With a last name as blatantly German as Duesenberg, it’s only natural that I give Deutschland a visit during my year in Europe. Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever love another country as much as I loved this one! Visiting Germany was like going home to Wisconsin, but better! There were so many similarities to my hometown, but it was a cultural adventure as well. Here are some of the highlights:

The Food – das Essen

Königen pastette, Nudeln mit spaetzle with Reisling

Schokoladenkuchen und Kaffee

Bratwurst, Leberknödel mit Rotweinsauce, Saumagen, Weinsauerkraut und Schwarzbrot

German food was meat-heavy, carb-heavy and thick with flavor; so in other words, it was the kind of warm-to-the-heart food I love! It’s a good thing I chose not to study abroad in this country because I would be fifty pounds heavier eating this delicious cuisine! Restaurants are warm and full of smiling people.

The History – die Geschichte

“Wherever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” -Heinrich Heine, 1820 -quote in Bebelplatz, Berlin

me in front of Berlin Cathedral and TV tower – a picture perfectly displaying the crossing of history and modernity in Berlin

When our tour guide began our walking tour of Berlin, he asked the question, “What do you think of when you think of the history of Germany?” Of course, every one of us- no matter where we came from in the world- thought of the same thing. You’re probably thinking it as you read this paragraph! But the Holocaust is only a blip in the otherwise beautiful and triumphant history of Germany. During the 19th century, Berlin actually became one of the first cities in the world to openly accept immigrants from around Europe regardless of their nationality and religion. It was one of the most religiously diverse cities in the world before things went nasty in the early 20th century. Then, thanks to the war, 90% of the city was bombed to debris allowing for a rebirth to happen. Today, the city shows growth: economically and emotionally. In Bebelplatz, the famous square where the burning of the books happened, students volunteer 7 days a week selling books of all languages. Where the Berlin Wall used to stand are beautiful monuments commemorating the wrongs of the past.

Heidelberg Castle

The People – die Menschen

A major reason I went to Germany was to visit my friend, Izzy. She studied abroad in America THREE YEARS AGO, and it had seemed likely that when we said ‘goodbye’ we had said ‘goodbye for good’. Nope. I got to spend two nights with her family in Haßloch (which directly translated to English means ‘hate hole’) and meet some of her friends. I know you can’t categorize an entire group of people based on a few that you meet, but I LOVED German people. They were blunt: if they liked you, you knew it. They were helpful: if you looked lost (which I often did), they pointed you in the direction. They spoke great English but still encouraged me to practice my little bit of German with them! They were never late and they were often times tipsy on beer. They were my people, I loved them.
The Countryside – die Landschaft
I travelled around by train which gave the opportunity to see more of the countryside. Rolling hills, wide plains and cute villages make up this country. It was unreal to zip around in the gorgeous scenery.
Overall, Germany was a great way to spend my Fall Vacation!