Flashback Friday: My trip to Germany

Something I’ve always wanted to do is travel. Last year, I had the opportunity to spend 10 days in Germany with my younger brother. I jumped at the chance. Lately, I’ve been itching to do some more travelling, even though I know that won’t be happening for at least another year or so. So, I figured I’d do some reminiscing about the one and only time I’ve traveled abroad!

We were staying with family friends in Northern Germany in the small town of Ankum. Since we were there for such a short time we didn’t get a chance to visit the southern parts of the country like Munich and Frankfurt, but we did get to spend two days in Berlin.

This is the house that belonged to the friends we were staying with. Bernd, the man who owned this house, used to spend summers with my mom and dad in Canada when he was younger.

We walked and walked around Berlin for hours. My feet were covered in blisters that day because I had no idea how far we were going to end up walking and I just wore flip-flops. We visited museums and saw the Berlin wall, it was fabulous. One of my favourite things about Berlin was the cobblestone city streets and the beautiful architecture. I took so many photo’s of buildings because I thought they were so beautiful.

I fell in love with this building in Berlin, I thought it was SO gorgeous!

One of the things that hit me the most about my trip is the European culture. It’s very different. We walked and biked everywhere, we wore our shoes in the house (although, I hear Americans do that too?), we sat outside when we went to restaurants, everybody smoked, everybody drank beer on the streets, it was very different. My brother, who was 15 at the time, was able to order a beer and drink it on the street, no problem! I hate huge amounts of meat, break and cake. So much cake, yet at the end of 10 days I’d lost two pounds because we did so much walking and biking. I LOVED all the clothing and styles so much, unfortunately, because of the crappy exchange rate I didn’t do too much shopping.
Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate.
Another thing I noticed was how close together everything was. I remember the friend we were staying with said he was going to take us to a “small city of 250,000 people.” We were thinking, ummm, that’s NOT a small city! Haha. Mind you, we grew up in a “city” of 18,000 people! Also, they said we were in the “countryside” yet there was still tons of houses! Logan and I grew up in the real countryside, where there was a house every six or seven miles!

Me in front of a castle in Munster, the “small” city of 250,000 people!

Oh, and the autoban; don’t even get me started on that. I am prone to car sickness, so when we were whipping down the road at 240 km/hr (approx. 150 mph) I tended to feel quite nauseous. I don’t think I could handle driving that fast all the time, it was pretty scary!
Also, every time we got introduced to other German people we were asked if we were French-Canadian or English-Canadian. I guess that’s probably normal for Canadian travelers since Canada is a bilingual country, but it was weird for us since we are from the far West where there aren’t very many French-Canadians, and neither of us speak French. Logan is really good at languages though, by the end of the 10 days he was forming full sentences in German. Me; not so much.
It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go back for longer and experience more of Europe. I also want to take Eric with me next time. I had a great time going with my brother, and we really bonded, but I kept seeing things that I wished Eric could see too!
Now you guy’s get the chance to make me oh so jealous! Tell me about some of the fabulous places that you’ve travelled, I know many of you have done your fair share of world travelling! Have you ever been to Germany or Berlin? What’s your favourite city in the world? (I loved Berlin but I still like Vancouver the best, it’s just such a beautiful city surrounded by the mountains AND the ocean!!)
PS: A little off topic, but I was sorely disappointed in Grey’s last night. Did anybody else notice how Alex had no facial hair in one scene (where he was outside on the park bench and Meradith came to talk to him) and then had facial hair in the very next scene (where he came to Izzies room in his tux)?? Shabby work, Grey’s producers!! I don’t know, the plot line is getting kind of old. Will she die, will she live. Make up your damn minds already. Hopefully next weeks episode is as good as the preview makes it out to be!

22 Responses

  1. kateswholeplate says:

    I would LOVE to go to Germany. I had friends that studied there last semester and said it was just beautiful. Thank you for your sweet words Amber!

    I guess my favorite place I’ve been would have to be one of the more obscure cities in France! It’s funny-I’ve been to major cities across the world but I loved all the little towns we went through on the way to those cities in France. That’s where I’d find the little markets and people living real little french-countryside lives. I LOVED It. I hope to study abroad in London or somewhere in Greece next year! just gotta get over that fear of flying…

  2. erin says:

    After college i took a 6 week trip to europe on a tour. and it was quite amazing. I have to say I LOVED rome. Mostly because for 5 years in middle/high school I took latin. So I found rome to be soooo amazing to finally see it for real! we went to germany– the meat thing, i don’t eat that much meat to begin with so i had trouble there.. but munich was pretty beautiful, that’s when i started appreciating beer! but favorite country, hands down, greece! Greek food is my favorite cuisine!!

    i really, really want to go to australia. Maybe i should add vancouver to the list– becaue of the fact you said it’s got the ocean and mountains.. and it’s a city. dude that’s like the perfect city!

    yes we wear shoes in the house, but at my place, i try to make people take them off. but at my parents’ or sisters’ they wear shoes throughout. we just feel like it’s cleaner when we take them off as soon as we walk in.

