8/19 - Nürnberg
It's 7:00 and it's already boiling. Today's going to be just nuclear -- hopefully, it'll be a little better across the state line. (It wasn't.)
- Würzburg -
A little break; about 15 minutes till the regional train to Frankfurt. This is about half as fast as the ICE, but I don't really need to get there with any great speed. As long as I do get there, and as long as I don't have to stand so much on the next leg.
- Frankfurt -
558. Yin/yang symbol cut into the waste ground between the hotel and the Ostbahnhof.
Since it's Sunday (nothing being open), and too boiling hot to actually go do anything, it was off to a nearby gas station for dinner and what turned out to be four new beer caps. This makes at least 20 on this trip, which is a new record.
8/20 - Frankfurt
It's still boiling, but I have about an hour to wait until heading out, in order to skip the Mainhattan rush hour on the way to the airport.
As noted, this is likely the last festival run, and while I'd've liked to not be so injured as to skip Summer Breeze, I don't have many regrets. I did all my distro, saw a bunch of cool bands, and left it all on the table. As long as I'm still breathing, I'm going to be driven to the corners of the world to do hard, dumb, and/or interesting things, but after this trip, I won't mind closing the book on Germany. What I've seen of the west is decent, but further reinforces the impression that I had from the start: that I'm too acculturated to the east (and to Saxony specifically) to really stick west of that notional decades-retired line. Maybe doing the border crossing reinforced that line, maybe not. It is what it is, though, and with a calm and even heart I can turn away from the Rhine and set my sights on Siberia.
- Flughafen -
559. Frankfurt continues building up.
Too early; the check-in gate isn't even open yet. As soon as it is -- hopefully in an hour or less -- I can get digested by the security apparatus and get on with the process of getting back to Boston. I have another shot at Iceland, and this time about an hour on the ground, modulo delays. We'll see what that allows in about 5 or 6 hours.
Signs of life from the check-in counter. I really should've stopped at the stadium to see if I could get some Eintracht swag, but oh well. On the plus side, I'm rehydrated and with a dry shirt; the weather isn't storming yet, but that just means that outside the air-conditioned halls, it's oppressively hot, which is even worse with the pack loaded up. The sooner I get my pack checked in the better -- even inside, moving that kind of load gets sweaty.
On check-in, I found that each passenger is allowed up to 13kg of cabin baggage. My pack tipped the scales at 12.5 kilos (yes, notably down from Boston at the start) -- and I stand by the requirement that if you cannot military-press your thirty-pound "carry-on" over your head and shove it into the bin unassisted, it really ought to be checked. Thirteen kilos FFS.
My player's running a little low on social insulation fuel, but not only are there occasional free outlets in Keflavik, Icelandair has upgraded at least this aircraft to have leechable USB ports. Unless it stops beforehand, last hour to retank. (Retanking did not work but was mostly unnecessary, as will be seen.)
- Keflavik -
560. Salt haddock and another two caps, from a country I haven't collected from yet.
The Americans here mostly have inside voices, but those in close contact seem to be especially stabworthy. Lunch was expensive and yielded no ISK, but I got those two new caps and kept a usable stock of euros for next time. The salt fish provides a cool experience and enough protein to put the rest of the budget into vegetables (and beer), but also like 900% of the salt RDA to the point of being inedible. Give and take, give and take; if any haddock's left by the time I get home, I'll try washing it to remove some salt before eating.
- off Greenland -
The plane is packed, but I've still got Moonsorrow pumping (for now at least), and every so often I get some water and can eat more harthfiskur. This stuff is dead inedible without copious amounts of liquid, but packs all the nostalgic savor (despite all efforts, I'm still from New England) of rich Atlantic haddock as an aftertaste -- provided that you've got something to cut the salt with and allow you to get to that point.
- over New Brunswick -
The player finally ran out of gas with about an hour to go, but fortunately Icelandic has the new Solstafir disc in their music library, and that should last till we touch down. (It did, and while it's not as good as their live set this year, it's a decent look at the Solstafir experience -- i.e., doomy, drawn-out, more mystical than raw while containing both, not completely repellent to charges of hipsterism. Check it out if you can't see the band live.)
- Lynn -
I'm supposed to be on a burn phase in order to fit into the custom togs for my brother's wedding, but I still went all-in on pizza at North Station. 1) It's better than fucking McD's, and 2) Germans can't make decent pizza and I was jonesing. Late dinner and I've got a 2-mile hike yet; it'll work out.
561. The circle completes itself. Most of these samples retrieved from Party.San will get passed out locally; a few of them are mine, but the flow in this last example goes both ways. I do what I can, when I can; the northeastern scene is worth it, and the stronger connections we can make between us, through whatever agency is available, the better for all of us. And while this explicitly applies to the metal continuum, travel, at least as I've lived it in the last eight years, makes a pretty strong argument for applying it to everything else as well.
Lower the flags; this has been my final chapter -- at least as far as festivals are concerned. Regular shows, and further farings, will continue to get documented here until further notice.