Terra Nomad

Every day is like survival. You're my lover, not my rival.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Germany and Prague - Day 9

Monday, March 31 - Train to Dresden, Rental Car to Ingolstadt, Sleep in Ingolstadt

I had been fighting off a cough since the start of this trip, and Monday morning it kept me awake from 4am to 6am. I'd set my alarm for 7:30, but I fell back asleep until 8am. There was a train bound for Dresden due to leave the Holesovice station at 8:36 am, so I rushed to pack up the last of my stuff. I made it to the train in time and had to find an open seat since my ticket was a generic one with no seat assignment. Since this train was going back to Berlin, there were the same awesome views all the way to Dresden.

Once we got to Dresden, I knew I needed to disembark at Neustadt station to get on the S-Bahn route S2 to the airport. But I was anxious to get off the stuffy, crowded train and assumed there was plenty of transit between Haubtbahnof and Neustadt. There probably is, but I couldn't figure it out after I left the train at Haubtbahnof. I couldn't find any stops for the S2, nor could I find any routes at the station that said they went to Neustadt. I asked a few people but they didn't understand or didn't know where the S2 stopped.

Finally I walked around a tiny mall and found a stop for the S3. I got on it going the wrong direction first, but finally made it to Neustadt and got on an S2 to the airport.  The S3 had been a beautiful ride with views of museums that crossed over a river. The S2 went past some junkyards and lots of wooded areas. Once I made it to the airport, I rented a black VW Passat from Budget with automatic transmission. It didn't have a standard key, but instead you put a large fob into an ignition bay on the dashboard. No turning required, just push it in to start the engine.

After familiarizing myself with the car, it was time to drive on the German Autobahn! I exited the airport and got on the 4 to Chemnitz. Well, first I got on the 4 going the wrong direction and had to turn around to get to Chemnitz. Then I took the 72 and stopped at rest stop outside of Plaven. You have to pay 50 cents to use the bathroom, but you get it back if you buy something at the store there. The 9 then took me past Nuremburg and on to Ingolstadt, where I was staying for the night. The hotel was two quick turns off the Autobahn and I discovered that the Audi headquarters are in Ingolstadt. I ate dinner in the hotel's Italian restaurant: spaghetti with olive oil and garlic and then salmon.

Day Ten

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Car as seen on Google Street View

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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Car Trouble SUCKS

My Texas road trip pushed my car to the limit and it started overheating the week I got back. I have a '97 Dodge Stratus, and it turns out the head gasket is blown. I guess that's a very common problem on the Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze models as well as the Neons from that model year. Of course, Daimler Chrysler won't help pay the bill, because I got 80,000 miles out of the car and they haven't officially recalled the part. I gave my information to a law firm that is handling a class action lawsuit about the whole thing, but I don't hold out too much hope. So, it is at the dealer now, getting fixed. I always thought that dealers cost a lot more than independant shops, but this time they gave the best deal. Someone said they probably have some machine right there that most places don't, so they would have to send the part out to be serviced. I remember how much it sucks not have a car. This was the first car I ever owned, and I didn't get it until I was almost 23. But, I always lived close enough to the bus line. However, I didn't even think about that when I moved this summer. Yet another reason to move out my "wonderful" apartment complex.