Hamburg was beautiful. The outskirts of Hamburg where we had booked a week’s worth of mistake-fares at the Leonardo Hotel Hamburg City North was not as beautiful. Picture an industrial park of sorts with a gas station and a conglomerate of hotels and conference buildings nesting amidst a few trees. Picture no internet and thus…no work…no income…
So, we changed our plans. We used what little wifi time we had left from our last complimentary 24 hours provided by the Park Hyatt Hamburg to hop online and book the cheapest, most interesting yet feasible flight we could find. Hamburg to Salzburg, Austria.
It took some finesse but we established 6 nights of affordable accommodation in Salzburg and set our sights on Berchtesgaden for four nights after that.
Well, by the time Berchtesgaden came around, they were forecasting nothing but rain. 100% chance of rain every day of our supposed Alpine hiking days.
So after a night we changed our plans, stationing ourselves on the side of the road with our thumbs out, setting our sights for Eschenlohe a few hours away where a friend of a friend was willing to host us.
We caught a ride almost right away with two Swedish film-artists road-tripping to Italy. They were heading toward Innsbruck, Austria about an hour shy of our destination but we had hours to get where we were going.
A wrong-turn perhaps caused by a constant flow of good conversation and a friendly exchange of chocolates landed us in Innsbruck later than expected. We all agreed that Indian food would be a good way to end our little road-trip so we found an Indian restaurant across the river in InnsBruck. There was a solitary man inside the dimly lit building. I couldn’t tell if he was excited to see a group enter his empty restaurant or overwhelmed, because one or two groups followed in after us and the man switched the lights on and went to a corner to make a phone call: a call for back-up.
This one man show was delicious but set us back another few hours.
So we changed our plans.
We found a hotel by the train station and put off Eschenlohe for the next morning.
I love changeability. Or do I love change? I doubt that because I am an extremely nostalgic and sentimental person. But at least when I travel, I love that moment where Drew and I look at one another and say “Or…” We could stay here or….we could go somewhere new. Or…we could hitch-hike. Or…we could get on a plane. I love it. Even if we’ve just gotten somewhere, as long as I’ve gotten a little vision for that place, I’m ready to have the next adventure.
Overlooking A Misty Hill
Now we are in a cozy little hunting cabin in Eschenlohe with friends of friends who are as friendly as you could ever hope. We watch the mist rise against a dark green background of foliage each morning, drifting upwards towards a flat gray sky. We listen to the rain’s steady flow as it falls from the spouting and empties in a puddle next to our guest bedroom window. Even in the rain this house is enchanting in its quiet distance from the rest of the world. The house next door is a large, castle-styled estate where a grounds keeper occasionally shows his weather-worn face. Aside from his occasional use of a tractor and the whinny of horses on the hills, it is a quiet place to think. A place to think about all the little changes of plan and mind-set that let to this specific vantage point.
Overlooking a misty hill. Seeing the beauty in something not quite clear. Once upon a time I loved the solid-lined certainty of a place and perspective I knew and understood. Now I embrace the mystery of black and white and lucid shades of gray.
I only like plans if they are changeable.