It is kinda strange walking next to ‘the wall’, or the remains of the thing that used to divide Germany and that has left its marks until today. It is the Day of German Unification and I am far away from my own country. But I never celebrated it as despite the erased political boundaries, there are still plenty of boundaries left between ‘East’ and ‘West’. So here are my and fellow travellers’ Germany travel stories.
Germany Travel Story #1: My Berlin Tale
Gosh, how I hate the terms ‘East’ and ‘West’. We never seem to see ourselves as one Germany. But that’s the thing with us Germans, we are rather uptight, severe and we carry a huge chip on our shoulder of worries, principles and history. It’s not that we see ourselves as European first, German second, we just are not proud of our history and declaring ourself loud and proud.
Take that as you will, I decided to visit Berlin with an open mind and discovered it the best way possible: with locals. Thanks to a friend I met in Japan and fellow blogger from Funkelfaden, whom I met in the Czech Republic, I let myself be shown around my own capital. To be honest, that is the most I have seen of it so far and calling myself rather new to Berlin I can give you an insight that is like that of complete newbies.
But since this is not an ordinary day, I decided to make this post a little different and divided it into three parts. Number one is a video instead of long ramblings on street art, different districts and famous sights. Then, to keep with the fresh eyes and new stories, I invited two fellow bloggers to share their own personal stories on Germany as that’s what today is all about. So let’s celebrate Germany today! And this, together.
The Video – Berlin through My Eyes
Germany Travel Story #2: Racing down the Tracks with Dave
It’s nicknamed The Green Hell. Drivers know it as the most dangerous race track in the world. It’s taken the lives of many racers, from famous Formula 1 pilots to anonymous amateurs. But despite all of this, or maybe because all of it, I knew I had to drive the infamous Nürburgring.
It is unique in its extreme length, its narrow track and its tight turns as it winds through the Eifel Mountains, but also in the fact that for several hours a day, it is a public toll road, where anybody can drive on it at whatever speed they choose.
The combination of fear and excitement will always be what I remember about the day where I rented a BMW M3 race car and took spirited laps around the motorsports icon that is the Nürburgring. You don’t need a racing license, any performance driving experience or even a helmet, although all of those things are highly recommended.
Maybe it’s because I’ve blocked out some very tense moments on the track when things got dicey, but when I look back at my trip to Germany, the first memory is always our celebratory dinner after the day of driving the ‘Ring. At that moment I was elated with what I had accomplished, by not crashing or hurting myself, and the pork tartare, schnitzel and pints of kristalweizen capped off an amazing day.
Germany Travel Story #3: Winter Wonderland in Munich with Shandos
Favourite Experience in Germany:
Last Christmas my husband and I headed to Europe to hopefully experience our first ever white Christmas. We’re from Australia, so our Christmas Day is more about seafood and swimming in the pool, rather than snow-covered pine trees and ice-skating. Also, I was eager to experience the Christmas Markets in each city during my trip.
Our first stop and first Christmas Market was in Munich. It was the middle of December and quite mild still, so I didn’t quite need a beanie when I went out late in the afternoon, but put it on regardless. Walking down the pedestrian street from the ice-skating rink at Karlsplatz towards Marienplatz, the street became more and more crowded, until we arrived at the large cluster of Christmas stalls just before the Rathaus.
As the early winter darkness fell, it was delightful wandering around the different stalls: trying out the roasted chestnuts, buying Lebkuchen for ourselves, and a wooden mobile for my sister’s baby. We then stopped at one of the many glühwein stalls to sample the local mulled wine, brewed with cinnamon, cloves and other spices. Not long after, a choir appeared up on the balcony of the Rathaus, singing traditional songs. Standing there with a mug of glühwein each keeping us warm and the towering twinkling Christmas tree next to us, it was just magical.