Part 1 was posted yesterday, here's the continuation. We left off on a rainy night at Oktoberfest in Munich.
The next day, my brother and I got to Oktoberfest early, secured seats in a tent, and proceeded to drink more beer before noon than I have rarely done before or since (I suppose the days of some horse races in law school come to mind, but other than that, morning drinking is rightfully rare for me).
I came thiiiiiiis close to eating meat. They had these roasted chickens for sale and they smelled so good. And to make it more difficult, there weren't great vegetarian options. I think my primary food that day was baked potatoes and soft pretzels. I somehow refrained and my vegetarian purity remained intact -- at that point I'd been a true vegetarian for about 2 years.
After the full day of enjoying Oktoberfest, we took the train back to the town where my brother was living.
We hung out, saw the town, spent time with his friends, etc.
Then I left solo to go back to Munich to work a couple days, and then to Poland. It was a new country for me, and my brother couldn't leave for as long, so I went alone. I spent a few days in Krakow, one of my favorite cities in the world. Beautiful churches, a fun little hotel with a kitchen and friendly people that I met and ate with, a gorgeous castle, and caves under the castle. Then I went on to Warsawa (Warsaw in English, Varsavia in Italiano, which sounds much closer to Polish in my mind than the English version of the city name). I didn't like it there as much -- the main things I remember were staying in a boat hotel (right on the river), and The DaVinci Code. Yes, I was one of those idiots who takes a compelling book on vacation in a new country. I couldn't put it down. I remember reading on a Warsawa bus and missing my stop. I remember wanting to spend my days in that awful boat hotel where I could read in peace. I remember forcing myself to go to parks and to the zoo so at least I'd be outside in Warsawa while I was reading.
From there, I took a train to Poznan, where I was due to meet my brother -- at track 4 of the train station again. Apparently the Munich jinx wasn't enough to make us pick another track number. But I wasn't entirely sure he was going to come. I really wanted him to, but a bunch of his friends were going to Amsterdam that weekend, and he'd never been there and wanted to go. I'd already been to Amsterdam years earlier, and I had no real desire to go back, especially compared to having extra time to explore somewhere new (Poland).
To be continued...