We begin our voyage in the usual way; Katie and I endlessly debating the meaning of life and happiness and joy, both of us operating on far too little sleep for the topics we were maneuvering through as we find ourselves bouncing through landscapes and mountains too vast and magical for our own comprehension.
Graz to Munich. 2:34pm. Radical 50-degree sunlight snuggling into our smiles and a warm wind whispering through our hair.
We take to the Munich town, arm in arm, drawing glances from passerbys on account of our infectious giggling that’s wracking our bodies as we can’t believe our luck.
First of all, we’re going to be spending an entire month backpacking through Morocco. Second of all, as luck would have it (and the Flixbus schedule), we found ourselves with a hearty 8 hour layover in Munich. Thirdly, that 30-degree-Fahrenheit-rainy-day projection for Thursday, February 2nd was given a sound middle finger by the sun and the warmth.
We dance along the market stalls, in and out of perfectly organized cathedrals, bouncing past street performers and statues and breathtaking buildings.
Except it’s Katie and I, so we never find ourselves speechless.
There’s something conceptually reinvigorating about a good bout of sunlight. About the waves upon waves of warmth wiggling into the joints and rendering the blood vicious. About being surrounded by good hearted Munich people in a city not suffocatingly crowded by tourists thanks to the off-season of February.
We skip our way to a large outdoor market and duck in and out of stalls hosting aged wine, delicate cheeses, an abundance of vibrant fruit. We pick out a bundle of grapes from a fresh fruit stand and select an array of olives from a massive olive stall.
To make our dinner picnic complete, we saunter to a bread tent, tucked away on the outskirts of the market. Wafts of freshly baked wheat weave their way into our hearts, and the smiles of love from the sellers cheer us heartily as they present to us the loves of bread with which they have injected so much care and concern.
Katie asks directions to the English Gardens, and we are directed towards the owner of the tent, who then immediately takes us in hand and begins to tour us around her tent. She points out the myriads of homemade, vegan ethical spreads that she has dedicated her life towards making; the wild garlic oils that can only be collected 4 weeks out of the year, the herbs and spices that she has painstakingly tendered and planted herself, the recipes she has so carefully crafted to be as environmentally loving and artificially free as possible.
She’s a gem, a wonderful, vibrant woman full of joy over the production of her hands, content with herself and her work and overflowing with a desire to share her life’s passion.
She gives us directions to the English Gardens and we press hands together, mesmirized by her passion and the mutual delight of our newfound acquintence.
Katie and I grab some Munich beers and fresh pepper goat cheese and mosey our way to a garden, snuggling into the dark wooden benches and listening to soft music as we break hearty German bread together with our cheese, fruit, olives and love for everything around us.
The sun begins to nestle its way down into the earth, and a soft chill begins to tuck it’s way into our gloves. Feeling jazzed, we pop up from our perch and meander back into town, intent on killing the remaining 4 hours with a hearty trip to a cozy Munich beer garden for a pint.
Along our way of perusal, we happen upon a glorious Burmese Mountain dog, slumped next to an energetic, magically friendly woman waiting for a friend. Meeting all three of their acquaintances in broken German-English, we ask for a recommendation for a good spot of Munich beer; in true, magical fashion they personally escort us to their favorite beer hall and we fill the Munich air with conversations of life and travel.
We part ways with these two everlastingly youthful dames and dance our way into the what exactly comes to mind when one thinks, Munich beer hall.
Katie and I slid into a bench next to a few Asian guys, and are greeted by a Liederhosen clad man one-handing two freshly tapped liters of beer. Slapping them in front of us with a gruff, “Genau”, Katie and I hoist our charges into the air and scream alongside the multitudes a sturdy “PROST!”
Two hours later–and after a most peculiar conversation with the Austrialian Andy Serkis–Katie and I dance, literally now, back to the Munich Hauptbahnhof, running into street musicians along the way and congratulating our impeccable day.
Our bus takes us from Munich at 10:30 to the Frankfurt airport, docking at the bustling hour of 4:40am. We zombie our way into the airport and drag ourselves to a small man in a lonely booth electrically labeled “INFORMATION”.
“Entschuldigung bitte?” Katie squeaks and points to her flight ticket. “Wo ist Ryanair?”
The man gives us two blinks and then dully says, “Ryanair is not here.”
Katie and I exchange glances and nervously chuckle to each other, certain this man is telling us some sort of joke. “Wie bitte?”
“Ryanair is not at this airport. Hour away. You can take taxi. Or do whatever the hell you want”.
I paraphrased here, but essentially it was that brief and emotionless.
Eventually, in our 4:40 states of mind, we come to realize that our fight is not out of Frankfurt Main–the airport in which we found ourselves currently situated–but out of Frankfurt Hahn Airport, an airport convienently an hour away.
In true Katie-Josie fashion, we stresslessly saunter to another guy, ask for directions to the bus, book tickets for a 7:15 bus to the Hahn airport, and take power naps and high five each other for it all working out.
We get to Hahn by 9, sip on cheap delicious coffee for an hour, meander our way easily through security, and toast carrots and crackers for a further hour and a half before boarding our flight to Fez.
Not even to Morocco yet.
Peace and Blessings,