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,
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.