Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Travel Bug

I think everyone should take a long trip at least once a year. Get out and stretch your legs, your wallet, but most of all your mind. I am lucky to have family living overseas giving me a chance to do all three. This time I headed for a mini Red (yes there are 3 redheads in my family) reunion in Germany. Instead of boring you with details of my trip I have summarized my favorite things into a TOP 5 list.

Top 5 Thing I Love About Germany

#1 Alps
I love the mountains (I might have mentioned this before). The German Alps are everything a mountain should be. Dramatic is one word to describe them. Steep (I'm talking 24% grade steep) another. The Alps are covered with dense green forests and amazing rock faces.

Beautiful Alps
#2 Bikes
Everyone rides bikes in Germany. There a bike paths everywhere and you yield to cyclists the way you do to pedestrians. There were so many cute bikes, ugly ones too. Now I want to get me a basket, throw it on a bike, and head to the bakery (German style).

I want a bike like this. Add a basket and I'm German
#3 Bread, Brats, & Apfelschorle
You can't beat the bread in Europe. There is a bakery on every corner so it is easy to get fresh bread. And the dumplings... So I have to clarify on the dumplings. There is a good kind and a bad kind. I ate these potato dumplings that were shaped in a ball and had a slimy texture to them...yucky. But later I had another dumpling that was sliced and had a bread texture...yummy. Both were referred to as dumplings on the menu, so good luck. I still haven't figured out, but I purchased a mix at the store so now I can make them at home.
Yes, I ate a lot of bratwurst. Yes, I liked it. But what I feel in love with the most was Apfelschorle. It was a delightful soda drink. Very similar to Martinelli's (which I also love), but in a soda pop version you could find everywhere. I probably drank my body weight in apfelschorle during my trip. Yummy.

#4 History
I have always been fascinated by the Holocaust; even though history never fascinated me until my first trip to Europe when I was 18. I was able to visit Dachau concentration camp, saw the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and toured King Ludwig II's castles in Bavaria (Oh yeah, I'm talking Neuschwanstein aka Sleep Beauty's castle in Disneyland). All of these places help you experience history more personally than reading from a textbook.
Castles, Memorials, Monuments
#5 Houses
Flower boxes and house paintings never look as good outside of Germany. There is a little town near SLC called Midway where Swiss style homes abound. But I think it just looks cheesy unless you are actually in the Alps. Germans know how to do it. With overflowing flower boxes and detailed house paintings, you feel comfortably at home, yet clearly on an adventure.
Only cute in Germany