Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Driving About Germany

We got up early one day to drive up to St. Peter-Ordling, a seaside town on the North Sea where many people go for vacation or to relax. On the autobahn, I noticed many Mercedes, BMWs, and Volkswagon- I definitely felt like I was in Germany!

Once at St. Peter-Ordling, we walked along the sea a bit but it soon started to pour rain really hard, again, so we hurried up to a restaurant along the sea. The building was up on stilts, with a  metal roof, so we could hear the rain pouring on the roof. I was just glad to be somewhere warm and inside! The rain had stopped once we were done with lunch, so we walked along the beach by the sea, for what seemed like miles, taking photos, wading in the water, just enjoying being out by the sea. Many beach chairs, called strandkorbs I think, with a shade and foot rest, were along the beach. I can see why people go to the North Sea to relax- even on a rainy cool day it was really fun and relaxing!

Another day we drove to Lubeck, which is a nice town that was fun to walk around, with cobblestone streets and historic buildings from the 14th century, and a river running through it. We did some shopping and had a late lunch in an outdoor cafe in a huge outdoor plaza.

On my last night, we made raclette, a traditional dish, when each person creates their own meal in a way. A grill sits in the middle of the table and each person has a small metal dish to pile all their food. Various bowls of vegetables, cheese and hamburger were all around. We all just chose whatever we liked for our dish, and then put it on the grill. Our dish stayed on the grill until the meat was cooked and the cheese melted. We ate as many dishes as we wanted, along with toasted bread, toasted on top of the grill. It was a fun evening hanging out with my friends for one last evening in Hamburg...

I really enjoyed seeing my friends, seeing some places in Germany, reminiscing about fun times in the past, talking about German and American customs and phrases, talking about our lives, and just hanging out. My friends thought it was funny that Minnesotans say "Gesundheit" when someone sneezes- I think it's because we have so many German immigrants in this area of the U.S. I refreshed my memory and used the little bit of German I know when we were out and about (like "danke" and "bitte,"etc.). And my friends were great, they always were ready to translate for me whenever needed. It's interesting hearing American songs on the radio- it seems strange hearing the familiar music in an unfamiliar country. A few songs had been out in the U.S. a while already, and we talked about American music and movies. In Europe, they always seem to be a step ahead of us in fashion though. When we shopped, I often saw clothes that I thought were really cool!... Germany was fun, I had a great time with my friends, and the time went by too fast. I was off to Barcelona the next day!

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