When I was going through a box of photos the other day I found pictures from my family trip to Germany from when I was a kid. I was in the third or fourth grade when we went and we stayed for about a month. We drove across the country and spent about a week near the big Oktoberfest (that is where I got the big goofy glasses). We were accompanied by my aunt, her husband—whose family lived in Munich and his relatives. I went on a few rides at Oktoberfest and was amazed at how large in scale everything there seemed. Huge tents packed with people, beer steins larger than I had ever seen, giant roller coasters—one of them even had rings of fire. We danced on the tables and I drank steins of orange Fanta. All of the little towns that we passed also celebrated Oktoberfest and had small carnivals. It was a neat experience staying my uncle’s mom’s house and visiting his with relatives. It was the first time I had ever slept under a down comforter. I will always remember how they served coffee and tea with lots of desserts in the afternoon. And the chocolate was the best I have ever tasted.
During our travels we went to many castles and churches. My favorite of course was the Neuschwanstein castle because it is the castle that Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle is styled after. We walked up the big hill to the entrance and the view at the top was amazing. I loved all of the cobblestone roads and thatch covered roofs. Every place we went to felt old and worn but rich with history. While on the road we stayed in guest houses, sometimes on farms, that served wonderful breakfasts with real butter and jam. I remember eating tomato soup that was made with cream and the hot chocolate topped with real whipped cream that wasn’t sweet. It was colder there than I was used to and there were wonderful forests to walk through. I saw an abandoned cabin and told my mom that that’s where the witch from Hansel and Gretel lived. I felt like I really was in where all the fairy tales came from.
Towards the end of the trip we also went to London for a few days and saw the sights. It was nice to hear English being spoken again but I still strained to understand the accents. By then I was ready to eat some different foods. I was not accustomed to eating as much meat as we did in Germany. In London we shopped at Harrod’s and even then at a young age thought it was incredibly exciting. It is such a neat department store!