The Streak did not end
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Thanks to the universality of the World Wide Web and my Kindle I was able to access Spark every day of my trip.
Having now been home for 10 days I want to share some observations which we need to consider and some general observations.
1. Public transit is the way to go in urban areas. Germany and Austria offer streetcars, buses and subways in every major city. Intercity travel is by high speed train run by the government railway and various private railways all using the same rights of way.
2. The non transit options are bicycles or walking with dedicated bike ways sharing space with pedestrian walkways and not the city streets in many areas. In the urban areas if you ask the distance to a specific location the common answer is how many minutes it will take to walk there.
3. I observed few overweight individuals in the crowds of locals. I did not observe any overweight police officers.
4. The majority clothing of choice item was jeans regardless of age or gender. Backpacks are the universal clothing accessory irrespective of age or gender.
5. In urban areas it is easier to find diverse ethnic food than German or Austrian food. The presence of U.S. branded products is almost frightening with McDonald's, Burger King and Starbucks on almost every block. Free potable water is almost non existent in public areas you have to purchase it..
6. In Munich, Heidelberg and Frankfurt there are major downtown streets which are pedestrian and bicycle only lined with shops and restaurants.
7. Do not plan to purchase anything other than food in a restaurant on a declared holiday, everything is closed. The exceptions are main train stations and airports however the underground shopping malls under the train stations are closed, only the shops physically in the train station are open.
8. Solar collectors are in solar farms and on the roofs of many houses even in small towns and villages. Wind power is in evidence however there are few areas in Germany with enough wind to make it more common. The trash bins on the street are separated into multiple option recycling containers
9. Clothing is obscenely expensive a pair of jeans which retails in the U.S for $40 will cost you 100 plus Euros. A dollar is equivalent to approximately .82 Euros.
10. The people are friendly, gracious and helpful will almost all having some command of English.
11.You can survive for two to three weeks living out of a backpack which weighs approximately 20 pounds and a shoulder slung carryall of some sort. My partner Jodi thought I was punishing her with the restriction however she survived much to her amazement.
12. Booking,com is an excellent website for finding and obtaining lodging in any of the major cities.
The only major drawback was I had to drag Jodi kicking and screaming to the airplane to return to the States, she was not ready to leave.