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Ich liebe Deutschland!

The last 4 nights of our stay in Germany were spent about an hour north of Hamburg, in the towns of Rendsburg and Fockbek where I have German relatives and family friends. For the first 2, we stayed at my mom’s friend’s with her son Benji, who is around the same age as us, and his dad. Sadly, my mom’s friend had to work so we didn’t get to see her, but we had a great time nonetheless! They took such good care of us and fed us delicious homemade meals, which we are still so thankful for!

The first night, we went to the Kiel Sailing Week with Benji and some of his friends, which is a festival with live music, lots of yummy food kiosks, and many different forms of entertainment. We walked around for a while and saw a super intense rock band, I guess you could call it, which was really funny to watch. They were something else, but the crowd seemed to love it… We also saw a man tightrope walking over the water while people threw water balloons at him in attempts to make him lose his balance. It was so strange and unlike anything I’ve ever seen but I was definitely entertained. Those Germans, man!

As it got later, we headed to the Bavarian tent, which was hands down the highlight of the night for me. Upon entering, I was immediately amazed by the atmosphere created by the live bands performing covers of classics and current hits, and the crazy crowd of Germans standing on tables and benches, huge glasses of beer in hand, singing along in perfect unison. The whole tent was echoing with the lyrics. It was incredible! Before I knew it, we were right in the action, standing on the tables and chanting the songs along with everyone else.

Another cool thing about this place is how friendly everyone was. We’re taught to never take a drink from a stranger because it could be dangerous and have drugs in it, but there, guys would pass you their beers, completely innocently and with good intentions, just wanting you to be having as good a time as themselves. Just another reason I love Germany. The people are great! At least in my experience. That was the most fun time I’ve ever had going out and I was totally sober and wearing a sweater and running shoes… So that’s gotta say something!  Once the music came to an end, we somehow got to sit on a rooftop that Benji’s friend had access to. From here we could see the all the bright lights of the festival over the water, and we just sat there and enjoyed the final moments of the night until we had to head back to catch the train. It was an unforgettable first evening up in northern Germany!   The next day, we trained into Hamburg and Benji toured us around all the important sights of the city. We walked a LOT. Our day consisted of strolling along the harbour (and by strolling I mean speed walking), taking the underground tunnel to the other side of the water to find a great view of the Hamburg skyline, a quick visit to the St. Michael’s church, and of course walking along the famous Reeperbahn! We saw it all! In utter exhaustion, we headed back to Fockbek, where my great aunt and uncle live and where we would be staying for our final 2 nights.  They welcomed us so kindly with an incredible German dinner waiting to be devoured. With the endless options of bread, cheese, and meat, I was well-fed in no time. Not to mention, well-wined.(…?) Wow, the wine just kept coming. I don’t think I ever saw the bottom of my glass. It was delicious though, a good Riesling, which is my favourite kind of wine and luckily enough, it’s a German wine. Yet another thing I love about this country! After enjoying the first night there, with the ever entertaining presence of little Elin, my 2-year-old kind of cousin, (she isn’t my cousin but it would be too complicated to try to come up with the proper title) we were ready to get a good nights sleep!  That morning, my great aunt and uncle were ever so kind to let us borrow their car and take a little roadtrip to Denmark! We left on our way after a delicious buffet of a breakfast (they really spoiled us) and hit the autobahn! Hannah was the driver for the day since Grace and I were a little too nervous to take on the foreign, fast-paced roads, and we hit nearly 200 km/h!!! Not quite, but very close, which is CRAZY! I don’t really understand how the autobahn is a thing. How is it legal to have a road with no speed limit?! What is more mind boggling is seeing that it actually just works. You’d think it’d be a gong show with millions of accidents every day, yet the traffic just flows and it somehow feels normal. These Germans, I tell ya, they do everything right!

We got into a small town in Denmark called Sonderhav, which is where we reached Annie’s Kiosk, our destination. My relatives highly recommended this place, saying it was one of the best hot dog vendors around, and I have to agree! They really them deck out with all the best toppings and my stomach was left quite satisfied. We walked around a bit, enjoying how serene and calm the area was before hopping back on the autobahn and returning to Fockbek.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out and playing with Elin. She is such an energetic bundle of joy and her sassy personality makes her that much more adorable and funny to be around. Not to mention how insanely cute she is. We loved just running around with her and seeing all the silly things she did.

For dinner, we were served a delicious variety of sausages, potato salad, and bread. Mmmmmm. They took such good care of us and we are so thankful for everything they did for us! It’s always nice to slow down and spend some time with family and friends along the way on such a jam packed trip! The free accommodation and food is just a (very very very appreciated) added bonus!

The next morning, we had to leave bright and early to head to Paris on an 8 hour train… Bleh. We had to be up at 5:30 for it, too, which only made it more dreadful. That will be our last long train ride, though, so it’s not too bad!

Au revoir, mes amies!  Tal


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