I could feel my throat becoming drier and scratchier, no amount of water helped. I wandered Faro and Lisbon while in the back of my mind I hoped that I wasn’t getting ill. I didn’t want to waste time laying in bed while I could be exploring. However, by the time I reached Freiburg, I had little energy.
My friend, Maggie, and I were going to meet in Freiburg, take day trips into Switzerland and France, visit with her parents, and ride the Schauinslandbahn. I went to bed that first night hoping that I would feel better and take one of my day trips, but instead, Maggie also became ill. So, for the first few days in Freiburg, we binged cheesy Netflix movies and barely moved. Even after our major symptoms went away, we tried not to overexert ourselves for several days after.
When Maggie and I finally recovered, we only had time to explore Freiburg. So, a bit disappointed, we walked the downtown area where I kept almost tripping over small waterways. Maggie explained that these were Bächle and children often carried toy boats on strings to pull beside them while shopping with their parents. Everywhere I looked little boats were in the water, being decorated at a booth, on posters, or participating in a race. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my sister and I would make foil boats and race them in the street run-off after a storm. The disappoint over canceling my day trips quickly resolved as I walked through Freiburg enjoying ice cream, unique architecture, and laughing with my friend.
One night, we attended Seefest, where we listened to live music at the lake and drank Kalte Sofie wine slushies. The red wine slushies were great, but I thought that the white wine ones were a little bland. After our second round of slushies, we watched the fireworks while security boat patrols yelled at fully clothed, drunk swimmers to leave the pitch-black lake water.
One of my final days in Freiburg we took the Schauinslandbahn, the longest gondola lift in Germany, to the top of Schauinsland mountain. Maggie told me that the bus to the Schauinslandbahn entrance did not run often, so we drove the 20-minute distance and searched through the limited parking. The Schauinslandbahn takes 20 minutes to reach 1,284 m above sea level and costs 13 euros. Despite having the awkward middle seat in between the two benches, the views on the way up Schauinsland mountain were amazing. On the mountain, there are many hiking trails, some leading to the observation tower for a 360° view of the Black Forest. We decided to head to the tower and then took a while to just sit and watch the landscape.
Sometimes plans change when you travel. Doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into planning; it happens! Though I didn’t enjoy being ill, I loved being able to reconnect with my friend even if we spent days binging TV and sleeping. I may have “lost” time, but the unpredictability of travel is why I do it. Why travel if you can predict everything that will happen? Travel is supposed to take you out of your comfort zone and make you more adaptable. Not every part of a trip will be magical, but for me, it always leads to a good story or lesson.