Rock Im Park 2008, Day One: Train Rolls On..

Thursday, June 5 2008 will forever go down in history as one of the longest days in my life.Not only did the hours up to our departure seem to drag on and on, when we finally did meet up, we were gonna have one hell of a wait in front of us. While I’d sorta feared the that clock would never strike 9 PM and that all my stoked waiting had been in vain, it turned out that the clock did actually eventually strike 9 and thus our journey did begin..

But before that, my waiting was eased a bit by the presence of Tina who I initially joined downtown in the sun for a beer with her and Jakob. After some chilling and small talking, we then headed back to my place where I cooked up my now infamous home made cheeseburgers with fries who were enjoyed by all and washed down with another beer. While eating, I got the chance to introduce Tina to a bit of Opeth which, to my surprise, she found surprisingly good.. I guess I’m not completely done being surprised by this girl 😉

Anyways, we surprisingly quickly found ourselves from being in the “can’t hardly wait” state to being in a pressed for time kinda state and had to wrap up pretty quickly before heading down to the railway station to rendez vouz with Dunkel and a surprise tag-along couple consisting of Penny and his buddy Henrik who had apparently decided to skip their trip to Rock Am Ring in order to join us at Rock Im Park before kicking off an interrail trip through Europe.. Oh well, the more the merrier. Penny and Henrik arrived first and not long after did Dunkel stagger in, weighed down by some 10,000 pounds of luggage, most of which consisted of beer, cider and schnapps for the days to come. Apparently Dunkel doesn’t believe in showing up unprepared and he figured that nothing short of 16 units of alcohol per person per day would do. We all laughed a bit about this, small talking and chit chatting before the train arrived and we finally got to board for our final destination.

What we saw when we boarded shocked pretty much all of us, I think. I mean, I don’t think we expected to be the only ones stupid enough to take the trip from Denmark.. But still.. Our first sensory impression of the train was a fully grown man passed out drunk in the hall way and blocking our entry, the second was the sound of Rage Against The Machine blasting from a boom blaster in one of the compartments of the train, third, fourth, fifth, etc were hordes of young people sporting the familiar long hairstyle and band shirts that are so important to metalhead fashion.. Clearly, we were by no means the only people who’d gotten the insane idea of spending 10+ hours aboard a train to go see a few bands for a weekend – heck, some of these people were traveling all the way from Sweden, even Norway!

Huh? Apparently we were in for one wild ride as we settled in. Penny and Henrik had sleeper bunks whereas the rest of us had normal seats. However the compartment that we were in were by no means full so as soon as Penny and Henrik had settled down in their bunks, they came back and joined us for beers and messed up discussions which lasted pretty long into the night until we hit some town where a couple of girls showed up claiming the seats that Henrik and Penny had been hoarding.. Ah bugger, well, off they went and off to try and catch some sleep we all were. Which proved a hell of a lot easier said than done! The heat in the compartment grew to staggering levels once the door was closed, there was still some vague sounds of people partying about other places in the train and the rattling of the train was anything but soothing. Surprisingly, the seats weren’t too bad, though,

Various attempts were made of finding comfortable sleeping positions. Tina, who was sitting across from me, initially propped her feet up on my legs and we both slept comfortably like that for about five minutes before the muscles in the small of my back spasmed, causing us both to jolt awake. We the tried various ideas involving stretching our feet onto eachother’s seats, curling up and what have you. Until Tina finally took advantage of her size, curled up on the floor, slipped under the seats and went to sleep there. Dunkel and I eventually said fuck it and during a long 2-3 AM layover in Hannover, we simply got up and slipped into the hallway where we stood chatting for a while. Eventually, we slipped into the dining cart, stole a few seats and sat there for a few hours, looking at the sun rising over Germany as we slowly moved towards our destination.

After a while of sitting here, we discovered much to our amusement a young, Swedish male who had apparently passed out on the floor next to our table for a good few hours but had been impossible to see because of the darkness around us. He was spotted, too, by another Danish guy who simply cried out cool and crashed next to him, going to sleep as well.. Seeing this, Dunkel apparently was overwhelmed and more or less simply passed out at the table, leaving me to fend for myself and enjoy the scenery.. After sitting around dozing like this for a while, we decided we’d better get back to our compartment in case Tina had woken again which it turned out that she had. She made some enquiries about our whereabouts and I had my best shot at answering in a drowsy mumbling. Settling back into our seats, we were forced to accept the news of an almost two hour delay and that we’d be forced to spent a lot more time trying best as we could to sleep in the train from hell – Or, well, that is to say, we were not so much informed of the delay as we were able to deduct ourselves that something was wrong as we rolled into Würzburg at around 6:50, five minutes after our estimated arrival time in Nürnburg, and I happened to catch glimpse of an electronic board showing our original scheduled arrival time at that particular station: 5:30.. Just great!

Oh well, for me these were actually the best hours of the trip as I managed to catch a couple of short power naps and thus feeling somewhat fresh at 8:45 when we finally rolled into Nürnberg central station and jumped off the train, only to realize we’d wound up in a strange, strange place..

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