Germany, First Stop on Europe Trip
We finally touched down, getting through immigration was pretty breezy, I was happy to see Anne’s smiling face waiting for me just as I passed through the final checkpoint. She was a Couch Surfing host I’d gotten in touch with, I felt comfortable and happy right away.
Germany just felt right. She cooked us up some dinner and we talked into the night, all was good.
In the morning I was on my own, ready for my usual wander in a new city. A bakery for a pretzel and sausage, then on towards what I was calling their space needle for a better look. More wandering, beer at a deli and all smiles when they popped open the bottle for me and I was free to wander the streets drinking a beer, a simple freedom frowned upon in most places in the US. That along with a bratwurst and all was right with the world.
Beer makes me happy, so Germany was a good place to start. Belgium was next, Brussels in particular, the beer would only get better, so this is where I wanted to head to next.
In the morning Anne had a spread of breads, jams and meat, Germany was a happy place. I said my goodbyes and started hoofing it towards the main highway, Brussels on my mind. I also had a friend there I hadn’t yet met in person, so I was looking forward to getting there quickly.
It took several more rides to get going, next was a young guy that didn’t go all that far, then an older woman who went a little ways and was happy to chat me up, some construction guys who got me over the border, another Dutch guy who was big on politics who got me a sandwich, then a ride in the light rain from a friendly guy who dropped me just past my turn in a small Belgium town.
I walked a bit through town getting back on track, then getting picked up by a French guy, at this point I was getting into the more confusing part of the highway systems and having to make quick turns and be aware of where I was going and where everyone else was heading to avoid being taken too far out of the way.
A construction worker got me back to the other side of the ring road, then finally a restaurant owner picked me up and drove me right into Brussels close enough to where I was going, smoking me out just before he dropped me off.
I was now just a short walk from my friend's house, ahead of me were plenty of good times, primarily delicious beers and geeking out on code.