Over the last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Germany for the first time, on a work trip and let me just say I loved it.
Work trips are often a double edge sword though; most of the time you are working 10 - 12 hour days,
getting little sleep, trying to adjust to completely foreign surroundings, away from those you love
and attempting to maximize whatever free time you DO have to check out the sites.
This trip was no exception as I think I got about 12 hours of sleep in 6 days, but did end up with about 2 days to explore the local area.
3 Schnitzels consumed
2 Types of German beer enjoyed
6.5-ish hours of train time
8 - 9 train stations
1,000,000,000-ish times I was thankful for the experience (and butchered the language)
I felt very comfortable here. Although the language is really hard and it's not easy to guess translations like
some of the romance languages, most people spoke some English, not much though. Of the two popular German beers (Altbier versus Kolsch) I liked
Altbier the best, mostly because I am a dark beer person, but both were tasty.
The train system is relatively easy to figure out once you know the difference between the ICE, IC, EC and RE lines.
One issue we had was the ticket kiosk would
only accepted Euros even though it shows that it will take credit cards, so beware. One of the most
amazing things that I often think about, when in Europe, is how old everything is. One
of my co-workers made the comment, while in Reichsburg Castle,
that a piece of the furniture was older than our whole country - that is just crazy to me!
I can't wait to go back someday with John, as there were many other cities that I would love to see, but am very grateful for my lovely crash course on the country.
Notable attractions: The Cologne Cathedral, Fruh am Dom (Quintessential German beer house/brewer), the love locks on Hohenzollern Bridge.
Notable attractions: Mosel Valley/Wine Country, Reichsburg Castle, erdbeerbowl, sleepy, picturesque fishing villages.
Castle light - you rub the belly and make a wish...
A monk's DAILY rationing of wine
Notable attractions: Uerige, Altbier, Old Town, Rhine Tower and I so wanted to see Schloss Benrath (Benrath Palace) which I am
pretty sure is what served as Wes Anderson's inspiration for the Grand Budapest Hotel, but I did not have time.
Notable attractions: Suspension railway (Schwebebahn), Zur Alten Bergbahn, and Hans im Glück Elberfeld
No I will never grow up and it appropriately means exit...
There is some cheesy life metaphor here about living my life with the umbrella inside out or something...