I was planning on taking the train from Germany to Italy which would have cost me 60 euro. I wasn't crazy about spending this much on a ticket so imagine my excitement when my friend Zach volunteered to drive me?! He is from Texas, living in Bamberg and teaching English through Fulbright, like me. He had already been planning a trip to Italy so we coordinated dates and it worked out so well. He picked me up Saturday morning and drove me southbound through the Austrian and Italian Alps and dropped me off at the Bologna train station (to meet Erica) Saturday evening at 5:00. The funny part about all of this: Zach owns a car. He bought a 1989 Audi for 200 euro from a teacher he works with in Bamberg. Perhaps someday I will feel compelled to tell the story of how complicated it is to register a car in Germany (as an American). I've heard him tell the story 3 times, though, and each time, it stresses me out to an unhealthy level just hearing all the intensity involved in that process. I will definitely not be getting a car here.
Anyway, I found out on the way to Italy that it has been a dream of Zach's for some time to drive through the Austrian and Italian Alps on the speed limitless Autobahn. I realized on the drive how much I miss these mountains. My everyday walk home to IK in Salzburg included a beautiful view of the snow covered Alps and I don't know if I realized at the time how lucky I was!
The following photos were taken at a rest stop in Innsbruck, Austria (let's talk about the difference between a rest stop on I-35 in Oklahoma....and this one). These are all the photos I have from the drive because - surprise!- I fell asleep very quickly and slept through most of the trip. I kept trying to wake myself up and make myself stay awake because I knew it would be a beautiful drive. At one point, I had a silent conversation with myself that went as follows: "You have to wake up. You are driving through the Alps. It's the Alps. You have to wake up"....."Eh, you used to live there. It's not a big deal. Just go back to sleep". So I went back to sleep.
A Halloween re-cap will be posted in the days to come.