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Justin's Adventures in Europe as He Anticipates the Start of Leg #3

The excitement all began 37,000 feet in the air flying over the Atlantic. There was a French family surrounding me on the plane with two crying babies and an annoying boy about 12 years old who could not keep still. Not to mention, the poor kid puked three times...By the time we landed, the stench of BO from stressed out Dad was so thick I could have used a gas mask.

When I arrived, I jumped on the first train to Munich to meet my friend Dave. After many beers at a pub at the train station in Munich, Dave arrived. Then, many more beers after finding my buddy, it started to hit me that I was in Germany. Dave had already rented a BMW and bought a road map so we were ready to charge. We really didn't have a plan but we wanted to cover as much territory as possible in 8 days. We checked out all the goods in Munich from the Bier Gardens to the historic castles. Germany is a really cool place.

After two days in Munich, we left for Salzburg, Austria. Driving through the little Bavarian towns, we had the beemer pegged at 220 kph on the autobahn and there were still old men in Mercedes passing us (we should have rented the Porsche). Talk about fairy tale land, Salzburg is the ultimate. We hung around Salzburg for a day and did all the tourist stuff. Two Swiss girls showed us all the key attractions and all the hot night clubs. However, I don't remember much after visiting the night clubs.

The next day we left Salzburg and headed for a place called Arlberg, high in Austrian Alps. It had just dumped about two feet of fresh snow two days earlier so we were excited to get on the mountain. I have been to a lot of the resorts in the States - from Canada to Colorado - and nothing compares to the terrain we found here. There are four resorts in Arlberg and one ticket for $40 gives you access to it all. It would take two months to explore all the goods. We spent three days in Arlberg, drinking, eating and snowboarding until we couldn't stand up anymore. We then headed out for Zurich, Switzerland.

Winding our way through the Alps and through the Black Forest, we got into Zurich and caught up on some much needed rest after a long weekend in Arlberg (that means we didn't have a beer for 8 hours). Zurich was a happening city with all kinds of action. We rented bicycles and checked it all out. We left the next day to head back to Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart is more of an industrial city than a touristy spot. We went to the Porshe factory and saw all the dynamic engineering of the Germans first hand.

The next day Dave jumped on a plane back home to LA, and I headed for Athens to meet up with Pete. I was happy to see Pete and Terry at the airport in Athens and we celebrated that night with some OUZO (local Greek poison) and traditional Greek meal of fresh olives, bread, Greek salad, and Tsaziki (yogurt with garlic and cucumber).

The next day I explored the Acropolis, Parthenon and the Plaka. We got word from Jeff that the boat was delayed a few days so Pete and Terry headed south to the Peloponnesus. After I got pick pocketed for about $200 on the subway from three little punks, I jumped on a plane to Milan, Italy. I had met a girl(Valentina) on the train in Germany and she was studying in Milan. We had kept in contact through E-mail and she insisted that I come to Italy. How could I say no?

After a couple of crazy days in Milan, I headed back to Athens to meet up with Jeff and Pete. We spent the next couple of days figuring out all the logistics of the boat's arrival and clearance. What a nightmare. The Greeks are on a different page...Anyway, the boat got into Glyfada the next day, and we were happy to see Jim, Paul and Brian arrive safely. We celebrated that night on the boat with some much needed OUZO and beer. Jim and Paul told us about all their crazy encounters and adventures on the second leg.

The next day, we started all the tasks of the crew change. The boat was in perfect shape when she arrived, until I got ahold of an Allen wrench and tried to change out the serpentine belt on main engine...See what happens when you get behind a desk too long! Well, you guys know the rest. It feels really great to be underway on the boat. This little beast handles the seas unbelievably.

- Justin

 

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Nordhavn 40 Around the World Voyage