Jungfrau Title

Part 8

"See you soon Nena!" Inge called

"Tschuss!" I waved back

"Take care girl, practice that signature" Maria told me

"I will, thanks for, well you know"

"You coming Nena?" Den called over

"Yes Dennis! Well bye Maria, see you in a few weeks" I don't know where it came from but I gave her a hug.


I clambered on board and did a quick head count, all present and correct!

"We ready?" Den asked


Den put Betsy in gear and we started off, Maria and her staff waved us off and I joined the passengers in replying in kind. I did my little morning speech then the bus walk; we were in Zell before I got back to my seat.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, it's just been a full week"

"Eventful any way" Den agreed


"Wait till we get off these lanes"

"Okay" I settled into my seat and put my feet up on the dash. Yeah what a week! I ran over the events in my mind, Freddy the lecherous German driver, and then there was the pool party and Dave. Meeting Sonia was good and I really enjoyed yesterday in Freiburg even if I did end up with my ears pierced! And that trip to Switzerland, that was a good day; maybe I'll get up the Jungfrau sometime. Yep it's been a fair week but I'm looking forward to being Chris again!

"You making that tea then?" Den's voice brought me back to the present.

"Oh right, tea"

I was halfway through the drinks run when we crossed the Rhein at Neuenburg taking us into France, picking up the road to Mulhouse. I was just about done when we passed the huge Peugeot factory before entering the town.

"Museum?" I asked

"Yeah, okay" Den agreed

We negotiated the Saturday morning traffic and found our way to the coach cum car park.

"A little bonus, for you this morning" I announced to the passengers, "we have time for a visit to the Museé National L'automobile, the French national car collection. We have" I looked at Den who mouthed 'two' at me, "two hours, entry is just three Euro and there's a café inside if you get fed up ladies!"

Den got us parked as close to the access bridge as he could manage and the passengers started to exit Betsy.

"You coming?" I asked Den

"I'll give it a miss this time, I'll get forty winks"

"Okay, see you later" I grabbed my bag and joined my charges on the short walk to the museum. I caught up with the front-runners and led the way to the entrance. I managed to gather them all together and collected their Euros; it's always easier to do it in one go! (And I get free entry as group leader!)

"If you can all be back here twelve o'clock please, we'll be stopping for lunch later so you don't need to eat here. Have a good visit."

They all filed inside and I headed for the ladies!

Comfortable once more, I started to drift around the old factory building that houses the collection. In truth, there is something of a bias towards blue Bugatti's; I think someone donated a collection or something like that. I've been before, we stop here once or twice a season, it's something a bit different and I've never seen another UK based coach here.

I've never been into cars like some blokes but I don't mind looking at these old timers from the days of open tops and gas lamps. All that polished brass and leather, when did all that turn into the millions of looky like tin boxes that clog the roads today? Beaulieu this aint, it's less about telling you about the cars than just collecting them! I wandered around for a while then retired to the café for a coffee.

I pulled my phone out and hit Jools number.


"Hi Jools, it's me"

"Chris? That you?"


"Hang on, I'll just go to the back"

I could hear the noise of traffic and passengers ebb and Julia came back on.

"Sorry about that Chris, I couldn't hear you down the front"

"S'okay, where are you?"

"Goodness knows, some bit of motorway, what about you?"

"The museum at Mulhouse"

"Alright for some, we go straight up to Paris today, so how's tricks, what did you get up to yesterday?"

The miracles of modern technology! I spent twenty minutes sat in a French museum talking to my girlfriend on a coach a couple of hundred kilometers away with only an occasional signal break caused by bridges. Incredible.

"So you've got a new girl friend then" Jools pouted down the phone

"Well Nena has anyway"

"So you don't fancy Sonia then?"

"Do you know, I never even thought about it. I just felt, I don't know, a sort of..."


"I guess. I don't think as Chris we would have got on the same"

"Of course not, girls are different around blokes, she thinks you're a girl so she treated you like one."

"What about you? Do you treat me as a girl?"

"We'll see tomorrow shall we?" she teased

"I'd best collect my lot or Den'll go mad"

"Yeah I need to do a tea run too, bye Nen"

"Bye Jools, see you tomorrow"

I shut off the phone, Nen? Apparently you can shorten Nena! Pretty much as expected, those two old duffers were late again, but at least not by much this time. We were soon back on the road and for the first time today, on a motorway. The distance up to Colmar was soon eaten up and then we headed into the Vosges. No stop at Kayserberg this time we kept going up hill only stopping when we reached the summit of the Col du Bonhomme the old pre 1918 German border. It's also home to a couple of restaurants and at a bit after one a good lunch stop.

