Back in Europe Starting With Berlin

My first week back in Europe was spent zig zagging throughout Berlin, chaotically catching up with old friends, staying with different Couchsurfing hosts and with friends of friends. I'd arrived via plane from NYC with a layover in Oslo; this was the start of what ended up being a very fun four month trek around Europe altogether.

I spent the first couple nights with a couchsurfing host, he took me to various sites and when on my own I sipped beers on the streets and wandered, indulging in vendor's currywurst whenever available.

In the midst of that I caught up with Kasper a couple times, a friend I'd worked on a project with in Phoenix, geeked out in Belgium with once or twice and even hitched to Vegas with once. He was living in Berlin now and enjoying it pretty well.

On the third night I stayed with another Couchsurfer, a good German who enjoyed his beer, but not the way most do in the traditional in-the-box way, he liked to explore different styles that most of Germany was still stubborn towards. He gladly shared some great brews with me the one night I stayed with him and his wife and child.

After leaving his place I was wandering the streets again with pack on back, sipping a bottle of a beer and staring at a rather unimpressive wall that I for some reason was convinced was the mighty "Berlin Wall" of renowned importance. "That John Denver's full of shit", I thought to myself as I meandered along past it.

Another friend I next met up with was unexpectedly living in Berlin now, Kurt, a musician I'd met one year in Oklahoma who was going to all 48 states in the US in one year to play a show in each. We'd road tripped together for about a week while I pretended to be his manager to get free drinks at his gigs, it was a hell of a trip actually.

We caught up for some beers in the park, I'd see him again, but I had to walk across the city to meet up with the next person I'd be staying with, a friend of Kasper's. It was actually an apartment full of fun people, but his friend was big in the hitchhiking community especially in terms of races. It sounded pretty fun to me, usually a bunch of hitchhikers in pairs meeting in one place and then told where they need to race to, maybe with some checkpoints on the way, then suddenly thumbs are everywhere and the race is on.

I spent the next day with one of the other's staying there, besides the breweries and street bottles he showed me the actual Berlin wall, covered in mostly well thought out artwork and far more impressive than whatever I'd bumped across earlier.

I spent the last couple days there wandering as well, I met up with a friend I'd made in California for dinner and also with Kurt again. We went to an old airport that was now just a gigantic park, along with his friends and others we grilled some food there in the park while sipping beers one last time.

I left Berlin by thumb, hitching towards Hannover. It was easy enough, one ride most of the way from a father and son and then a ride straight into the city from a sex-ed teacher. I wandered the cobblestone streets for a while before winding up in a quiet neighborhood where my couchsurfing hosts lived. I had some local beers and got to know them.

The next morning I bought I a plane ticket to Dublin leaving from Brussels for less than ten bucks. It was leaving for a couple weeks, I figured I'd hitch through the Netherlands to Belgium before making the long awaited Ireland trip.

I spent another full day in Hannover biking around, sipping coffee and eating bratwurst. The day after I'd start the trip towards the Netherlands to see Amsterdam, a friend, some new places and make some new friends. Ireland, though, that had me excited on a another level. It would not disappoint. It was good to be hitching around in Europe once again.

April 17, 2015 to April 26, 2015