Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Koblenz, an old man and an Irish pub

Well what can you say about Maastricht to Koblenz? En route, i met Nursel (hitching once again) who as well as giving me a pack of Galousies cigarrettes, which I inpetly nearly burned my back with trying to nonchalantly deposit my used one out of the window as we drove, and inviting me to her wedding (where we shall dance Turkish style!), she told me a lovely storey of how she rescued a girl in distress and my eyes watered over and it wasn´t the cigarrette smoke! Side-stepping cliche, there is an opportunity that the traveller offers to those they encounter them to excerise their kindness, slumbering within their dulled and habitualised hearts. Good people there have alwys been, but i have never seen so many as now after spending a week asking them for help. Several other lifts later, a few of them very little ones, I came accross a skulking Koblenz, and a rather reticent pair of police officers at the central station, no doubt shelering here from the rain clouds that had been crossing europe, battering its itinerant bretheren.
"Youth Hostel?" one said, "Go to the Castle!".
Glowering down upon me from its rather smug natural advantage of a sheer and sharp ravine, Koblenz castle pratcically laughed at me, as the bus driver, having driben all the way up there and back and failing to tell me where to get off (rather, i was dreaming and didn´t ask and when i did he didn´t understand)i was again at the bottom. A car stopped. TO the top, they inofmred me, you hike up this road, then cut accorss throught the forest. Dear reader, the time was half past ten, and german hostels shut early!
Like a bad haircut, or some weird tattoo, a suburb seemed to hang on the side of the said laughing fortification, and intop its shuttered streets i blundered, with a pathetic little trot, selecting only the roads that weren´t dead-ends until, none left, i rang an intercom. An old man led me into his apartment, up a flight. A series of non-verbal beckonings led the very scared Thomas into kicthen, sitting room, conservatory one, conservatory two, then amazed intot he garden. "Out here?" I said.
And like in Narnia, he led me up the jet black garden to a gate, opening wonderfully onto the heights of the Berg, and only 500m from the castle.
Only speaking german, i series of wild gesticulations and eleborate walkthroughs, i made oput what he was saying, guessing the word (3 syllables) in only a couple of minutes. The jogging motion meant there was little time, so i sprinted off like a gay stag to the grim slaughtering heart of darkness that was Koblenz castle.

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