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Report 1316: European Travel Back When - 1964

By Marian from New Jersey, Summer 1995

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Page 17 of 20: Germany, the Rhine Maiden, and the Australian

The train from Zürich to Mainz takes about five hours, and I arrive late afternoon. It doesn't appear that there is a lot to do here. I see many US soldiers, and some overly dapper boys too. I find a hotel through the tourist service at the train station. My room is actually a bathroom with a bed in it! But it's cheap and clean. Tomorrow, the Rheindampfer, which I've read about in German class.

The trip up the Rhine is delightful, but I am so embarrassed about the Lorelei. For some reason, I think that the rock where the legendary Rhine temptress lives is not popularly known. So when I see from the map that we are approaching that point in the river, I walk over to the edge of the boat for a look. Wow, am I surprised when suddenly over the loudspeakers comes the famous poem by Heine, set to the famous Liszt music. What a fuss!

While on the boat, I meet an Australian who has been hitchhiking through Europe and is headed for Berlin. Berlin! I decide I will go with him. When we get to Köln, we find a student hostel. The way to get to Berlin is to go to Hanover first and then take a train or something through the Berlin Corridor.

It's Thursday, and we have hitched 200 miles to Hanover. A very interesting experience. I have left my suitcase in Köln to be shipped to Hanover, so I have only my flight bag with me. We check, and the plane costs very little more than the train, so we decide to fly! I am so dirty, that I take some version of a sponge bath in the bathroom at the airport. Then the plane and suddenly, Berlin!

It's very late and we can't get into the student hostels but we find a hotel for one night through the tourist office. I have the most elegant room I've ever seen, but I am wondering whose property this place was before and during the War. We go walking, but the streets are deserted at night. Tomorrow, das Mauer (the Wall).

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