Early taste of Roman ruins and animal encounters
09/17/1981 - 09/20/1981 74 °F
I visited this small, European country as part of my "hitchhiking across Europe" tour in 1981. Memories fade, but I remember the capital city where I spent my first night as a pleasant, clean place. I dined in an outdoor cafe with a Welsh guy I'd met when checking in at the youth hostel. We discussed each other's traveling plans and walked around, admiring different views the city. Luxembourg seemed like a very "livable" place.
The next morning I got a ride to Grevenmacher, a town near the German border. I believe its name comes from the number of ancient, I think Roman, graves and their markers on the site. I walked around and studied them, puzzling through the German descriptions as best I could. Strangely, one thing I do recall quite clearly is that the youth hostel owners had a cat. I remember awaking in the night to the sound of its purring -- like an engine in its throat -- getting louder and softer as it explored the roomful of sleeping travelers. I can still hear that weird sound as it slipped past my pillow in the stillness of the night.
I had a different sort of animal encounter the next day. I was hiking across the border to Trier, Germany. The road ran through a thick section of woods that gradually constricted to an almost tunnel-like passage. Just as I began to think how dim it was getting and how long it had been since a car passed, I heard rustling among the trees to my right. Some animal was moving through the dried leaves and underbrush. From the noise of its progress, it appeared to be going parallel to me. Was it stalking me? My first thought was, "Oh shit, wolf!" The rational part of my brain told me it was doubtless a squirrel. Alone, and on a dark road through the woods, is not where people are their most rational, though.
However, I never found out what it was. A car appeared behind me, going in my direction. I stuck my thumb out and it stopped. I hopped in and escaped the forest wolves and the country of Luxembourg altogether.