Monday June 25th
I ended up spending Glastonbury weekend (xii) in Prague – a pretty good substitute. Spent the morning acquiring breakfast & sussing out the price of Absinth. Took my food back to the campsite, in the hills over Prague, & wrote poetry, sipping beer & smoking skunk. Happy with the progress of the poem so far – up until yesterday’s shenanigans I was completing three stanzas – 60 lines – a day.
Once I was suitably stoned I saunter’d back into town to see the orthodox church – St Cyril & Methodius – where Heydrich’s assassins were slaughter’d in 1942. People are still laying flowers outside its crypt to this day. Further along the Elbe I climb’d a parkland slope, as steep as a Lakeland fell. This gave me a splendid prospect of the city – very beautiful amidst the Roman hills. On descending I shopp’d for the absinthe & got two bottles for 399k each (£7.70).
The day’s missions done I sat in an internet café for beers & online Kasparov chess. Met an English guy & we hit it off straight away. He took me on a mini-tour, calling at some funky bars b4 I said bye & hit the underground. I was very drunk which contributed to me smashing a bottle of absinthe. I managed to salvage most of it – only the top had been smash’d off – & carried the bottle carefully back to my room where I put the emerald liquid into plastic bottles. Of course I had a sneaky sip (my first ever) & I was soon flaked out, virtually trippin…
Tuesday June 26th
Woke at 5 AM, shower’d, pack’d & stumbl’d bleary-eyed into the early morning. I caught the 7 AM train South. I thought I’d jump the train in a new way by hiding in the conductor’s room. It was cool til she came in – but I play’d penniless (in fact I virtually am) & she let me off – so I gave her a carton of wine in thanx & was soon trundling thro’ the Bohemian hills (10-2). The idyll was disturb’d, however, when we were unceremoniously dump’d at the Austrian border.
The weather was boilin’ so I went to eat lunch in a woodland park. This was in Czech, tho,’ so I had to flash my passport in & out. I was readying for the jump down to Austria, which I breezed into confidently but found I had come up against some of the best conductors since Holland (xiii). On one simple line I was caught 3 times (10-5) & with there being a two hour gap between trains this was pretty bad. After the second time I sack’d off the wait & walk’d a few K along the line, which turn’d out to be scything thro’ an Austrian Army zone. It was really cool with shell-fire echoing in my ear, & I figured they probably would not blow up the train line, so I stuck pretty close to that.
I finally got to Vienna, but not after being frogmarch’d to the police by the third conductor (it cost me a five – my first sting of the tour). I didn’t linger long tho,’ as the place does not fit well with me. I found myself, much to my pleasure, back on the Orient Express. The jump went off swimmingly (11-5) & I drown’d in the superb sunset, dancing over north Austria’s undulating verdure. Night fell & I grew drowsy, trying to keep awake so I wouldn’t miss Salzburg. I finally arrived there at midnight, very tired, putting my tent up on the first quiet, grassy plot available. It was right by the railway & I drifted to sleep to the creak & crunch of cargo trains…
Wednesday June 27th
Woke & broke camp quickly b4 catching the first train back into Germany & Berchtesgaden (12-5). It was very cool entering the Alps – very tall fuckas indeed. At the station I hook’d up with a Yank who was celebrating having his brain tumor removed. We made our way up the piny Obersalzburg by taxi & bus to find ourselves surrounded by tourists at the Eagles Nest, Hitler’s platform above the world. At these lofty heights we dined, overlooking beautiful Berchtesgadenland & the Austrian Alps.
After a couple of hours I said adieu to my American friend & walk’d down the mountain’s winding road so I could hop on a train back to Salzburg. Traditional end of tour slackness kickt in, however, & I was soon at a middle of nowhere spot (12-6). I decided to walk the remaining 20k to Salzburg as a sort of grand finale. My haul was heavy with the absinthe, but I enjoy’d it, having great fun with the Austrian border police & drinkin’ beer at sunset, chillin’ with the Alps.
The flight back was effortless & I arriv’d in England a little more wiser for my efforts. I had defeated the Third Reich 12-6 at Train-Jumping. To tell the truth I was disappointed at letting such a flurry of late points thro’ my defences, & absolutely gutted at coughing up the fiver. But sport is sport & ever unpredictable. I soon perked up, however, for on arriving back at the Wells I found a letter waiting for me from the bungling council saying they were going to pay me housing benefit for the entire house – £200 a week – instead of just for my room – £50 – which I feel is a marvelously timed present from the muses. The gods help those who help themselves & I really am the only guy who is going to write an epic poem on WW2 – so I feel it is only fair enough I get a little help along the way.