I am a lousy road warrior, though I believe I am improving. There are several signs of this though the one I a most proud of is that I successfully navigated my way to and from the Salzburg main railway station twice. I did one of those trips alone in the car at night though a part of the city Iâ€™d never been in before.
Another improvement is that right now, I know where all the keys are. I have to keep track of four sets – my office card key, the car keys, the keys to the apartment in Aigen, and the keys to the apartment in Freilassing where Iâ€™m staying when Iâ€™m at work.
A final noteworthy accomplishment is that last night, I slept like the dead. This is no small feat considering that I have been sleeping â€“ or rather NOT sleeping â€“ all over the place lately. And no, smart guy I do not mean that in a â€œfunâ€ sort of way. I go to bed exhausted, and I do mean exhausted, but something about being in a different place every other night makes sleep elusive.
I was thinking about this as I changed my shoes in the car this morning. When we go on a big camping road trip, It takes about a week to settle into sleeping in the tent. Itâ€™s not that hard, because after all, itâ€™s the same tent, essentially the same bed every time. As long as there are no terrifying beasts outside, itâ€™s fine.
Then I got to thinking about how I am using the car as kind of a suitcase, there are odd things kicking around in there that wouldnâ€™t normally be in the car, like all those extra shoes. And a lot of beverages because driving here and there is thirsty work. Thereâ€™s a sleeping bag , and for some reason Jâ€™s rain pants, and snack in case I am stuck in traffic and stricken with low blood sugar. And an umbrella because, duh. Who doesn’t keep an umbrella in the car?
Speaking of umbrellas, it positively poured rain all day on Sunday, which was too bad because that was the day planned for sight-seeing with my friend Ciaran from Ireland. He had about 16 hours in Austria â€“ including the 8 hour allotment for sleeping in a strange bed. He lost two hours on the trip, one to time zones and one to daylight savings, though daylight was nowhere to be seen under the persistent gray wet sheets hanging over the city.
We went up to the Salzburg fortress opting for the stairs and steep grade instead of taking the funicular. We wandered about the mostly empty grounds for an hour or two. â€œYour president would like this place,â€ he said, remarking on how it was above it all, well secured, and â€œâ€¦if Johan the Peasant is up to something peculiar, you can see it right away and just send someone down there to â€“ whatâ€™s it called? Extraordinary rendition?â€ The Bush administration. Source of endless sarcasm and worse, pity, on the part of all my non-American friends. Thanks for the sympathy. Send your donations to the Democratic National Committee, okay?
We took our required kaffee und kuchen at the Konditorei Furst, home of the original Mozartkugel. The cake was quite good, though the Mozartkugeln remain untested. I promised Iâ€™d bring some home to J, compensation for my spending a romantic rainy day in the city with a man who is not my husband. Before returning that man to the train station â€“ trip two, successfully navigated! â€“ we got a bowl of soup in a newish Spanish cafÃ© in the old city. Ciaran took the train back to Munich and I crossed the city again, firmly believing that I was going in the right direction.
It turned out I was going exactly the right way and because of my excellent geography, I spent a few hours at work before finding my way to Freilassing again. I wanted to go in daylight because last time, I got lost and I needed a few extra landmarks. The ElektroRose sign that I had been relying on was not really so electric on a Sunday night. Now Iâ€™ll use the Aldi and the greenhouse on the opposite side. I failed to get lost on the way to work the next morning, too, avoiding a repeat of last week’s ill directed commute. Luckily, I caught on before Iâ€™d driven halfway to Vienna. Salzburg. I work in Salzburg, dammit. Why do all roads go to Munich and Vienna, anyway? I thought they were supposed to go to Rome.
I still have no idea where I live. I havenâ€™t even mentioned the affect the shift is having on the idea that I was supposed to be back in Seattle next week. Instead, I will watch the winter give way to spring through the windows of my rolling suitcase. The snow is melting and there are many crocuses and snowdrops appearing. They have no doubt about where they are going: They follow the sun.
There’s a few gray day pics here.