Ach! Can't believe it. I'd actually done 20 minutes of writing and every minute is so precious! But what does it matter, really. I won't read it - the point is that I did it and I can recapture it - and now I'm a little more awake.
Anyway, Ally, Tracey and I are on the train from Münster to Amsterdam. I know. "Where's Münster?" And that's just it. Yesterday we headed out from Berlin, headed for Amsterdam, and the winds and rain was so bad - I guess they even gave the storm a name, Polly, that all trains were cancelled in the Netherlands. So the day had started with no intention of every visiting Münster, not yesterday or really ever in my life. But it was quite a revelation.
So when the announcement came over the intercom on the train, Ally's ears perked up and the German gentleman sitting next to me in our first class compartment said "toll" sarcastically and translated for us. All of the trains would be stopping at the border at Bad Bentheim. The couple told us that Bad Bentheim was very small and they recommended that we stop at Münster. So I'm glad for that part of the recommendation - he even said there was a hotel across the street from the train station but Tracey got on the computer and search and did her thing - found restaurants, coffee and most wonderfully, I really nice hotel called Mövenpick to stay at.
So we disembarked at Münster and I was feeling unsettled but Ally didn't wanted to deal with the DB clerks about the train change on an empty stomach so we hopped the bus for one stop and wheeled our carry-ons for a block or two to an Indian restaurant called Indian Ocean. We were the first people there and they had set our a quite passable classic Indian lunch buffet. The whole scene was very homey and vegetarian friendly. I had cauliflower, a red curry with potatoes and a yellow dal plus we ordered garlic naan which was fresh and warm and drizzled with ghee and mango lassis. The waiter was a young man in his early twenties who spoke excellent English. He had a tattoo of a Sanskrit phrase on his neck and when I paid I asked him what it said. "Beyond the physical." I instinctively pranaamed and warmth and connection passed between us, I had touched something important to him; yoga without borders.
Tracey asked if we should get coffee first but I was feeling unsettled - "what are we doing here kids?" so we headed back to the train station to figure out the tickets. Ally did a heckuva job talking to the clerk, and got our tickets chanced to today without charge. I didn't want to be sitting at coffee later, unsettled, not knowing if we maybe could have caught a train today so I spoke up and asked "Eine Frage" -. Was so glad I did. Partially because I'm so self-conscious about such things but also because I didn't want to be thinking about it later. Like I said. The result was surprising/not surprising. He slowed down and showed me the only option - four different supposed transfers. It's my suspicion that people appreciate it when you make an effort. I've noticed when I ask "how do you say this ... in Dutch, or "auf Deutsch" people respond positively.
I also had fun telling the guard at the Maritime Museum that we were from New Jersey - you know, like the Sopranos. The guy then said "Steven Van Zandt is in that show" which it strikes me now is a Dutch name. Huh. Never know how your pop culture references are going to overlap with people from across the oceans. Walking to dinner with guys after a meeting in New Zealand and a guy points out the name of restaurant that reminds him of a Zappa song. At any rate.
We went to this place for coffee called Roestr that was beyond solid. After that, we caught a bus and it took us around a lake to a hotel where Tracey had booked a suite. The hotel was called Mövenpick and apparently it is a Suisse company? And it def had the Swiss attention to detail. And it all ended being exactly what Dr. Jung ordered. We got to chill out and go to the gym - did a couple km on the stairmaster and sweated out some toxic details. After taking a shower and watching some Deutsche Fernsehen w Ally - so gratifying that she can actually understand the conversation and commentary - she's definitely outstripped my knowledge, and thank God, since that's what she's doing in Germany.
After we chilled a bit we walked along the most idyllic street filled with bikes. You've never seen so many bikes! Apparently Muenster is the bike capitol of Germany. Maybe the world. there are 500,000 bikes in Muenster and only 300,000 inhabitants. My kind of place. So we walked along the lake and into the old town and ate at the best healthy restaurant ever -
Krawummel. I'll even throw a hotlink in here Krawummel.
Veggie burgers but with actually vegetables. I had a salad with sliced vege Gyro/doner on top. Was amazing. I'd eat like that 4 days a week if I could. Even the sodas are amazing. I had a rhubarb soda - that had actual fruit in it, and less sugar than a glass of orange juice. Their sodas are more like a Sprintzer - if I could drink sodas like that, I'd do it all the time.
After dinner we walked around town and found this old Gothic Cathedral that I think probably had bats to go along with the gargoyles in the Belfry. And ghosts. There were actually 3 cages attached to tower high above that the remains of three anabaptist rebels had been left in, sometime in the 1500's.
But well other than that, the town was absolutely idyllic. Felt like a movie set, Ally said more than once. Everyone riding bikes, everyone healthy and young. The trees, the lake.
And the perfect break between two tourist tramped huge wonderful urban centers.
Things are starting to look more industrial on our trip. We are getting closer to Amsterdam. This is going to be really fun.
Now we're in Amsterdam. The place we are staying is so amazing. The furnishings are like a modern art gallery. Top floor of a house overlooking a canal – the Kreizer-somting 582. (I can always remember numbers better than names.)