Adventure Notes #6: Kaiserslautern – Heidelberg – Milan

This AdventureNotes is the second part of my first Eurotrip journey, which is the story of my third day of the whole trip. One day, three cities to visit. When I think about that now, well that’s quite impressive. I travelled across three countries in a day.

Kaiserslautern. Well, the reason why I went to the city was because there was my friend there and I needed a place to sleep. Haha. I was a backpacker back then and budgeting was very important! I needed to save my money (I need to save my money as well now!). The city is very small. I remember that fish is the icon of that city so you can see fish sculpture everywhere. I get to see the student’s life in Kaiserslautern. It was quite different with student’s life in the UK, I guess. As education is totally free in Germany, yes for foreigner too, what international students and students in general need to be concerned about is their living cost. There were Indonesian students who do not have any financial support and have to work to fulfil their needs. How can they manage that? I have no idea. But they work here and there to get enough money to survive.

A night in Kaiserslautern and I had to go early in the morning to Heidelberg. Why Heidelberg, because I wanted to visit another friend of mine. It is funny that when you live far from your hometown you seem to have more friends than ever. Moreover, the relationship between you and the people you leave back home gets better. I don’t know why but that’s what I feel based on my experience. Anyway, I went to Heidelberg from Kaiserslautern by train again. I really love the transportation system in Germany. The train is punctual, the information is provided well, and the physical appearance of the train is very nice. All seem to be modern. The journey from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg was about 1.5 hours. Not too far and I arrived quite early in Heidelberg.

I met my friend and took the tram to old town area of Heidelberg. Well, I think it is the most beautiful old town area. Seriously – I mean with all the buildings and the paints plus the scenery around. I love it! The old town area in Heidelberg is not too big. I walked across the old town and walked up through the Philosophenweg to see Heidelberg from above. I could see a kind of castle across the Philosophenweg. I didn’t go up there but my friend told me that it is beautiful. Well, hope there’ll be next time! I visited the Heidelberg University library which is gorgeous. Haha. Oh! And the university is the oldest university in Germany. I think it is worth to visit.

I only spent a few hours in Heidelberg and then I had to catch another train to bring me back to Milan. It was a very long journey; 6-7 hours if I am not mistaken. On my way to Milan, I had to transit in Basel. Basel is a city in Swiss. I went out from the station as I had around 45 minutes before my next train. I walked around the station area. What I forgot was that the currency they use in Switzerland is not euro! Most shops will accept euro but you’ll get CHF as the change.

After a very long journey I finally arrived in Milan at around 9 pm and had to go to my hotel for the night. It wasn’t a big, nice hotel but it was okay for me to rest as I had to go very early the next morning for my flight to Rome.

Lessons from the first part of my first Eurotrip:

– Traveling around Europe by train is very nice! Solo travelers – well, small group traveler as well – need to try this! As all of the transportation systems between countries are connected and the information is provided well, it is very safe. You get to see beautiful scenery and cities along your train ride. You also get to see local people’s daily life. Priceless experience!

– Beware when you travel during the Easter – or the seasons in between like during spring or fall – as the weather can be tricky. It’s kind of difficult to decide what clothes to bring and to wear. But bear in mind that you have to prepare for the worst! If you bring too many warm jackets, you can just take it off when it’s too hot; as simple as that.

– Currency, currency. Not all countries in Europe are members of EU. And those who are not have different currency. Yeah, UK has different currency although it is a part of EU. It is not too difficult if you end up in Swiss and only have euros in your pocket. But it will be probably more difficult if you are in some Eastern Europe countries. Check again the facts about the countries that you are going to visit.

– Backpacking is very tiring. You have to be on top of your stamina and use all opportunities to rest. You need your focus and your brain to be always on. You need your body to be fit because you have to carry that heavy backpack and to walk long distance. However it is a very great experience! I’d love to go backpacking again!

– It’s great to have friends everywhere so you can go and visit them. You can have free accommodation and meal. Haha! They’ll be glad to see you and you’ll be happy to see them too.

Jan 01, 2014

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