So i was kindly invited by my friend to stay with her in Trier (in germany ) for the weekend. I was very excited about the prospect of seeing someone, who was not under the age of five, and was looking forward to rekindling the flames of an old friendship. I was of course nervous also, afraid i would get lost, or that i would be a burden, or be unable to socialise in a normal fashion! ( If I am to be honest I am a tad socially awkward) However the trip went with relatively little, to no mishaps!
I grabbed the train from bahnof Sbb at around half two. It was late due to a person related accident. However this was the swiss standard of late, so i only had three minutes to reflect on the fragility of life and the tragedy that had occured. In ireland our definition of early is fifteen minutes late, so i was pleasantly suprised by the smart arrival. I was still somewhat concerned as i was afraid i would miss my connection at mannheim ( i had only nine mintues to disembark and find the new platform ) I also wasn’t quite sure whether i was on the correct train and was worried, i was hurtling to some other destination in europe. In dublin i had the habit of grabbing random buses and hoping for the best, leaving chaos in my wake, and becoming hopelessly lost. Luckily for me this did not occur this time round.
I arrived on time and was greeted warmly by my friend. All my fears of not being able to speak or not having anything in common seemed to dissolve and we seemed to chat amicably amongst ourselves, as if it was only a few days ago when we had last said our goodbyes.
I visited ancient roman ruins near the town centre, and there was a festival being held there. There wasmusic playing ,and random stalls set up selling beer and food . I also noticed that people were returning their old beer bottles for recycling! I was shocked by this outward display of environmental awareness but then i was relieved to hear there was financial gain involved.:D
The next day I Visited Karl Marx’s house ( which i admittedly fan girled over like the nerd i am ) I almost had a doughnut induced coma at Dunkin Doughnuts ( Which we weirdly Don’t have in Dublin, thank god, Burger King is enough of a temptation ) We bought the cheapest booze ever in the local shop, 2 euro for a bottle of wine! In Switzerland it seems to be fecking 15 franks for a beer! We saw beautiful cathedrals, with stained glass windows and intricate sculptures. The architecture was phenomonal. I felt like i had stepped straight into the Hanzel and gretel narrative! The streets were paved with cobblestones and lined by traditional german buildings with gothic style pointed rooves.
Being with a friend made me forget my homesickness. Despite the language barrier between myself and her friends they tried their best to accomodate the fact i was clueless. I came to the horrible realisation i was just as reserved and quiet when I did understand the language, amongst my own friends back home. This depressed me somewhat, but then i realised this trip was a chance for me to grow , to learn to open up, to reach out to people, and grow more confident in my ability to concur the social anxiety i seemed to battle my whole life. I revelled in the glory of the Trier Triumph. That i had travelled half way accross Europe alone , stayed in another country i had never been before, and most importantly that i had dealt with my fear of meeting new people! It had been totally worth it and had taught me not to sweat the small stuff.
When i eventually arrived back in Basel i sighed a breath of relief to be back on familiar soil, and in a way it somewhat cured the homesickness that plagued me since i arrived here! As i huddled in the train station, shielding myself from a thunderstorm, I felt proud of all that I had achieved so far and excited at the prospect of the adventures to follow. Stay tuned folks, as next weekend i will take on London!