but I couldn't find the path so I took the path to the castles. It was fun because it was a pretty high trail so I could see a lot of the surrounding landscape and the multiple lakes. I threw a rock down at one point and it took a solid 5 seconds for it to reach the bottom.
By the time I got to the castles, I'd been walking/hiking for 3 hours straight. Then I had to walk back, but not before having a beer and a sandwich. I was exhausted. It was one of the more difficult hikes I've taken since I've been here. A lot of rocky terrain and twisty trails.


Just took a walk to Austria. Heh heh, ain't that a trip? And it only took me 30 minutes.

Along the way I walked past this farm and there were a couple of goats in the front yard. I was a little worried as I walked past them. I kept remembering episodes of "America's Funniest Home Videos" in which they'd be ramming people or dragging little kids across the yard. Then I pictured myself on the show "Uppps!" (which is suprise, suprise, the German version of AFHV) But they left me alone.

Here are some more photos from a walk last week. I found these little strange ice formations in a stream on the way to the Alatsee:

And here's the Alatsee. Unfortunately, it was frozen. Oh, and again, there were strange noises coming from the ice! And that's what it is: I'm sure now. There are large cracks, and the water shift, causing the huge slabs to rub up against one another. But the sound is really scary! I would NOT want to be next to that lake at night. I would probably freak out. It sounded like a giant moaning in pain.

Then a few days after that I rode to Bannwaldsee, which wasn't much to see, but was a nice ride. Very nice and peaceful, full of rolling plains next to little streams and over tiny bridges, in clear sight of Neuschwanstein for a big part of the ride.

And these are from yet another walk I took up the path that goes behind the house I'm at. Apparently they practice for ski-jumping here:

These are from the beginning of Sunday's long, exhausting hike:

And finally, I made comments available now. (I was wondering why nobody ever said anything...) I was very pleased to hear that a few of you keep up with the blog. I should be updating it more regularly now that things are getting more settled. Little by little, that is.

(Dammit, it still isn't showing comments. Shit!)

15 February 2008


Not much going on, just hanging around. I plan to go on another road trip in a week or two after I fulfill some other financial commitments first. I'm thinking Prague, or maybe Salzburg & Berchtesgaden. Shit, maybe even all three! We'll see. I have some down time until I can start school, and my driver's license will be expired from June until December (when I go back home to visit) so I won't be able to drive anywhere during that period. I may as well take advantage now.
I took some photos the other day. They're doing something by the river, and as a result, it's really low right now. They must've dammed it upstream so they could do some construction.


It looks like another week before I'll be able to get on the internet here in the flat. I need to get a bank account first, which means I need to get my student visa sorted out. Therefore, I have to go to Marktoberdorf Monday, which is a town about 30km north of here to apply. Hopefully I can get it there instead of sending my passport back to the states, which is what I thought I would have to do originally. Once I get my passport stamped, I'll be able to get my new phone number, internet...all of that. I can't wait to be back in touch with everyone on a regular basis!

06 February 2008

What, me worry?

I signed a three-year lease today! Hooray! And it was worth the wait. This place is awesome and the owners are way cool, too. They don't mind the cats or the smoking.
The living room has a nice big balcony and a picture window that faces the Alps. I've got a bathtub, which none of the other places I looked at (except the first one) had. I really love taking baths, so that's a big relief. It's bright and sunny, it has a laundry room, and it's very close to the center of town, to boot!
It's even nicer than the one that *cough* "agent" showed me. I'm so happy! What a relief: we can finally stop living like scamps.

In April that is. Yes, that's right, we can't move in until April 1st but the good news is that I have a place to live until then. The woman who owns this place has a son. The son goes to school in Munich, but keeps a small flat here. Well, he's here now but he goes back Sunday. He agreed to let me sublet his place until mine becomes available. So I will be paying normal rental prices in just a few days, thank God! And I will probably have a regular internet connection, too. I haven't asked yet, but he's 25 so he probably considers the internet as indispensable as most people in their 20's & 30's do.

So, yeah...hooray!!