Unlike last time we came this way when we stopped at Nancy, we have a bit further to go today, all the way up to Reims. After lunch we descended to the Meurthe and St Die, Baccarat, Luneville, Nancy and onto our afternoon stop just after Metz. It was all motorway now, past Verdun and across the rolling hills westward. The signs for Chalons signaled our arrival in Champagne country and we finally pulled off the motorway about quarter to seven.

Tonight's accommodation was a Novotel, incongruously dumped next to the N44, nowhere to walk to, just factories and fast food emporiums. It's just as well that everyone was tired and after eating most of the passengers retired for the night.

"So Miss Zeigler, you ready for three more months of this?" Den asked

"I said I would. I'm getting used to all this girl stuff now"

"Well I have to admit, I did have some doubts"

"But you took us to Manchester last week, why didn't you say something?"

"Would it have changed your decision?"

"I don't know. There's a lot riding on this, my job, yours, the whole business. No I don't think it would, I had to give it a shot"

"And now?"

"I think I can do it. No one even suspected this week, Maria only found out due to a stupid slip. Heck, I even pulled off the swimsuit - I was petrified I'd get caught at Dave's.

"Me too" Den chuckled, "I wasn't sure how I was going to try and get us out of that one"

"Oh before I forget" I dug in my bag, "another bus for your collection" I presented him with the bag containing the model Sonia had picked yesterday.

"You didn't have to"

"I know but I wanted to, it's from the Black Forest"

"Well thanks" then he did something totally unexpected, he leant over the table and gave me a peck on the cheek. I was gob smacked and pulled away!

"Er sorry, Nena"

"You er surprised me"

"It's, oh I don't know" he was as confused as me

"It's what you'd do if I was a girl right?"

"I guess so," he agreed

"So you're thinking of me as a girl then?"


"Well as that's what I'm supposed to be, if that's what you do, do it. But any wandering hands and I'm outta here!" I joked

"I'll try to contain myself Nena" he grinned back

"You hinting that I'm not pretty enough?" I giggled

"More like worried what Julia would do to me if she caught me with her girlfriend!"

Crisis over. If I'm gonna be a girl for a while I need to know about these things. I need Jools and Mandy to give me some more 'girl for beginners' tips!

I pulled my uniform skirt up and tucked my blouse in, it was somehow comforting being 'one of the girls', you'd think I've got a uniform fetish wouldn't you? I know Anna at the jewellers said to wait a week or so, but I thought I'd wear my new earrings and necklace today. By the time I'd done my makeup I looked more girl than ever, I could fancy myself!

Uniform Girl
After a rather basic coffee and croissant breakfast, Den reloaded the luggage and as we were closest to Calais, Den suggested a quick 'city tour' before we started for the coast. As I've never really 'done' Reims, Den provided the commentary for our passengers as we passed the various Champagne houses and cellars that the city is so famous for. We did a quick photo stop at the Cathedral then we headed for the motorway and the Pas de Calais.

The weather was decidedly cooler this morning and it looked likely that we'd get some rain before we got home. We trundled north taking a break to refuel just beyond the huge Canadian war memorial near Arras. The familiar flat French coastline took over from the hills and after the usual stop at Plonk Express we arrived at the ferry terminal first of our three buses. As usual after check in we were waved through customs and joined the loading queues. The coach from Poland was hard on our heels leaving just Jools and co coming up from the Med.

The first spots of rain fell while we waited on the dockside, welcome home everyone!

"So, good week Nena? Ooh you've got your ears pierced!" Mandy exclaimed

"Yes and yes! you like?" I presented an earring for approval

"They're gorgeous" she enthused

"And there's a matching necklace" I pulled it from inside my blouse

"Ooh and you got engaged!"

"Who got engaged?" Julia enquired from behind me


"No I didn't! it's the ring I told you about Jules" I gave her a hug

"Good job too!"

"Well it looks like an engagement ring," Mandy stated

"She's not wrong" Jools agreed, "like the earrings girlfriend"


"You girls eating or what?" Den asked

"Er coming"

Mand and Jools giggled.

