It had been a long day. Sarah and I were tired after being on trains for most of the day, travelling from Brussels to Rothenburg. We arrived in the afternoon, dropped off our bags at the hostel, and went exploring, mainly looking for food. Once we had our quarry, we then went in search of somewhere quiet to eat. We found a bench outside of the city walls overlooking the hills. Here we sat, ate our sandwiches. I remember that we were so thirsty–we had both finished our water bottles on the train and hadn’t had a drop since. I opened my bottle of Mineralwasser and took a swig, and immediately began coughing. It was, of course, an American’s first encounter with European mineral water: sparkling water, water “with gas”, depending on where you are. If you had told me then that I would happily be drinking sparkling water by the bottle just a few years later, I would have laughed. At the time I was shocked by the unexpected. Now we knew to look for Stilles when choosing bottled water in Germany.
Our hunger and thirst quenched, we sat back and enjoyed the view. I remember having my travel journal with me, describing the peach and apricot sunset, the coolness of the air, the stillness of twilight. After a day of negotiating different languages, public transport, and fizzy water, now were welcome moments of peace. I still remember the calm of that evening.
Photo: Sunset in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.