Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Things I'll miss about Germany

It's not a surprise that, after spending two months in Germany, there are many things I miss about it. Like enormous portions of unbelievably delicious beer! Here's a liter of Dunkel Hefeweizen (Dark Wheat) beer from "Vetter in Schoeneck," a microbrewery frequented by H-berg "townies" who know their suds:

It's well nigh impossible to find a really good light beer in the USA (and by "light" I mean a lager or weizen, not one of those abominable "lite" beers). This is especially true if you want said beer on tap. As Germany is the land of great light beers, I enjoyed an embarrassment of riches in that department.

I'll also miss the view from Lisa's student apartment, which looked over the courtyard of her building and from which you could see the hills beyond the Nekar river. When her fellow students weren't making a ruckus (which they would sometimes do but not TOO often) it was quite a restful scene.

Of course, I'll miss Heidelberg itself, a truly historic city with the added attraction of having been visited and written about by a hero of mine, Mark Twain. Here's a photo of the "Bergbahn" (Mountain Train) tracks, which MT rode, and the city beyond, with the Holy Ghost Church in the middle and the Old Bridge across the Nekar in the distance. As you may guess, my little PocketPC camera doesn't do the view justice, but you get the idea.

I'll also miss the immediate cultural diversity. Lisa's fellow students in the theater group were from Hungary, France, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Spain, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, China and other points. It was a lot of fun talking with them about their home countries and what they missed and what they didn't miss. Plus you have a chance to rub elbows with some crazy folks, like these Tibetan monks in Salzburg who sang two tones at the same time!

And finally, I'll miss really old, historic structures, like the Gaiserturm, which I visited on one of my hikes in the region.

Lisa and I are still struggling a bit with a bit of "post-parting" Europe depression. It's tough to return to the monotony of daily domesticity. But we made many great friends from all over the world, friends that we hope to visit in the future. And of course, there are things that help soften the blow, like the stuff we missed at home:


tavia said...

And yet, you did not bring us back any beer! Boo hoo! Maybe living in scenic Portland you didn't notice this so much, but I am struck by the amount of green in your "ruin" photos. You don't see that in sites in the Midwest.

Anonymous said...

from Devon:
Great pictures and travelogue. It almost makes me want to go there. I have a phobia about traveling outside the country for some reason. But, under my current workload at the office, if I get to spend a few days at Marty's cabin (183 miles away) I'll be thrilled.

Andrew said...

Part of the problem with bringing back souvenirs was that Lisa and had to vacate her Heidelberg student apartment on July 22. She sent a bunch of stuff back in boxes (which was monumentally expensive even at the slowest/lowest rate), but we were still carrying quite a load from point to point (Salzburg, Luzern, Cologne) the last 10 days we were there. Also there was my legendary laziness...I got a postcard for Mom in Cologne but didn't mail it until I was back in the States!

The hills around H-berg were indeed reminiscent of the West hills of Portland. Except that in H-berg, what lies beyond the big, green wooded hill is another big, green wooded hill, while in PDX, what lies beyond the big green wooded west hills is the sprawling suburban hell of Beaverton.

Tavia said...

Well, we DO have sprawling suburban Hell in the Midwest. And, in case anyone's wondering, we do have ruins. It's just that you usually see them shambling around Wal-Mart.