  3. Megan says:

    I’ve never been out of the U.S. (not even to Canada!), so I can’t tell any great stories. One day, though! 🙂

  4. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns says:

    Oh this post brought back memories!! I went to Berlin, Munich, and Prague w/ my best friend back in the fall of 2004. It was an amazing trip!

    I have been fortunate to go on so many wonderful trips. I studied abroad in Australia & took a trip to New Zealand while I was there – loved both Australia & New Zealand!! But my all time favorite trip was my trip to Paris and Annecy. Paris was just an amazing city and a great place for me to travel alone… I hope to go back someday on a honeymoon, though! While I was in France, I spent a weekend in Annecy which is in the valley of the French Alps. It's on a lake & is GORGEOUS. It was a very romantic area, so again, another place I'd like to go on a honeymoon. 🙂

    I have never been to Vancouver, but would love to go sometime. Maybe that should be my next big trip? I would like to see Vancouver & then also the Lake Louise area.

    If I could give you any advice, it would be to try to squeeze a trip to Europe (or wherever) between when you graduate from university & start working… I really regret not doing that!

  5. Carolina John says:

    we don’t travel that much, but i’ve always wanted to go to vancouver. We LOVE savananh, ga and Boone, NC. pretty boring i know.

  6. nory says:

    yes, sometimes we americans wear shoes in our houses. although I don’t do it much since i’m allergic to pollen and etc, it’s easier if I take them off at the door and deposit them in the hall closet =)

    I’ve been to London twice, St. Thomas USVI, Bahamas and Toronto. Not super exciting I suppose but London is pretty fabulous! The accents are enough to make me fall in love.

  7. Anais says:

    Yeah I was a little disappointed…I just want it to become good again!!!!! like you said, hopefully next week’s will live up to its former reputation (I hadn’t noticed Alex’s facial hair though!).

    Well as you know I’ve lived in a few places, but I also LOVE traveling while on vacation! I’ve been to Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, France, Ecuador, New Mexico, Boston, South Africa…and I’m going back to Italy and Switzerland this summer 🙂

  8. Jennifer says:

    Oooh, I went to Munich and then Salzburg & Vienna in Austria for my honeymoon! It was beautiful and so much fun, but I never recovered from the jet lag.

    The last place I went that traveled that I truly loved was St. Johns, in Newfoundland, on a trip in 2007. It is so beautiful there, but I agree — Vancouver is beautiful, too.

  9. Jen says:

    I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling in my life…it is somethign that I would like to do some more before I have kids!!!

    I wanted to comment on Grey’s last night though – I have to disagree!!! I thought it was one of their best episodes in a while!!! I cried so hard during it!!! I do think they are dragging out the Izzy thing, but really, if they didn’t people would be outraged that they just killed her off…I think there was a lot of development in that episode – specifically with Izzy, Christina, Alex and ESPECIALLY George!!! I can’t wait to see if he leaves or not!!!

  10. Children of the Nineties says:

    My uncle lives in Berlin and oddly enough, used to live in Munster so I have pretty much all of those same pictures! Except there are a lot more awkward ones of me alone standing in front of every possible landmark in Berlin, Potsdam, and Hamburg. Very touristy!

  11. Anais says:

    Jen – It’s true, I cried too. It was better than the last few episodes…but it doesn’t live up to the first 2 seasons 🙁

  12. Katie says:

    I would love to try and make you jealous, but sadly I’ve really never been anywhere. I did go to Lima, Ohio. Nothing really to BRAG about though.

    Went to Florida a few times, but who hasn’t?

    Loved your pictures!

