Travel in 2017 ended not with wistful excursions to Nice and Riffelsee but rather with the standard home trip to the US. After a month without much snowfall, I left the Allgäu in the middle of a snowstorm and left myself plenty of time to get to Zurich Airport. It turns out I planned in too much time, as I arrived before the parking garage opened. I decided to circle the arrivals area, but I forgot I was in Switzerland; of course they would charge drivers to pick up arriving passengers. I drove to the garage after 5 CHF paid for my fifteen minutes of shame, turned on my blinkers, and stubbornly blocked one entrance to the parking garage until I could enter, thinking I had left the snow behind until I got back to the Allgäu in January. Boy, was I wrong.
Maybe there is a name for people’s tendency to travel to cities or even countries distant from the one they’re living in, and there is probably a physiological and psychological explanation for it. Though I know neither the reason nor the name for this inclination, I do know that I’ve also largely adopted the trait. In the year and a half that I’ve been in Germany during this assignment, I’ve really only visited two German cities (Nürnberg and Berlin) — until this October, anyhow, when a friend’s visit finally gave me a reason to explore Munich in a little more detail.
It is now fall in Germany, and even at 10:30 on a Sunday morning this means a rather empty city, frost on shaded grass, and the sun’s rays still low in the sky. Thick fog earlier that morning had made the actual sunrise impossible to see, but after more than two months, finally: a day spent visiting a German city.