Years ago, in high school, I took a trip to Europe with several other students in the foreign language program. As the only German language student, I was a bit out-of-place in Spain and France and yearned to visit Germany so that I could practice speaking, and, of course, see the motherland.
Lo these many years later I can’t tell you much of what I learned in German class, though I can still sing you several songs from Sesamstraße (Wer sind die Leute in der Nebernacht, or even better: this). Though much of the language was forgotten, I never lost the desire to see the country that my family came from.
Last summer I had my chance to visit Germany with my good friend Christine. We flew to Berlin and, with Deutsche Bahn pass in hand, wound our way through Germany, Switzerland and Austria before spending our last few days haunting the beer gardens of Munich. Wasn’t a big beer fan before going to Germany. That has since changed.
Summarizing a two-week trip in a blog post is honestly pretty hard. We saw so many historic sites and beautiful places – it is impossible to do it all justice. So, instead I present you with a few highlights:
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial) in Berlin, though controversial, is haunting.
- The Jüdisches Museum Berlin is a must see – over two millennia of history and contemporary art.
- Though the remains of the Berlin Wall are a bit of a tourist trap now, it was still shocking to hear the stories of escape and think of the city divided.
- On a lighter note: the food. It was near impossible to have a bad meal on this trip.
- The bath houses of Baden-Baden. Perfect when hitting Europe during a major heat wave.
- Beautiful Würzburg. A lovely spots along the aptly named Romantic Road.
- Deutsche Bahn: safe, clean, quick and inexpensive. These trains took you everywhere you wanted to be. Next time I’d rather have less of an itinerary and be able to just jump on a train to a new city on a whim.
- The shops in Zürich. Cheap? No. Amazing? Yes!
- The train ride from Zürich to Innsbruck alone was worth the trip – absolutely gorgeous ride through the Alps.
- Fondu in Zürich …. Mmmmmmmm ….
- The Beer. It is very, very good. Granted, you can get very, very good beer here too – but the atmosphere of the beer garden and some weinersnitzel makes it taste even better.
- Plus a million others…it was a fantastic trip, and I can’t wait to go back and see more!
For more pictures of the beautiful, historic and weird things we ran across in Deutschland and beyond, look no further than Flickr!