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Country #12: Germany

May 3, 2011

Our time in Germany started with a weekend in Prague and ended with a visit to see Brian in Munich.  We had a great time with Kim and Brian and were very sad to leave!

You might have read about a few things we did in prior posts – Prague (yes, I know that is not in Germany, but it was a side trip), cooking, Munich and Dachau.  So onto a few of the things we have not already blogged about.

While I told you about cooking, I have not talked about Rewe.  It is the German grocery store down the street from where Kim and Brian live.  Steven and I went several times during our time in Frankfurt and it was quite an experience.  In order to get a grocery cart, you have to put in a one euro coin to release it from the others, and then you get the coin back when you return the cart to its proper place.  I thought that was genius!  I wanted to go around and find carts that hadn’t been returned so we could make some money, but there were no carts that needed returning.

See the place for the coin?

The grocery store itself was really nice and had everything we needed.  Trying to ask for pork shoulder in German was interesting but we ended up finding it.  The grocery store also charges you for bags if you don’t bring your own – I know some places in the US do that but it is not very common.  Luckily we were prepared with some that Kim had given us earlier.

Frankfurt has tons of great parks, including one very close to where we were staying.  Steven and I ventured over there one day and just wandered around.  Everything was green and in bloom and it was beautiful.  We stopped to play on a seesaw for a while and got lots of stares from people walking by.  Apparently Germans do not like it when adults play on kid toys – oh well!  Also, there was a little Asian section in the garden, which of course I loved, and ducks which Steven of course loves.

Since the beginning of the trip, but especially since going to Petra, Steven has been trying to figure out a way for me to see Indiana Jones.  We have tried to use Netflix but it doesn’t work outside the US.  We have tried to download it on ITunes but it wasn’t available.  So we had resorted to Mike and Brad (Steven’s dad and brother) bringing it to us to watch while we are in South Africa.  Until we got to Kim and Brian’s and they had the entire series!!!  So one rainy day, we watched Indiana Jones on Kim and Brian’s awesome big screen projector!  And I’m glad we watched it, I ended up liking it despite how much it was hyped up.

One park with downtown Frankfurt in the distance

We also roped Kim into watching Friday Night Lights in hopes that she would become addicts just like us.  We watched the first episode and she liked it and then said she would download the first season!  Does that make us enablers?

One morning, we got up early and walked with Kim to work at the US Consulate.  We needed to get pages added to our passports and had set up an appointment for 7:30 that morning.  It took several hours but we walked away with new pages and grossly thick passports!  We also got to go see Kim’s office and meet a lot of her co-workers who all seemed nice.  It was really fun to get to see that part of their lives in Frankfurt.

While we got to meet some of their friends at work, we were lucky enough to get to go out one night with them.  After they all got off work, we headed downtown for dinner and drinks and had a great time.  After visiting a couple of different places, we gained a great experience of Frankfurt at night.

While we did not get out to see a ton of stuff in Frankfurt, we did go downtown one day to explore.  We saw the cute little area called Römerberg Square that has traditional German buildings – only they were all destroyed in World War II so these were all rebuilt after that.  There was only one building that we had been to the night before that was an original.  Plus, we saw Römer, the city hall, and Dom, a huge church, both of which were beautiful.  It was great enjoying a pretty day just walking along the river and roaming all around downtown.  And of course I had to stop in several shops but just to browse…

Our last night we went to one last traditional German dinner with Kim.  The restaurant was in a cute little garden and the food was really good.  From Steven’s spargle to my wiener schnitzel, it was a perfect last dinner – minus the fact that Brian was not with us.  In fact it was such a good meal that we lost track of time and it made us almost miss our train.  Luckily the hurried goodbye made it a little easier to say so long to our friends in Frankfurt.

Overall, we had a wonderful time in Germany!  My favorite part was definitely getting to hang out with Kim and Brian and seeing what their lives are like in Germany.  I loved getting to see where they live and meet their friends and travel with them.  It was so good to spend time with them and I can’t wait until we get to do it again…who knows when that will be??

Thanks to Kim and Brian for being wonderful hosts!
Jen

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