How he did it I will never know… Mirco drove from 8am until 3am the next morning.  And though that wasn’t necessarily our plan, I guess we really wanted to get home.

We left Siena early and had decided to make our way home.  Though we had originally planned to camp for a night in Florence and Verona, I had received an email about exciting exchange student stuff!  They organized a city tour and dinner for September 2nd and a hike on September 4th (yes I know it’s the middle of October and I’m just getting to this now…).  Our goal was to cut the trip short and make it back to Dortmund by the 4th.  We would drive as far as we could today, sleep for the night in the car and travel on home.

We decided to stop in Verona for a break and lunch and even though it was only an hour or so, I was really happy we got to stop in the city!  Another home to Romeo and Juliet as it were.  We visited Juliet’s Balcony.  Touch her boob they said, its good luck they said.  We wandered the city and we had some coffee and a rest and continued on our way.

Because we were so close to Lake Garda at that point we decided to drive along it for the view on our way into Austria.  It added some time to our drive but we preferred the view over the autobahn.  When we arrived we drove down the coast until we found a nice place to stop and have a snack.  I even tried the water and it was warmer than we both expected. We enjoyed the water a bit until a snake swam over Mirco’s foot!

 

After that it was into Austria (to avoid the ridiculous tolls in Switzerland) and I got to add another country to my list! We made sure to get out of the car and have dinner so I could count it as an actual stop.  Mirco wanted to drive a bit further after dinner so I decided to take a nap and he just kept on going and going.  Then before we know it we were home and it was 3am.  We immediately passed out and went to sleep.  I couldn’t believe I managed to get from the car to our room.

We slept but not too late and we made it to Dortmund right at 3pm with just enough time for me to hop in the shower and make it to the city for the tour.  It was nice and everything but I can’t say I enjoyed walking for two hours after my vacation.  My feet hurt after an hour, even in sneakers and I couldn’t wait to sit down.  I met some more American students and we had all be assigned a German “double” to help us with the transition and I met her too.  It was nice after so long to start everything up!  We went to a cool, trendy salad bar for dinner and out to a bar for drinks after.  It was so incredibly nice to start making friends.  I cannot stress how great it was…

On Sunday we all met up for a hike despite the weather forecast of heavy rain.  It drizzled a bit but it was all fine and good until we got to the last half when the skies opened up.  We stood in the woods for 10 minutes while we figured out another plan.  It was determined that with the lightning it wasn’t safe to continue, so we headed back into the city center (in the pouring rain to find out we missed the bus and had to walk even further) to go to an American diner for lunch.  Lunch was a bit chaotic with about 17 of us ordering and a lot of the orders were turned around.  We made the most of it though!  I have decided that I have absolutely no luck with hiking and I’m going to avoid it for a while.

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