As some of you know I’ve been traveling or more correctly put tagging along with my husband as he conducts business. I’ll share some of my experiences with you and the concept of travel reviews.
Our first stop is near Ramstein to visit my son and daughter-in-law. My big surprise was to leave a wet Indiana to arrive in a rainy Germany. We have almost the exact same weather. Even when it turned to snow, it was snowing back in Indiana. The real eye opener was the autobahn. I should say eye closer.
My son took full advantage of it to drive fast while chatting to me, drinking his energy drink and fussing with the GPS. I offered to help navigate anything to get him to slow down. A Friday evening traffic jam eased my mind a bit. German drivers are a polite bunch that let others in and refrain from honking, and move out of the lane when a fast car enters it. Anyone can report another driver be obnoxious by copying down the license number. Road rage results in a heavy fine. The entire country impressed my husband so much; he was almost ready to move except for the expense and language.
My culture shock moment came when I entered a grocery store in an effort to find my son and daughter-in-law and tried to exit out the front door as opposed to the checkout lane. I set off the alarm. Call me embarrassed. All the natives standing in line calmly pointed out an empty checkout lane I could have used. Oh well, at least I received some apple streusel cheese kuchen out of it.
German food was a revelation because I didn’t think I would be a big fan. Still, I forced myself to be adventurous. We stopped at a local diner near the base. When we entered, about a dozen older men were crowded around one table yucking it up while packing away the food. In the name of curiosity, I ordered stuffed pork stomach. Two patties came out perfectly round rather like salmon burgers with a crispy exterior. They were tasty and firm. I even shared them with my husband who also liked them. He was kind enough to share his liver dumpling with me, which was also surprisingly enjoyable. The server brought us all shots of schnapps at the end of the meal. It was an older tradition that believed the fiery schnapps gave the food a jumpstart on digesting.
We tromped through the rain the next day too going to see a botanical park, Palmengartern. Even though most of the exhibits were inside, we ran from greenhouse to greenhouse. A little wet didn’t discourage the Germans. Several people huddled under table umbrellas at small cafes chatting and sipping their hot beverages. We headed into a traditional eatery named Romer Bembel. It was busy even when we ducked in there at almost four. Service was efficient and friendly, although this time my taste for the exotic led me only to apple wine and a breakfast special.
Join me next time for the practical side of the German experience.