I woke up in Lucern, Switzerland, and to my surprise there it was not raining. While not blue skies, it was nice enough to go exploring. I found a Blablacar ride in Basel, Switzerland, leaving later in the day which gave me some extra time to explore Lucern before I had to leave.
It was a 45 minute walk from the hostel to the train station. It was only after this walk that I realized I had left my jacket behind. With only a few hours to explore before I had to catch a train, I decided to hop on a bus back to the hostel. My jacket was waiting for me in the lost and found. Another bus ride back to the train station got me back to where I wanted to be but I had lost an hour.
I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted to in Lucern, but I kept reminding myself that it was going to rain that night. There was no way I could stay another night when it meant most of the time would be sitting around inside. I walked around, seeing some of the main sites before heading back to the train station.
It didn’t start to rain until just before I reached Basel. I arrived at the station and just as I got off the train, I realized I had left my hat, sunglasses, and water bottle back on board. I had plenty of time to go back and grab them all, but I’m not sure where was head was today.
There was a bus sitting out front of the train station that I knew would get me to the airport, the pickup point for my Blablacar ride. I still had just over an hour to kill when I arrived and a pocket full of change that was only good in Switzerland, so I went inside and bought a bacon and tomato sandwich and a banana. Ten minutes before my scheduled pickup time, I went outside and waited. Standing next to me was another backpacker.
“Are you waiting for a Blablacar ride?” I asked. He was. We talked for the next ten minutes while waiting for our ride. He was a Swiss guy with a Tibetan name, Dorji, who had just finished backpacking across France and Spain for the last 3 months. He went on a hike known by the locals as “Camino de Santiago”. Americans call it the “French Way”. He had nothing but the best things to say about the experience and said of all the traveling he’s ever done, this was his favorite. Now he was heading to Vietnam. It was nice to meet someone who was backpacking like me.
Dorji received a phone call from our driver, Sanaz, as we waited. By coincidence, it was the same Sanaz he had met years prior; Sanaz was Dorji’s sister’s roommate for a year. Sanaz was waiting inside the airport in line to get a rental car so we went inside to meet her. There we met her friend Sabina, got the car, and took off.
This has been my favorite Blablacar ride yet. Since Sanaz and Sabina were friends, Sanaz and Dorji already knew each other, and Dorji and I talked for quite awhile before meeting with the girls, the entire ride felt like a road trip with friends. No one was in a hurry, so we even stopped half way to Frankfurt for awhile to have coffee and snacks.
When we arrived, Sanaz showed us around the city. She was so excited to be there; it was one of her favorite cities in Germany. She told us about some clubs and bars, one of which was supposed to be a metal music bar. The girls had plans of shopping and dancing that night, so they left us in downtown Frankfurt. Dorji’s flight to Vietnam wasn’t until the next morning, so him and I booked a hostel and decided to go out that night. We dropped off our things at the hostel and set out to find something to eat.
We were both looking for something cheap. Kebab was becoming a theme for this trip; anytime I didn’t care what I ate and just wanted to save money, kebab was the answer. Dorji agreed, so we wandered around Frankfurt in search. After half an hour, we still hadn’t found anything so we began asking the locals. No one seemed to know for sure, but they all had guesses. After another hour of following guesses and wandering about, we still hadn’t found anything. I didn’t care. I was having a good time hanging out with a fellow backpacker who spoke both German and English. We finally stopped and asked someone who had a sandwich in his hand. Obviously this guy knew where to find food. He pointed us in the right direction and told us we’d find plenty to eat there.
He was right. There were several cheap restaurants on both sides of the street in this neighborhood. In the end, we both decided on a cheap Chinese restaurant. For less than five euros, we each ended up with as much chicken fried rice as you could possibly pile on a plate. I barely finished half of mine, but somehow that crazy Swiss ate the whole damn thing.
Now, barely able to walk, we set off for a bar Sanaz had told us about called “The Cave”. It was supposed to be a metal bar, and that’s all I wanted to do that night was hang out with a bunch of German metal heads. Earlier in the night, Dorji and I found the bar on our quest to find food so we knew exactly how to get there.
In the beginning, there actually weren’t many people. A few very young girls were dancing on the dance floor. I was suprised that they would let such seemingly young people in a place like this. Dorji ordered the first round, and we sat around the bar talking for awhile. The music started off with pop punk bands from the early 90‘s, all American bands and most of it was stuff I recognized. As the bar began to fill, the music got more and more aggressive until they actually threw in a few metal songs every now and then. At one point, Dorji and I met a crazy German guy named Andrei. Round after round, we danced around on the dance floor for hours.
It was at least 4AM and the bar showed no signs of closing anytime soon. At this point, Andrei and Dorji were completely hammered. Just as I was getting ready to leave, I met a girl named Nicola. We talked for awhile before I left and decided to meet up for coffee the next day. I left Dorji at the bar. He asked me to make sure he didn’t miss his flight in the morning. I told him I wouldn’t as long as he made it back to the hostel that night. I walked back to hostel just before the sun came up. I wouldn’t be getting much sleep that night, but it was totally worth it.