Well, I am back here in the good old U.S. of A. After a wonderful two week trip to Germany and Austria, I had to regrettably come back to the U.S.A. so I could go back to work. It's not that I don't like working, but vacation is just more fun! ;) Fortunately, the security coming back was not that bad, and our flights (minus Rich's -- his was cancelled and had to stay another day in Germany) were on time, and we made it home safely. Since my last post from Germany, Sarah, Rich, Ev, and I traveled to see Sarah's family in Haidensäg, spent 4 days in Munich, 2 days in Rothenburg, and then flew home on Sunday.
Our time in Haidensäg was wonderful. Meeting Sarah's family in Germany was like meeting someone again that I had known for all of my life. They were very warm, caring, and open people that welcomed all of us into their homes. They fed us VERY well, we drank a lot of beer and Blutwurz, and we all just had a downright great time! I know I didn't want to leave on Monday.
After spending 3 days in Haidensag, we drove to visit more with one of Sarah's cousins in her and her husband's hometown of Deggendorf. There we learned how to play Eisstockschiessen, which is a game similar to Curling, drank tea and coffee, and watched their vacation and wedding picture DVD's.
Munich was a fun city to spend quite a bit of time in. The city has been rebuilt very well, to have a feel of old and new since the devastation from World War II. Going to see the Glockenspiel, Linderhof Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, the local churches, and shopping around town was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun NOT to have to drive from place to place. Public transportation in Europe for the most part is quite easy and convenient to use.
Rothenburg was definitely a highlight of mine during our trip. The town today stands very much as it did during the medieval times. The wall surrounding the main part of the city was still mostly intact, the buildings looked different than in other European cities I had visited, and the people had a different character about them. It was a "living dead" city. It truly survives by tourism today. After the 30-years war in the 1600's and the devestation of the plague, Rothenburg, for the lack of better terms, fell asleep to the world and didn't prosper like the surrounding cities. Its industries were gone or failing, many people were killed by disease, allowing the city to remain much as it was nearly 400 years ago. I recommend anyone to visit Rothenburg if you visit Bavaria.
Our trip was a great trip, with lots of drinking of Hefeweizen beer, good food, great company, and beautiful sights. I would love to have the chance to live in Germany for a few years if I could someday. Europe is just an amazing place, with a deep rich culture that America does not have. Now the wait is on until Sarah and I's next trip around Christmas. We are going to Poland!
To see all of the pictures that we took in Germany, please visit the following link:2006-08 -- Germany / Austria Vacation Photos