Time flies so quickly, doesn’t it? Two weeks ago, I was getting ready for us to travel to Germany. A week ago, I was in Germany, getting ready to leave, and now, here I am.
Traveling – hours and hours on the plane, the stress of making connections – gives us plenty to complain about, but I confess when I am in the midst of it, I try hard not to do so. I’m still so bowled over by the reality of waking up on one side of the ocean and going to sleep on the other that in my soul, I really don’t think I have the right to complain (much) about an inconvenience here or there.
(And there were a couple…the lesson is, I suppose, with all of these code-shared flights now, just make sure, if there are changes made, that they are made across the board. What happened, in short, was that a couple of weeks before we left, I noticed that our final Atlanta-Birmingham leg had been changed.What? Why? I don’t know, but it had been changed so that we would be sitting in the Atlanta airport for SIX HOURS waiting to connect to come home. The original flight still existed and there were seats, but we weren’t on it anymore. Weird. . So I called Air France – which was where the communication on which I’d noted this change had come from – and it was changed back. The customer service rep had no idea why my original reservation had been changed, and worked hard to fix it. All was well until we arrived at the Munich airport last Sunday. I guess…we weren’t on the plane. We were but we weren’t? I never really understood. For a few minutes it was iffy, but I wasn’t worried because, well, I knew we’d get home eventually, and if it was later…oh well. I was curious as to why it happened though, and the explanation I got was that since the change had been made with Air France, it hadn’t gotten into the Delta or KLM system. That seems….odd. What are you supposed to do, call all three every time you need to make a change? Anyway, it worked out, and we got home just fine.)
- The weather was great. I had anticipated being frozen, and indeed, had inquired of a skiing friend here about the possibility of borrowing some of her outerwear. I’m glad I didn’t end up doing so, for in the end, what we had was more than adequate. I stepped off the train in Garmisch, expecting to shiver, but the fact was, I had to take my coat off. Immediately. The highs were in the 50’s every day we were there except for the last one, it never rained, – and yes, we froze in Munich, but again…we were in Munich! And we could go inside when we needed to! No complaints.
- I have never been a fan of German food. I don’t hate it, but nor do I love it, and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the food part of the trip, and, as usual, I wondered how the boys would deal. Well, I should have remembered that every country seems to have its version of the “pounded, breaded and fried cutlet” so yes, it was Schnitzel almost every meal for them, and that was fine. For our sit-down dinners, I ended up with an excellent pork roast once, a great salad one night and that lovely Turkish meal. The other nights we ended up snacking on cured meats and cheeses, for the most part. I had a good goulash soup for lunch in Oberammergau and for our first meal, my daughter took us to her favorite doner kebab shop in Garmisch. At other meals, the boys had brats or pizza. But seriously – schnitzel in Germany, chicken Milanese in Italy….they even unearthed it on a menu in this seafood place in Progreso, Mexico earlier this year – and loved it so much, they ordered seconds. (That was a crazy meal. It was the best food we had in Mexico, and it was fantastic, and it was a lot, and I paid 14 bucks for it all.)
- I have no background in the German language at all, and was mildly irritated by the fact that I couldn’t look at signs and such and sort out the meaning, as I generally can with Romance languages. It’s just a whole lot of consonants to me. Oh, I know, it makes sense. Someone explained the logic of German to me – words are just added to in order to make new words? Or something? I will say, though, that all those amusing videos about the purported harshness of German seem to me to be rather unfair now – hearing it spoken all around me for a week, it came across as much gentler than I expected.
- All the public transportation ran like clockwork. We rode buses all around Garmisch – had a free traveler’s pass – and trains from Munich and back, and a train to Innsbruck. My daughter says it’s so prompt that if a bus or train is, by some chance, late, she gets worried that someone died.