    Oh, and I’m one of the ONLY people who have never really watched Grey’s. I’ve been wanting to get the previous seasons and watch them, but never have. I did however catch it last night, and I cried a bit. I DID NOTICE THE FACIAL HAIR THING! 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    Steve and I can’t wait to start travelling more!!! We’re planning a Europe trip right now! So if you and Eric want to join us, please let us know!!! We’re going to start in Germany then make our way down to Greece and then across to Italy (maybe its the other way – Italy then to Greece) then up to Switzerland and then to London…..I think that’s the order! We’re planning on going the beginning of August….I think and be gone for 2-3 weeks….way too short but better then not going at all! 🙂
    Steve has been to France and lived in Spain for a few months. I’ve been to Ireland, Scottland, Wales and England, Mexico, Dom Rep, Puerto Rico and all over the US. I would love love love to go to Asia and New Zealand…Africa….basically everywhere!! LOL

    I so wish i would have done a ton of travelling before I started working!! I would recommend doing any travelling you want before you start a career! Steve and I want take a year off of work….well i guess not take time off, we’d have to quit and do a year of travelling but it won’t happen for a couple of years now…steve has to finish his degree and we just bought a house and have a wedding next year….lol Oh well get in travelling when you can and where you can!!!

    Katrina

  14. P.O.M. says:

    I have to say that I'm blessed with a job that has allowed me to see so many places I would never be able to on my own. Here's my list:
    Canada (Vancouver, Whistler, Banff, Montreal)
    Costa Rica (twice)
    The Bahamas
    Jamaica
    Mexico
    British Virgin Island
    South Africa (Cape Town)
    Morroco
    French Polynesia (Tahiti)
    Botswana
    Zambia
    Ireland (Dublin)
    Spain (twice -Madrid & Barcelona)
    United Kingdom (London)
    Germany (Munich and Berlin)
    Australia (probably my favorite – Sydney is the best place in the world)
    New Zealand
    Fiji (love love love)

    Phew, I think that's it. I really want to spend more time in Europe – Italy, France, Greece, ahhhh so many places to see! I'm also dying to go to Asia.

  15. Carissa says:

    loved this post and loved the pictures! those are beautiful buildings, even your friends’ house is lovely. I would love to travel to Germany– I studied German in high school and college, though I think much of what I learned I have now forgotten, seeing as I haven’t spoken it in 4 years. The autobahn sounds pretty scary though. I knew they went fast but 150 mph!?! woah.

    And we Americans do sometimes wear shoes in the house. I am not wearing any right now, I don’t usually wear shoes around my own house, but when I go to someone else’s house I usually don’t take them off unless they ask me to…

    I hope to do a lot of traveling one day but I just don’t know when I will have the time to really do it! I wish I had gone abroad in college! oh how I wish!! the plan was to go overseas with Pepperdine’s Heidelberg program but I chickened out, to be honest. I was a scared little freshman/sophmore who had never been far from home.

    Anyhoo, I want to go to Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, Australia and… New York! 🙂

  16. iowagirleats says:

    Awesome post about Germany!! I went when I was 14, which I think was a little too young to fully appreciate it. I’d LOVE to go back! My favorite place in the whole entire world is Tokyo…I could go on for days about it – so amazing – like a different world!

  17. Shoshanah says:

    In Europe I’ve been to England, France, and Italy. At least those are the ones I remember. Technically when I was a year old my parents decided it was the perfect time to travel through Europe. So I have officially been to other European countries. I just don’t remember them.

    I think the crazy thing about Europe is how old everything is. In America if you’re lucky there are buildings around 200 hundred years old. But in Europe a 200 year old building is considered fairly new!

  18. Classy in Philadelphia says:

    What a beautiful house! I might go to Berlin this summer when I’m in Europe!

  19. ceecee says:

    That must have been a fun trip, to go to Germany. I’ve never been there…I’ve never been anywhere in Europe, although I wouldn’t mind going to Spain or Italy…

    I’ve never traveled outside of the U.S. (accept for Mexico, but that was when I was younger…I no longer would like to go there due to all the cartels. It’s getting worse).

  20. Cheryl says:

    I soooooo need a vacation…..

  21. H-woman says:

    Europe is on my list of places to go, but I know I’ll need more than one trip to see everything I want to.

    My favourite place I’ve been so far is Cape Town, South Africa. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Of course, Vancouver (affectionately called Fun-couver in my circle of friends) is also very high on the list. I came back from the race and started looking for jobs…why, I have no idea, because I love Calgary, but maybe when I win the lottery….

    Sorry, I tend to ramble!

  22. Amber says:

    That trip sound amazing! I have always wanted to visit Europe, but I want to spend a significant amount of time there and really take it all in! 🙂

    As for the shoes in the house, yes I think most Americans are okay with it but for me the proper thing to do is ask at the door or automatically take them off.