From Schloss Burg and Solingen, we headed back toward Frankfurt and Bad Homburg where my friend Joachim lives. I met Joachim online, we both posted a message to the same jazz website. Joachim knew as I that we jazz freaks are few and far between, and he initiated a conversation and we've been emailing for several years. When I found out we were going to Europe I hoped I get to meet him in person. Joachim puts me to shame. This is his CD collection. Boggles the mind.

We actually flew into Frankfurt and took the train to Luxembourg so actually the first place we went was Bad Homburg. He was very kind to pick us up at the airport, so nice to be dropped into an unfamiliar place and get to have your hand held, so to speak, by a friend. We had lunch that day and he gave us our first lesson in European train travel and sent us on our way to Luxembourg. Now we came back on our way to Salzburg. We had dinner and listened to and even watched some jazz CDs and videos and stayed overnight. We talked a lot about language and culture, and of course, jazz. It was really great to meet him and get to hang out. His English is ridiculously good, I feel a little guilty as I travel through Europe that I only speak one language.

Connecting with Joachim through jazz was a rare and wonderful experience. It's kind of like biking is for me too. Not many people "get it" but the ones that do, it's just so great to do that thing you love with them.