I got up early and rode to the Frankfurt airport with the students. It was moving to see the sunrise the day we were leaving.
and Nadia showed me where to purchase a subway ticket to the Frankfurt train station in the bottom of the airport. From there, I was catching a train to the town of Freiburg where my aunt Susan could come meet me. My sister was also in Europe traveling before a veterinary work study program in Serbia and we were having a Hubacker rendezvous!
Amy and another teacher were also staying behind, but Amy happen to be meeting her husband at the same train station I was departing from. Nadia walked us to the ticket machine, announced that “oh there is an 8:02 train!” Which was in 4 minutes, punched in the tickets, thrust them in our hands, and basically kissed us while simultaneously shoving us down the stairs to the platform.
Amy and I kind of looked at each other in a daze. It would be totally obvious which was our train, right? and how many stops to get off at, right? We tried to find a subway map, but the walls just had advertisements. A train pulled up, heading the right way, but on the opposite side of the tracks…! As it approached, some people jumped up and flew back up the stairs in order to try and make it up, over and back down before the doors closed and it pulled away. We looked at each other, her with a small carry-on hard shell rolling suitcase and me, sporting my “double pack back” look (my small day pack on the front and soft carry-on sized luggage with straps on my back) and didn’t. even. move. If that was our train, it just wasn’t gonna happen.
Luckily we had plenty of time to figure this out.We found a timetable schedule that said something going to Frankfurt hbf would also be arriving at 8:08. To be sure, I asked a young lady, “Frankfurt train station?” And she said next train! It was only around 5 minute ride and our new friend also waved us off, when it was almost the stop. We arrived, took the escalator up to the beautiful and sparse train station.
Alas, we were able to wait until two of the very few available chairs opened up and passed the time. When it was close to time, we said good bye and parted ways! My train ride from Frankfurt to Frieburg was about two hours. I wanted to sleep having been up already for 8 hours but I was in that nervous “you might miss your stop and wake up in Switzerland” mind frame. I knew my aunt lived up in the mountains about an hour outside of the city so I had that car ride nap to look forward to.
The train pulled in at 1, and saw my sister and aunt waiting!! My aunt took my hand and announced that she had a surprise for me and had booked us a massage! While I was so appreciative, she also said there had been a change of plans and this was the ‘city day.’ We were going to put my backpack in a locker as stay in the city until her husband got off work and ride back with him at 5:30.
We went for lunch, massage, and coffee. (In Freiburg, if you order an iced coffee, it’s coffee with ice cream so okay.) We also had to pop into several shoe stores because my sister had enormous huge and fluid filled blisters on both her feet. She posted pictures on her Instagram but I wouldn’t recommend looking.
Then on the (hour long, hella curvy, stick shift) drive back to their home they pull over to find an old swimming hole of theirs. After about twenty minutes of walking down a a ravine and through branches and brush, just to jump in an ice cold mountain river, I decide that Hangry Hillary should just give herself a timeout.
After they’d cooled off, we continued the drive and got there just in time for dinner by my cousin Saskia. I barely had time to put my laundry in after dinner before I was in bed.