Monday, September 28, 2009

Road Trippin' in Germany

Going on a road trip in a foreign country can be quite the learning experience, especially when you don’t know the language. And you lose your map, and your phone dies, and road work sends you on a crazy detour. That was the first day of our road trip last weekend.
Things started out well. We rented a car from Enterprise and they gave us a great deal: 50% off for the weekend. Enterprise rocks. They picked us up from the train station, were super friendly, upgraded our car for free, and gave us tons of price breaks.
But that was really the only luck we had. We made it to Bielefeld okay, but a detour sent us on a two hour goose chase for the club- a drive that should have only taken 10 minutes.
Despite being exhausted, we played a great show. (But more on that in the next blog!)
Originally, we had planned on returning to Berlin the next day, but the 50% deal convinced us to rent the car for the weekend. We hadn’t packed extra clothes. Of course, the club was full of cigarette smoke and our clothes were saturated with it. That was our first mistake. Always pack extra clothes, even if you are just planning on a short trip! Wilson’s jeans got totally destroyed (read: ripped, soaked in beer, stained, covered in grime) from his crazy antics onstage and I stank to high heaven. Rock ‘n roll, baby.
Day two of our road trip involved a castle, mountains, and a thousand year old city (don’t you want to read my upcoming blogs?). Not having planned accommodations for our second night (mistake number two), we spent a good chunk of time on the internet and cell phone, but to no avail. We decided to go to the ancient city of Goslar, on the chance that the hostel there would have an available room. We got a little bit lost on the way, but it only cost us about 30 min. Beautiful drive through the hills and forests, but we arrived at the hostel to find it full. There were two beds left, in separate quarters, for about 50 euro. It didn’t seem like such a great deal.
Dinner in Goslar was grand, and then we were off to Dirk’s house. Dirk is the bassist in Wilson’s new band. Now, the day had turned to night, and while driving fast on the autobahn is fun, it isn’t so great when you’re whipping by the road signs before you have a chance to read them.
Needless to say, we got lost. Very lost. And then we thought we found the right route. We called Dirk (who had already been waiting an hour), told him the good news, and thought we were all set. Forty minutes went by, we thought we were almost there, and then suddenly we started seeing signs for “Goslar” again. We had somehow gone full circle! So, driving through unfamiliar territory at night without a map? Big mistake, let me tell you.
We found a hotel, and decided to fork the 85 euro for a room. We should have just slept in the car, and would have if we had packed blankets and pillows. Oh, the mistakes we made.
The hotel wasn’t so great. The manager wouldn’t give us an extra blanket, even though the room was freezing and despite that there were several empty rooms with blankets to spare. He claimed not to know any English, but he understood Wilson perfectly well when Wilson called him an asshole, among other things.
The rest of the trip was fine, and we had an easy drive home (I think we had learned how to read the road signs by that point). But the hotel room and the gas we wasted while being lost cost us an extra 150 euro.
So, for our next road trip? Maps, cell phone charger, food (because highway food sucks), clothes, blankets, pillows, and some freaking common sense.

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