So of course I had to bring Mandy up to date and Julia extracted more from me before I was regaled by the details of their respective trips. Of course I had to tell them about the lates and baggie, especially that hat! Mandy had her own lates as well as a couple of selective vegetarians; they were spotted digging in to Big Macs(tm) in Warsaw!

Jools had a lecherous old bugger to contend with all week but even that didn't upset her too much, I mean she'd been on the Riviera for a week!

"Hmm, there's still something missing Nena" Jools whispered

"What?" I asked

"Well you don't smell right"

"What do you mean? Don't smell right, you mean I smell like a bloke?"

"Well no, but you need perfume!"

"I do?"

"Of course you do!" Mandy exclaimed, "come on, let's go to the duty free!"

"Do we have to?"

"Uh huh" Jools agreed

"Come on" Mandy enthused

"See you later Den"

"Have fun girls" he chuckled when I pulled a face

Girl lesson number sixty-three - when shopping try every alternative then go back to the first choice! The girls fussed, sprayed, sniffed just about every perfume on board, every time I said I liked one it was too common, too tarty, so last year!

"Okay, you pick one then"

"Try this" Mand suggested, spraying the inside of my wrist, "rub your wrists together" what nonsense is this? I sniffed and liked what I smelled.

"Lets smell" Jules demanded grabbing my arm, "hmmm, that's the one Mand"

Mandy did her own sniff test, "yep that's you Nena!"

"So what is it then?"


"It would be"

"It's a classic is No 5" Mandy stated

"With a price to match"

"You don't need to bathe in it" Julia noted

"And you can get it on here fairly cheap"

"If you insist" I was beaten again.

I bought the bottle of smell and it was just about time to meet up with the boys again. We were soon back in Dover, the lates were late, again! And we dropped down the ramp back into England and rain, home sweet home! We eventually pulled into the customs shed and the girl got on to check our passports.

"Miss Ziegler? Nena?"

"Urgh" I curled my nose in distaste and jerked awake away from the smelling salts.

"Are you okay Nena" it was Den asking

"Er yes, I think so. What?"

"She okay?" another male voice asked.

"I think so officer" Den replied.

"Phew, she had me worried there"

"You passed out girl, the officer was just going to ask you a couple of questions, you up to it?"

"I guess so" questions?

"It won't take a moment Miss Ziegler"

"Okay" I agreed

"I'll just pull the bus through, I'll see you in a minute Nena"

"What's this about officer?"

"The Police in Andernach asked us to contact you."


"Essentially they want to know if you want to press charges against one" he looked at his form, "Christos Hampula"


"You were involved in an attempted mugging? I understand this Hampula chap is the assailant"

"Oh, right" that was nearly a three weeks ago.

"They'd normally send someone to visit you but, well you're in England and they only have another twenty four hours left in which to charge him."

"I thought they only had seven days?"

"That's right, the incident was last Monday?"


"They didn't realise you had left until this morning, so they contacted your employers and then contacted us."

My mind was swimming, what on earth is going on?


"Oh sorry"

"Do you want to press charges? The German authorities would like you to, seems Hampula is some sort of gang leader and this is the first time they've got a sound case against him."

"In that case I suppose I'd best do it"

"Okay then, I just need you to date and sign this and I can fax it to the Germans"

I just caught myself before putting Chris Hornby on the form; Nena Ziegler is going to have to go to court!

"All sorted kiddo?" Den asked when I joined him outside.

"I think so, the bag snatcher, they want me to press charges"

"And you are?"

"I said so"

"Looks like we'll be seeing more of Nena then eh Chris?" he mentioned as we walked over to Betsy.

Hang on! The board in the front says 'Eifel Experience', shouldn't it say Black Forest? I'm confused! Hang on, if that says... I opened my bag and checked the contents, UK passport for - Chris Hornby and Austrian for Ingrid. I checked my ears, no earrings or sign thereof, did I just dream the last two weeks?


"Er yeah" he mumbled

"We've just got back from Andernach?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Oh nothing must have been a dream. I thought for a minute we'd been to the Black Forest"

"That's next week kiddo, you coming with me?"

"I think I might"

Maddy Bell 04.07.04

© 2004

Pictures of Nena have been generated using Ania's 'Cherie' Fkiss doll on Angy-Chan's template and are Copyright 2004. They are used with permission, if you'd like to see more go to www.acharsi.prv.pl

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