Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Riding the rails

When I was a kid - probably about 12 or so - my orchestra played a song called "Riding the Rails." I remember it had funky rhythms (well, for my 7th-grader's mind) and was performed very quickly to mimic a rattling train. The title stuck with me because was a phrase I had never heard before, and it wasn't until years later in U.S. history class that I found out the expression was used to describe men who rode freight trains cross-country during the Depression.

Got to admit, I feel a bit like a 1930s hobo this week, because I've spent an inordinate amount of time on trains. Since parting ways with Carl in Budapest, I have made it all the way to northern Germany, traveling some 1500 km entirely by train.

With Theresa and Jessi in Heidelberg
Thankfully, the trip was broken up by a visit with my friend, Theresa. We met when I was living in Bremerhaven, but she has since moved south, to a small town in the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz. Because her current town is so small, Theresa suggested we meet up in Heidelberg, just a short distance away, to explore and spend time together.

Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful towns in Germany, and trust me, I've seen a lot of them. The old downtown is absolutely gorgeous everywhere you turn, and there's an interesting castle on the hill above. We strolled by the river, explored the city center, and rode the funicular up to the castle. Theresa's friend, Jessi, joined us, and I was glad for the chance to get to know another wanderluster.

One of the great benefits of my international life is having friends on multiple continents, like-minded travelers with whom I can explore and experience the world. I'm so glad I got to see Theresa!

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