Sunday Matinée: Travel Diary 7-8 January 2001

The concluding part of my Koblenz adventure. Correction: My FIRST Koblenz adventure. I’ve had two! Hopefully, I’ll have more in the future as well, as I’d love to go there as a normal tourist and not just go to attend the annual Fanclubparty. We shall see. Meanwhile, here’s how this one ended:

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Sunday/Monday, 7/8 January 2001:
KOBLENZ – STENUNGSUND

How to top yesterday? Of course impossible. Nadinè and Stefanie were the first of us to check out, and then, after a while of us two singing, talking and packing, Rita left too. I called Christian Geller, as I had been asked (I called at 11am), but I only got to talk to his answering machine. I left a message and waited outside the Jugendherberge’s reception. When the clock had passed 12:00, I decided to leave Festung Ehrenbreitstein and walk to the bus. I figured that if he wasn’t going to show up, then I would at least not going to miss the train at around 2pm if I made it into town myself.

Walking down that mountain was such a pain in the a**! Next time I will bring only ONE bag! I sent an SMS from the bus (which I had to run to get to in the end. I will NOT to that again with that kind of packing!), saying I was on the way to the Haubtbahnhof – just in case he had got my message and was on the way to the JH at that moment. I waited outside the Hbf for a while, no sign of anyone familiar. I still don’t know why I didn’t get to see the studios. Well, it will give me something to look forward to for next time I’m there, I guess!

I went to buy some bread to eat on the bus, and I had a milkshake at McD’s. Then I just walked around inside the station, bought a bottle of Sprite, GALA magazine (it had a picture of TA & CH in it), and a tourist booklet (in English) about Koblenz. And then what happened? I bumped in to Rita! She was also waiting for the train, and told me she had met another Russian fan on Rizzastrasse. She was a bit disappointed about the party, so to cheer her up, I gave her the name of the street (house number not included). It worked! She was very happy she had found the right place. We talked for a while and then we went separate ways.

I boarded a train heading for Köln, and found a place to sit. This train stopped at all the tiny stations on the way, so it took 1½ to 2 hours before I got off at Köln Hbf, where I had been just a few days ago. What to do now? I had no spare change, and didn’t want to break the 50 DM-bill I had just to use the Hbf’s toilet (they charged 2 DM, see). Instead, I went outside to wait for the bus. Then, I was struck by the thought that a “proper” meal before the long journey back home would be a good idea, so I went to McD’s, just opposite of where I was standing. I had the vegetarian hamburger meal, and then went to use their toilet. I didn’t want to repeat the effort from the way down! Puttgarden was too far away! *LOL*

Back to the bus to wait. Eventually, the bus (with Swedish license plates) pulled up, and I got aboard. I said hello, in Swedish, to the bus driver, who checked the tickets, and he said hello back, on which I exclaimed “finally someone who I can understand what they say, and who can understand me!”. His reply was something along the lines of “I know the feeling”. :c)

I found myself a seat, and made myself comfortable, while the other passengers boarded. I had music on… I took up the photos I had bought at the party (for a do-it-yourself calendar), and I looked at them. I also looked at the signed Polaroid photo of Thomas & I, and I started to feel really sad. Don’t get me wrong here – I wasn’t sad because of the party or anything. I was just sad it was over, my little German adventure was coming to an end, and it was back to “reality” again. I had so much trouble holding back the tears, I had to turn off my Walkman, and put away the photos. I kept looking at the Polaroid, though, and I thought back on the party and the dinner… on the new friends I had made, and all the fun I had… and I began to smile. Before I knew it, we were driving away from Köln…

Just south of Hamburg, I don’t know what the time was, but I was looking out through the bus window, and saw a little yellow road sign with the name “Tötensen” on it. I really woke up when seeing that, and I thought “I’ve never been so close to Dieter Bohlen before!”, and I was only a bit disappointed when the bus didn’t turn off there. ;c) Dieter was on Mallorca anyway, so I wasn’t any closer than before, but still.

In Hamburg, it was time to switch buses, and then we were on the road again, eventually reaching the Puttgarden ferry. I bought a can of Fanta lime in the tax-free shop, but didn’t drink it. The operator logo switched to “mobilix”, but I had my mobile turned off most of the time anyway, since the battery was running low. Rødbyhavn, København… and then Helsingør! To my surprise, we were taking the ferry over to Sweden, not the bridge! Most of the people on the bus slept our way through the 20-min. boat ride (which surprised me – last time I went over there, in June 1998, we needed to be out of the bus during that short time as well as on the ferry to Germany!). Anyway, we reached Sweden, and there wasn’t even a passport check, so we left Helsingborg and drove on.

Some hours later, we reached Göteborg – and the end station. My mobile logo was back to it’s normal “Modern Talking”, and my battery had just about given up, but I was nearly home anyway, so it didn’t matter. I made my way to the Nils Ericsson bus terminal, commenting on how bloody cold Sweden was (is). Koblenz had a nice +13ºC all week, Gothenburg had around 0ºC, rain, and half a storm. Lovely. Eventually, the red bus to Stenungsund arrived, and I began the final hour of my journey.

Getting of at the train station back home, I went to my mother’s shop to say hello, and show her that I was safely back in one piece. I left my heavy bags with her, and went to the photo shop to hand in my film-rolls for development. When I got back, I showed my mother the Polaroid and talked for a while. Then I took my bags again, went back to the station to take the local bus, and went home.

It was Monday, my journey was over, I was totmüde, and I had to go to school the next day (I had got the Monday off). I had a proper breakfast, and then I went to my room to have some proper sleep in my own proper bed… and the next day, I was telling my friends in school all about my trip, and they saw the photo, and even my teacher was impressed about it.

I had gone to Germany and back, on my own, and I had so much fun, and got so many nice memories to look back on… And one thing’s for sure – Koblenz has NOT seen the last of me yet! :cD

What I love about this is that back when it was written, it was shared with fellow fans so that those who couldn’t go could get a feel for what it was like to have been there. But now, a decade later, I can read this and remember the journey in detail! If I only had the photos, I wouldn’t have remembered half of this. Because I wrote everything down, I can go back and relive the memories, and that’s just great. 🙂 While I read this and groan in places (I really didn’t have a “stop and think about what you’re saying” filter back then), it’s still a fun document of the time.

For next week’s Sunday Matinée, I think we’ll wait a while with the next Koblenz adventure and instead, start with the recent visits to Haddon Hall because of Jane Eyre ’11. See you next Sunday!

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