Saturday, March 31, 2012

Around the World: Freiburg

March 31, 1992

Before leaving Geneva this morning, I stopped in at a large department store.  I wanted to find a coffee pot like the one Sabina used to make her delicious coffee and after finding something similar, I turned to find the cashier and discovered Nirvana.

I'm gonna need a bigger bag.

A store employee found me blissfully saucer eyed and held out a plate with little chocolate samples.  It would be blasphemy to decline free chocolate in an aisle devoted to it.  The chocolate in Switzerland is mrf mur mum... (I shouldn't write with my mouth full).  Oh, my good gracious, it is delicious!  Maybe it's the mountain air.  Maybe it's just really good chocolate.  At $1 a bar, debate amongst yourselves while I make my way to Freiburg to mail a small container of this stuff home.

The youth hostel, known in German as a "Jugendherberge" is clearly marked on the map, but that doesn't make it any easier to find.  After a two hour hike through scenic Freiburg, I finally find the hostel and grateful that it has a bed available.  It is currently inhabited by 150 small fry that only scream in German.

There's a park bench by the river where I can quietly enjoy some of the chocolate I didn't package up to mail home and a sandwich.  Coming toward me on the path is another confused backpacker with a map searching for the elusive Jugendherberge.  I offered him directions and a handful of crackers, knowing he's already been on a long journey.  He was grateful for the snack and the information and continued on his way.

There are three other girls sharing my room.  The hostel relocated the young students who were given the room earlier to accommodate the new arrival of backpackers.  The four of us shared some wine and gave me directions to the post office.

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"We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers."