Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Germany: Day 1

Well, this is embarrassing. Remember when we went to Germany a year and a half ago? No? Well probably because I didn't tell you all about it! Now that it's Oktoberfest season (and the Unicorns just won the German Bowl for the second year in a row!), I thought I'd finally share our trip with you! 

Germany was the last stop on our Europe trip last summer (as in summer 2011, I know). Our first stop was London, then Paris, and then we went over to the little town of Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. We decided to go there to visit my baby brother and I'm so glad we did. My brother played Quarterback on the professional German football team (American football, not European futbol), the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns!

From Paris, we took the train to Stuttgart to meet up with my parents. They were in London while we were in Paris, and then after Germany were heading to Rome! About an hour into the ride the train stopped and they announced there had been an "animal accident" (whatever that means). We waited in the Stuttgart train station to meet them, not knowing where to meet and not having any cell phones. Luckily, there was a Starbucks, so they knew where to find us! :) 

From Stuttgart we bought a special one way ticket where up to five people can go anywhere in Germany for only 31 Euro. Such a good deal! We had no idea where to sit, so naturally, we sat in First Class. After we started moving, the train guy came by. You know, the guy that checks your ticket. We showed him our one ticket for the four of us and after taking a look he said (in English, but in his thick German accent), "Zer are two problemz vis zis. Vun, you have to sign your ticket. Two, you are sitting virst class." Ha! Then my mom asked "Where is second class?" He said, "Down zer." And pointed anywhere but where we were. He was quite snooty and it was really funny. So we grabbed our huge heavy bags and trekked through the train until someone finally moved so we could have four seats next to each other.

We got to the tiny Schwäbisch Hall train station where my brother was supposed to pick us up, and about a half hour later he did! :) We got all set up (my parents at their hotel, we stayed with my brother in the frat house - more on that later) and then went on a little walk around town. 

Schwäbisch Hall, in my mind, is what a typical Deutschland town should look like. Bavarian style buildings, cobblestone throughout the small downtown streets, little shops and eateries and all along a sweet river. I loved it. I wanted to move there. The people were so nice and the town was so cute. Since we were there during one of the busiest weekends of the summer - they were having their annual Jakobimart - there was a lot going on. We found the year-round beer garden at the park and had dinner. I had a schnitzelburger with fries and it was amazing. Zach had your standard bratwurst and of course we had our first taste of authentic German beer!

Two funny things happened at the beer garden. One - my mom asked if they had sauerkraut for her hot dog. The Germans behind the counter laughed at her! Apparently there is a legend/superstition that says they only have sauerkraut from Autumn to Spring. Good to know. Two - when it came time to order some beer, I asked if they had "light" beer. Yeah, I know. Rookie mistake. Everyone laughed at me and then I just took whatever they gave me at that point. And it was delicious.

We hung out some more enjoying the city and then went to bed early. We stayed at the frat house (aka the "Ami" House) and while it was free, it was far from a luxurious hotel. Especially once we heard the Cockamouse. My lovely brother told the rest of my family (all but me) about this creature that apparently lives on the roof of the room we were staying in. About one minute after we got in bed, I heard the little bastard scurrying on the roof! Scared me so bad! Thanks, bro... 

More later on the rest of our trip!

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