We visited the Alpine region of Germany in 2011 with my mom family, grandmother and my aunt’s family. Josh and I had stops in Brussels and Amsterdam prior to meeting the rest of the group and the change of pace to smaller, quaint German (save for Munich) towns was a nice change of pace.
Admittedly, I had low expectations for Germany. I’m not sure why; it is my motherland, after all. I didn’t at all expect to be completely charmed by the cute villages of Staufen and Meersburg. I could have stayed many more days in these sleepy towns. We also had a stop in Jasper’s sister city, Pfaffenweiler, the homeland of many immigrants who settled in here.
This self-proclaimed city-lover love love loved the small bavarian towns and the simplicity they bring. While it’s true for all of Germany, there’s something so comforting and mindless about bellying up to a quaint bar and simply ordering a beer. Pils (light) or Dunkle (dark). That’s it. And guess what? They’re ALL good. Beyond the simplicity of the beverages, it extends to the wood craftsmanship, the simple yet beautiful building facades. When you’re in the heart of the Black Forest and The Alps, you really don’t need anything trying to compete with Mother Nature.
And then there’s Munich. While I didn’t fall head over heels, I did scratch the surface enough to want to return. I appreciated (especially after being in Brussels and the hill towns of Germany) the modern side of Germany found in Munich. Their public transportation is amazing; one of the easiest I’ve used. Oh and I had the best roasted chicken of my life at the Hofbrauhaus (if you can believe that!).
The highlight for me, however, was our afternoon visit out to Dachau. There have been a handful of moments in my life that leave me refusing to believe that what I was experiencing was real life; this was one of them. Standing there, by myself, at the foot of so much tragedy and unjust simply felt fake. I will never forget walking those grounds.