Germany...the preview

Trip Start Oct 30, 2006
1
6
39
Trip End Aug 21, 2008


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Friday, March 16, 2007

On my way back to Afghanistan from my first vacation home, I decided to make a quick stop in Germany.  My friend Jason is stationed there with the US Air Force which made for a perfect opportunity for a little relaxation at a cheap price-free (accomodation anyway).  So, I flew Lufthansa from Ohare and arrived in Frankfurt on Friday morning.  Luckily, I am able to sleep quite easily on airplanes, so I was ready to go when Jason met me at the airport.  After a quick shower and stop at the base, we found ourselves at a BMW dealership.  Jason had recently ordered his very own 3 series and was there to make his final payment.  Somehow, he convinced the salesman to let him take me for a test drive.  The 3 series coupe is spectacular.  Very sleek...and very pretty.  I think at one point we got to 135 mph on the autobahn, but I wouldn't know for sure, as I had my hands over my eyes.  :)  After the very quick test drive, we contemplated our next destination.  It was between Trier and Heidelberg. 

Heidelberg

It was about an hour drive to the walk-plotz (sp?).  Heidelberg is a huge college town and it shows.  There were young people everywhere!  We walked around, browsed the shops and basically just took in the sites.  This was my first experience anywhere in Europe...so far I'm impressed.  The culture and the beauty is astonishing.  There was a castle on the hill above us, but unfortunately we didn't get too close.  I was pretty fascinated by the hills full of houses (as I'm from the land of flat land and corn fields), so we drove around to see what it was all about.  I don't know how people live like that!  I can't imagine trying to navigate the narrow, steep, windy roads that we drove on...especially in the winter!  I bought some wine in one of the shops (two bottles of some excellent Reisling).

Back in K-town, we somehow thought it would be a good idea to drink the two bottles of wine I had bought before we went out for the night.  Yeah, not such a great idea.  For dinner we went to a nice Italian restaurant where I had an excellent shrimp alfredo.  After dinner (and another glass of wine) at a bar appropriately named Thursty's, I started drinking some local beer.  I suppose this is where my recollection of the evening ended, since the next thing in my memory is waking up the next morning at Jason's apartment.  :)  A very  nice introduction to German drinking I think.

St. Patricks Day
One of my reasons for stopping for such a short time, was because it just so happened to fall on St. Patty's day weekend.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take full advantage of being in such a great place on such a great day because of the previous night as well as my early flight the next day.  Even so, when it was time to go out to celebrate, I was ready.  First we went to a Thai restaurant for dinner and then back to Thursty's to meet up with some of Jason's friends.  Overall it was a pretty tame night.  We sat around drinking green drinks and left fairly early.  I would say the highlight of the night was the doner stand we stopped at on the way back 'home'.  In fact, experiencing the magnificence that is the doner (which is also like shwarma or a gyro) was probably the highlight of my whole trip.  :)  Sadly, I had to leave to come back to work the next day.  I can't wait to be able to go back to Germany and actually experience the culture.  Trier will be one of my first stops.  Until then.... 
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