Oktoberfest Bound!

Another week, another overnight bus… for the past three weekend trips, my Thursdays have consisted of overnight busses to get to my destinations. Today, my friends and I boarded a bus at 8:45pm from Florence with an expected arrival time of 9:15am in Munich, where we were headed to celebrate Oktoberfest!

Our first bus was a short trip from Florence to Bologna, where we connected to a larger bus to complete the long overnight trip. During our stop in Bologna, we ended up passing the time of the hour and fifty minute layover by talking to a traveler from Australia who was about to start a semester abroad in Austria but was also on his way to Oktoberfest this weekend as well. He had a lot of interesting stories to tell and the conversation we had was probably the highlight of the overnight bus experience. 

He had just been in Florence for 24 hours and did a gelato and pizza making class that he recommended to us, which I’ll definitely be trying to do in the coming weeks. He mentioned that during his semester at an Austrian university he would be studying law, including a class on space law, meaning the laws governing space travel and disposal of space trash. I had never even thought that was a real field of study before, but it makes sense that there must be some kind of law to control outer space.

We talked for about an hour talking about various places we had both traveled and talking about Melbourne, the city where he was from and where had been my ideal desired study abroad location for a long time. He said it was very chill with great culture; they don’t really have Starbucks there because they have their own pride in their local coffee. I mentioned my concern that I heard Australia was extremely expensive, and he agreed but estimated that it’s about  as expensive as New York although he had never been to NYC. It was interesting to hear from him that as an Australian he had done an East and West coast tour of the states a few years ago – it’s funny how people from other countries seem to be more interested in seeing all the states than Americans are, similar to how he had still never been to Perth of Tasmania in Australia. 

He also told us about his visit to South Korea, and I was shocked to hear saw how South Koreans are very prepared in case of a nuclear bomb from the eminent threat of North Korea, with videos in subways depicting live action representations of people walking out of the subway covered in blood and instructing citizens what to do in case of a nuclear attack. 

That conversation reminded me of how valuable people are as resources – sharing experiences and knowledge gained from different perspectives on different sides of the world is seriously my favorite way to learn.
 
A few hours after we left Bologna, we passed through Austria and our bus stopped at an Austrian McDonald’s at 3am where they had an Austrian breakfast menu option, but everything else was the same as a typical American menu.
 
View of the Austrian countryside from our bus window
A few hours later, German police boarded the bus and checked our passports, indicating we had reached the border of Germany. For the remaining time until we reached Munich, I slept moderately comfortably, but less so than on our previous trips since these seats reclined and I think that was actually counterintuitive and made it harder to sleep. All in all, I’ve gotten used to overnight busses and really don’t mind them since they’re an affordable way to travel and are time efficient as well since you’re sleeping but getting closer to your final destination.  

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