Wonderful things are on the horizon! Yes, I’m talking about my upcoming vacation time, the majority of which will be spent in Deutschland.
Why Germany? To explain it properly, I’ll have to tell you a little secret.
I learned German in middle school, high school and even majored in German during college. I spent 5 months in Austria doing the high school exchange student thing. I speak German fluently and have somewhere between 5-10 friends that live in Germany. But, contrary to what you may assume, the truth is… this German major has never been to Germany.
Okay, so when I was 17, I went with my (Austrian) high school on a long weekend trip to Munich. But, all I remember is ordering a vodka + red bull and being IDed for it. A vague memory of tall, beautiful buildings. I think I went to the Hofbrau House. This really, really doesn’t count. For all intensive purposes, I’ve never even been there.
I should be ashamed of myself. But instead of self-shaming, I booked myself a ticket to Berlin and decided to end this unfortunate situation. No longer will I be that girl who loves speaking German and is way too educated in pre-1900s German poetry, but who’s never seen the Goethe House or Schiller House. Finally, I can do all the things I used to do in Austria, and say that I did them in Germany this time.
Meat, cheese and bread for breakfast? Yep, I did that. In Germany.
Importantly, I’ll also be reunited with several friends that live in Deutschland. Isn’t it always wonderful to see people after a long time? This part of the trip has me giddy with excitement. I’m flying in by myself, but I doubt that I’ll spend much of the trip alone.
And the third major benefit of going to Germany for vacation is a simple pleasure, made infinitely much more fabulous by the terrible quality of Korea’s brands: BEER. I can’t even remember the last time a dark beer touched my lips. Quality beer is simply lacking in Korea. Consuming the national brands requires considerable effort, on my part. German beer is the stuff of everyone’s beer dreams, but it’s going to be especially wonderful for me. I’m drooling over it already.
So what’s the game plan?
1. Fly into Berlin
Check myself into a hostel and see as many of the must-sees as I can before passing out from 3-flight exhaustion and jetlag.
2. Begin 1 week of train travel around Germany
7 days is weak, but it’s all I’ve got. My must sees include Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich.
3. Spend the rest of my time in Berlin (~1 week)
I’d like to really see the culture of both sides of the old wall, visit the weird coffee shops and meet people on Couchsurfing. Of course, the monuments and museums are non-negotiables. But most importantly, I want to get a feel for this city I’ve heard so many wonderful things about.
With only two weeks left until take-off (and long, long hours on planes and planes and planes), I’m really starting to get excited about this trip. I really need to eat a meal that isn’t 30% rice and it’s high time I bought some bread that didn’t taste like a badly made doughnut. Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!
So, readers, like any Euro-trip, I’ll be spending a lot of time on trains. I’ll need a book (or two)! What are the best reads about Berlin’s history and the fall of the wall? What do you recommend?
And hey, recommendations as to what to visit/do in Germany are always welcome too. Leave your advice in the comments!
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