yesterday we were taking the underground (the u-bahn) to the main cemetery (where we saw the graves of various important people such as brahms, beethoven, and falco), and the stop we wanted was the last one on the line (u3). we thought we had a long way to go and were each engrossed in our books (ian was reading the end of assassination vacation (which i read way earlier on the trip) and i was reading a book about how to write a novel) when suddenly we looked up and noticed that the train was stopped and there was no one else in the car with us. we got up and looked around and saw that we had gone past the last station and were just sitting still in a no-mans land beyond the end of the line. i was totally freaking out. ian tried to push buttons to get help and they did nothing. i was seriously sure we were going to be trapped for hours or days. ian was laughing at my panic. finally (after what felt like hours but was likely about a minute) we saw someone go walking by next to the train on a little sidewalk...we pounded on the window and the fat mustached dude didn't even look at us. we were like, "what the fuck?" and ian was like "was he supposed to be looking for people? cause he didn't do a very good job!" then finally the train started up and we realized that he was just walking from the front of the train to the back because the back was about to become the front. seconds later we pulled back into the last station and escaped. he must have thought we were total dumbshits. when clearly we are not. ahem.
so i love the sound of music, which is centered around salzburg, but i don't think we'll have time to do any sound of music style touring. this has not, believe you me, stopped me from singing sound of music songs to ian for hours. seriously. he loves it.
oh, so vienna is called wien in austria so all over vienna it was wien this and wiener that. do you think that i am mature enough to not laugh? you are correct - i am not mature enough to not laugh. oh god did i laugh and laugh and laugh. ian and i would be like "wiener building. wiener person. wiener crosswalk. wiener pants. wiener museum." for like hours and laugh every time. we were staying in a gay pension (fancy word for fancy hostel in europe language) which didn't help with the immaturity we displayed.
on a more serious note, today we went to mauthausen which is a concentration camp near linz (not far from here or from vienna). this is the camp that my grandfather liberated, as an american soldier, at the end of wwii. it was a camp mostly for political prisoners of various sorts but was one of the places where they marched a lot of the prisoners from camps in poland as the war was ending - so some of the death marches ended there. when the allied forces (including my grandfather) arrived they of course saw horrendous horrendous sites that i can't even imagine. i have been to camps before in poland (treblinka, majdanek, auschwitz and birkenau (auschwitz ii)) but not since i was a teenager. it was after i went to those camps that my grandma told me about my grandfather's story. it was not something he ever talked about. ever. i had no idea until then, a couple of years after he had died. anyhow, it just meant a lot to me to go to that place and walk where i know he walked and lived perhaps the hardest days of his life. it is always interesting for me to see these sites and put israel into that context. it doesn't change my political leanings about palestine and israel at all. if anything it strengthens them, as i think understanding generally does. it also reminds me of how and why i came to love israel in the first place. because i had to love her to care enough to be broken-hearted by her. that's how it goes, right?
anyhow, yeah. that.
tomorrow we head to budapest for 4 days. i'm really exited. there is so much i want to see and do there, so i'm sure i'll have to limit myself a little bit. but i know for sure we're going to the baths at hotel gellert. i also plan to eat some goulash. are you jealous? i thought you might be.
from budapest we go back to prague to return the car and catch a train to geneva where we're meeting ian's mum for a journey to italy. after italy we have some time to spend back in geneva/saleve or to travel with ian's mum to visit some family in the south of france or ??? then we go to paris for a week or so (where we get to see nicole). from paris to munich for a couple days of oktoberfest in a fancy hotel supplied by our friend nick (from ohio) who we are meeting there. then berlin. i am super excited for berlin and to meet robin and taska's baby, temujin.
lastly i leave you with two songs that were repeatedly on the radio today and made me happy in the car from wien to melk to mauthausen to salzberg. if you don't like girlie pop don't listen. i warned you. if it helps, we also heard africa by toto, all that she wants by ace of base, some heart song, please don't leave me by pink along with some TERRIBLE hip hop and dance and pop in german. my internet connection is too slow to check these, so i make no guarantees that they work in any way whatsoever.