Lots of people asked me why I planned to take just the greyhound bus for touring through North America and advised me to consider the Amtrak train instead. The Amtrak were more comfortable and faster and moreover travelling by greyhound were just foolish, unusual and a real torture.
So let me explain a bit about my reasons for my decision: I’ve been travelling on my own for over 30 years, mostly by train; I got to know more or less whole Europe. Here it’s quite common to take the train, and I’ve always loved the train though it’s nothing new for me. I had all sorts of trains and all adventures in trains you can encounter in Europe. I don’t think a North American train will offer new perspectives. Of course, when I’m going finally to India next year I’ll take the train and I’m looking forward to all new experiences there.
For us Europeans „Greyhound“ bears a fascinating magical sense – it’s exactly what I want to discover: This experience of a very special road movie. And although I’ve been a bit in a turmoil what to do I’m now convinced I’m doing the right thing. Even if it’s less comfortable we will be more flexible on greyhound, we will get and breath the American air at stop-overs, even on a high-way it’s more sensual than just seeing the landscape passing by through a train window like a movie which doesn’t affect you. Sometimes the effort and the uneasiness is just the way to appreciate things…
Albuquerque. For many many years it has been an idée fixe of me to see Albuquerque. Not New York nor Los Angeles nor Chicago nor San Francisco nor Miami nor New Orleans – – but Albuquerque. I guess it’s the fascination for nearly deserted countysides, the emptiness, the vast land. But also for its population and the native culture. The region around Albuquerque never meant U.S. to me but was associated with an exotic and very amazing place. Perhaps also scary for it’s vastness and solitude, a town midst endless void landscape: just „awesome“ in both senses, a bit frightening and also wonderful. That type of place attracts me; I searched it in the Sahara, and also in the white endless snowfields of Lower Austria 😉 I even made a film about it, which is to be continued 😉
Our travel plans have got a clearer shape since my last blog. We (= my daughter and me) will stay first some days in New York City with my husband’s school friend Joanna, then at the very begin of July we will take the greyhound line to Montreal, stay there one days or two, my daughter will love it, as her best French friend is of Montreal’ish origin. Moreover my daughter doesn’t speak English but quite good French 😉 From they’re to Toronto and the Niagara Falls. After that we plan some relaxing days in Michigan, Mount Pleasant, with Dave and his wife Agnes who invited us to stay with them and show us around (we are looking forward to hiking across the dunes).
After that Chicago, staying with my auntie Anni (my mum’s sis), this will we around the 9th, hoping to stay there also the 11th of July which is my birthday – and of course also my redhead twin sis’ birthday, hoping to meet her there ☺ My twin sis is great, she helped me a lot preparing my trip and taking off my nervousness 😉 we are not biologically related though it seems we have a lot in common – Wahlverwandschaft: a relative you choose. The next stop will be a small place near Champaign to stay with my (biological) cousin Grazia; she was born in Austria and only 6 months old when my aunt emigrated to the states – taking the Andrea Doria in 1955 – whereas my cousins Silvia and John were born in the States.
I guess about the 15th we will start our second greyhound tour – this time the really great and exhausting one 😉 From Chicago or St. Louis to Salt Lake City, from there I would like to go to San Francisco, perhaps L.A. meeting Bee, though if we feel it may be too tiring so we’ll skip the west coast and stay just in the „wild west“ ☺without crossing the Rocky Mountains, go from there south to my mentioned dream: Albuquerque. Then towards New Orleans, again a bit French 😉 and farther to the east coast. I don’t know yet if we will go to Florida, it depends of friends of friends are there at the moment and if we have some time left. At the End of July we will arrive in Savannah, Georgia, where Liz and Abdel invited us to stay with them ☺ Abdel is Moroccan what is great as my daughter and I visited this amazing country last year – and again a French speaking person 😉
That’s more or less the end of our trip – we have our flight back on 11th of August from NYC and will spend some days before our return again in this famous city.
I want to thank all my friends in the States inviting and encouraging me! Since I decided to visit the States I encountered such warmth, which overwhelmed me – I’m really looking forward to meet you all personally 😉
I’ll post my travel diary on multiply by e-mail as often as possible; you are also invited to follow me on twitter for daily updates in form of a kind of mini blog.