Fri Sep 28, 2001 | day 18
When I last e-mailed, I had left Amsterdam and met a good friend of mine in Münster, Germany. Being on the road for the longest time I have ever been in my life, I have gained a higher appreciation for that which I have left behind at home: a warm bed, homemade food, and friends and family just a short car trip away. But here in Münster, I feel closer to home than any other time on my trip. Staying at Tini´s cozy apartment and spending time with her and her friends has been something I need: a reststop on the highway of adventure.
My daily schedule this week usually goes like this: I wake up around 10-11a, watch an hour or two of CNN & German MTV, then jump on the bus and head into Münster where I spend 5-6 hours exploring the culture. At 6p or so, I meet Tini as she gets off of work and we have fun together until 11p or later.
Finding new sights in the city didn´t last more than a day or two. Münster is a city of just a few thousand residents and covers an area equal to Pasadena, CA. Tini lives in an even smaller town, called Albachten, at the outskirts of Münster. So by Wednesday, the only thing that was keeping me here was the need for time with a friend.
Today, my last day in Münster, Tini lent me her bicycle and I had a great time steadily pedaling around the area. A bike allows you to experience a city in a much more cerebral way. On a bus or train, the sights fly by like a projector rapidly showing slides. However on a bike, I am introduced to not only new sights, but also smells and sounds. Tonight I biked down a quiet country road lined with thousands of small yellow flowers. In one area, the field of flowers was equal in size to that of 6 or 7 football fields. I was going to stop and take a picture of it, but I do not think the camera could capture its immensity and beauty. I couldn´t help but whistle the tune from the film "Butch Cassady & The Sundance Kid" as I went by.
Another pleasant discovery on my easygoing bike ride was a sleepy neighborhood in Münster. I went slowly on the cobblestoned road so I could get a whiff of the homecooked meals being prepared behind the red bricked facades of the houses.
The highlight of my bike ride was a peddle past the town´s oldest university, the School. Tulle fog settled into the area as I approached the large building which looked like a smaller version of France´s Versailles. I biked through the soup-like fog and into the Schloßgarten, the cities largest park. The yellow moon shined bluntly up above in the otherwise dark sky. The trees and bushes which lined the street through the park created the effect of going through a long tunnel. My bike rattled as I rolled onto a bridge that spanned a small moat surrounding the park and school. It was hard to distinguish where surface of the black waters began and where the fog ended.
The spookiness of the area gave me dreams of the future and my trip to Romania. Will my celebration of Halloween in Transylvania be this spooky? I sure hope so!
In the morning I´m off to Berlin where I hope to achieve one of my jouney´s goals: to pick off a small piece of the Berlin Wall... if it still exists at all. After Berlin comes Eastern Europe - an area full of the unknown and cities I can´t pronounce.
Until next time,