Wednesday, August 29, 2007


"Ooooooh maaaaan - you guys came at just the right time. Its the season of 'festing' over here in Germany! These Germans sure know how to throw a good party!"

But before there was any "festing" to be had, there was planning to be done. Day three had us all lounging in our pajamas for the better part of the morning trying to figure out what we were going to do with the remainder of our 7 days in Europe.

The travel books all came out and the old Internet search engine was fired up to look for hostels to stay in and cities to visit. Our plan was to leave the next day so we really only had a couple of hours to get everything in place. I started in on the computer while Jamin took the books and maps into the kitchen to spread out on the table. We narrowed down that Amsterdam and Bavaria (southern Germany) would be our two lands to conquer this time around. I was making pretty good headway on a few places to stay and so I went into the kitchen to report in to Jamin and get his stamp of approval. When I glanced in I saw a scene that was oh so familiar. There was Jamin sitting in his chair, head down in complete concentration - engrossed in his travel guide. He was reading it like a novel! He must have sensed me there because after a few seconds he looked up and started in with "Oh man Molly - did you know . . . " He had been caught deviating from his assigned task and he knew it but I guess he figured that if he could at least pass along some of the knowledge that he had just gained somehow it would cover up for the fact that he was reading about neither Amsterdam or Bavaria! It was just like him though - he couldn't pass up a good opportunity to absorb information no matter how trivial or pertinent to the task. Though frustrating to me at times I realized how well rounded he was because of occasions such as this.

By afternoon our plans were in place and we were headed down the road to the Maderscheid Bergenfest. This is probably a good opportunity to make note of Jamin's musical tastes as the ride to the festival was close to 45 minutes and Jamin's iPod was the one in action on the way there. The aforementioned "well roundedness" likewise applies here. Jamin could and did listen to practically every type of music. He especially latched on to techno music during his European travels and so as we drove through the quaint German countryside and villages there was all the time a modern dance party of sorts going on within his vehicle. It took a little getting used to but truthfully I think it was the only type of music that could keep up with his own energy level. I have been told as well that whenever Jamin traveled to a new country he would spend a good deal of time in the local music store picking up new songs and styles. He loved it all though!

As we approached the festival it became clear that parking was going to be an issue but Jamin knew exactly what to do - and so with his expertise in "festing" and a little bit of sheer luck we ended up with "the premier parking spots of all parking spots!" A walk down the hill towards the festival (held in an old medieval castle grounds) had us rolling with laughter before too long because as we approached the castle we heard a rustling in the woods above us and so we looked up to see three people in full medieval garb slipping and rolling down the forested hillside. It looked like a scene from Lord of the Rings. Jamin had forgotten to mention to us that if we dressed up in costume we would get a discounted entry fee.

Inside the festival Jamin was good enough to stay by our side as we fumbled our way through German food ordering. We spent the remainder of the evening just wandering around the castle, snapping photos, looking at the wares for sale and enjoying a good old fashioned jousting tournament. We stopped on our way back to the car to enjoy the fireworks display and then meandered our way back through the pitch black countryside (detours and all) to Jamin's apartment - "Dragostea din Tei" bouncing over the speakers.

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