Early April

I think we needed a break from the greying city streets, but the truth is that Lukas & Eliska received a free car rental & it was the best kind of opportunity for a road trip. The car was a tiny blue thing that we crammed into every day; climbing over each other, stopping for bathroom breaks or burgers, & fighting over which song to play on loop. There was something cementing in journeying with everyone for more than a day; the five of us learning each of our tendencies & frustrations. We became family in the way we slept on each others shoulders, cooked late night meals, & shared personal stories about life. We wedged ourselves a little deeper into each others lives, an act that I’m thankful for & value greatly.

Day 1  //  Trek across Czech + Germany + Austria

We drove for about 8 hours through the countryside of Germany & winding mountains of Austria. The glorious views from the car included castles, steep mountain cliffs, & the occasional wild animal. The sun had long dipped below the horizon before we reached our lodge & we drove through the curved & narrow ridges in the dark. Jason & I were having trouble with motion sickness, & so a slaphappy story game was invented on the spot; keeping us thoroughly entertained for the remaining 1.5 hours. After finally reaching our hillside house, we cooked a late dinner of spicy Korean ramen & turned in to sleep. The next morning was spent lazily frying farm eggs + bacon as we milled around the bright kitchen drinking our coffees + tea. We planned out the day's ventures, packed our things, & piled {once again} into the car. 

Day 2  //  Dolomites, Italy

Seeing white capped mountains + snow covered ground was a nice change of pace for me. It was cold, yes, but the view & the span of the Italian range was beautiful to see. We visited Reinhold Messner’s 6th mountain museum, an art exhibit carved into the side of a bluff overlooking the Alps. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, & it’s easily become one of my favorite buildings here in Europe. We took many photos of the museum & mountainside as we linked arms to keep from slipping on the ice & threw snow at each other’s backs. 

Day 3  //  Munich, Germany

Almost immediately after driving into the city, we fell in love with Munich’s storefronts, square architecture, & smooth concrete. We wandered around finding more & more bicycles, giving us a flash of contempt for the rough cobblestone streets of Prague. The shops were also more contemporary & culturally relevant than in Czech. It was hard to resist buying most of what I saw in places we walked into. Although the city center was sprawling with tourists, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel was every bit as charming as I had imagined; the bells & figurines chiming at 12pm for crowds gathered. When we ducked into a cafe for a quick meal before our bus, we had the most delicious sandwich to date: rye + spinach + pastrami + cheese + apple + horseradish mustard. It was simple, subtle, & I can still taste it.