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A walk through Germany

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For as long as I can remember and much beyond that, my family and I have been into traveling and plan to remain so in the future. Over the course of various trips within and out of the country, I have learned a few things that I thought made our trips enjoyable, the main one being that despite the last minute travel plans my family made, the outcomes turned out better than the plans made three weeks in advance. In other words, an enjoyable trip is not a perfectly planned trip, and that’s what my blog is about: a place where my travel experiences and tips highlight the importance of that.

A small portion of the flowered houses in Erding, Germany.

For the majority of my life, my trips to Germany were only planned for the purpose of being able to catch a connecting flight to a more “extravagant” country we couldn’t reach directly from DFW International Airport.

For all those years I associated the Frankfurt International Airport as the connection to get to my family in Pakistan and India.

For all those years my favorite place was right in front of me and I didn’t even know it.

 

Day 1

During my 12-hour trek to Munich, I passed the time by listening to music; disturbing the passengers by constantly shifting my sleeping positions. Finally, for what seemed like forever, the plane finally landed at the Munich airport. From there, we picked up our luggage, and then drove another 15-20 minutes to a small town called Erding.

In Erding, the houses were adorned from roof to doormat with bright, colorful flowers. There wasn’t a house in sight that didn’t take part in this garden-like society; it was almost as if the flowers were mandatory.

Our first day there we didn’t see much beyond the flowers as we planned to go straight to our hotel (Hotel Arooma) to freshen up and then do some sightseeing, although we never made it to the sightseeing and ended up sleeping until the morning after.

 

Day 2

We woke up to the bell chimes of the church which was a five minute walk from the hotel. After freshening up once more, we proceeded down to a small but well-decorated restaurant for breakfast. For the first leg of our sightseeing tour, we decided to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp, which is now a museum.

Although the museum was preserved well, it wasn’t the complete camp that once stood there many years ago. Original or not, just knowing that the very land I was standing on played a significant role in our history made it my favorite part of the trip. The concentration camp was organized into many rows with buildings the Jewish prisoners stayed in, but only one row remained as the others were taken down to avoid costly maintenance. There, we saw many documents which kept track of arrivals as well as what each person was given upon arrival: one plate and cup with a spoon and a set of vertically blue and white striped clothes. While much of the concentration camp was demolished, there were a lot of unique items on display: a board and whip, the beds they slept in, the small bathroom they all shared, a blueprint of the camp and at the very back of the camp, a small place to worship.

Later that day, we visited the Glockenspiel clock tower to hear the bells ring when the hour passed. Since we arrived a little after 2 PM we had to wait another hour to hear the clock perform its magic. During that time, we walked around the heart of the city and found a Middle Eastern restaurant to eat in, which are popular all throughout the country. After that we got our souvenir shopping done and had a chance to have some gelato before we got to the clock in time to hear the chimes of the bells and the dancing objects weaving in and out of the building.

 

Day 3

Since our family makes travel plans as we go, the morning of we made a unanimous decision to take a day-trip to Germany’s neighboring country. The winner was the Czech Republic, the details of this trip will be found in my other blog: Czeching the Republic.

On our way back, my eyes never left the strangely perfect corn and wheat fields. The absence of hectic tourist life combined with the simplicity of the land made Germany seem more like home than a temporary host. I didn’t feel like a tourist; instead I felt as if I was one of the few special people who really experienced all of what Germany had to offer other than the main tourist attractions.   

Living in a small town like Erding, other than in the heart of Munich, was probably one of the best decisions my family made. Later that day, as my father and I searched the area for food we came across a bridge with a small river underneath, on both sides of the river were the flower adorned houses. The view was so beautiful that I almost forgot what we were outside for, it felt like I was seeing the German version of Venice, Italy. Our spontaneous decisions allowed us to really look at Germany, without them, I might have missed out on this eye catching scenery.

 

Day 4 (last day)

We took a four-hour trek to the city of Triberg, home to the world’s largest cuckoo clock, Weltgrosste Kuckucksuhr. Shortly after arriving at the train stations, I was surprised I hadn’t seen any clocks, but as soon as we strolled down to the main road, I saw blocks and blocks of cuckoo clocks. In fact, I saw more cuckoo clock stores than actual restaurants.

The amount of stores was just ridiculous (especially since each store had similar clocks and prices, there were no competing factors at any store there), combined, they must’ve had enough clocks to supply to all of Germany. Searching through the clocks for potential home decorations took us through a lot of the stores but we finally found one which could fit into our already full suitcase.

To end our trek in Germany and to get some exercise before another 12 hours of uncomfortable seating, we hiked up a small trail leading to a waterfall called Triberger Weihnachtszauber. There we had a choice of hiking up a steep or less steep path, we chose steep and all I can say is, sweat, humidity and finally the sad reality that it was time to go home.

 

Overall, my trip to Germany has been my favorite of all trips. Now looking back at my time there, I realized I enjoyed the smaller, non-tourist intended areas more than I did the historical monuments and tourist hotspots. The flowered houses, calming scenery and the charm of its small towns definitely makes Germany a place to go back to.

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A walk through Germany