Sunday, August 30, 2009

first day waking up in germany

after not nearly enough sleep, i woke up in my sunbathed and quiet room letting in crisp mountain air from an open window. stef and i ate a breakfast in the upstairs kitchen (two kitchens!), during which i sampled pear nectar, cherry streusel cake, a german roll with homeade plum and bitter cherry marmalade. we hopped in her mom's car, picked up gideon and drove to hiedelburg for the day. this is a medium-sized city famous for its castle ruins and oldest university in the country, both of which we visited. it was my first castle experience, and it was ridiculously fantastic. it had been built in the third century but never completed, and continued random construction through the eighteenth century until they gave up. inside the castle grounds was an interesting pharmacy museum, and a barrel museum with one so large it could get literally hundreds of people tipsy on wine only emptying half of its contents. we watched a newlywed couple ride by on a horse-drawn carriage through the grounds and admired the architechture as wells as the panaoramic shot of the entire city. we headed to the old part of town, and visited another ornately designed church. we walked around and window shopped for a couple hours, and i learned gummy bears are wildly popular here (bought a cup of cappucino coffee bean shaped gummies for her parents and a mug of yellow bears and white marshmellow mice on top for michael). we hit up the old university museum, lecture hall and even the old student prison. from early 1700's to mid 1900's, the college had legal soveriegnty over its students and put them in "jail" for several weeks at a time for minor offenses like jousting between fraternities or getting caught drunk. the bleak walls were carved and painted with soot, ash and smuggled paint, and are still covered with drawings, poems, witticisms, photos and fraternity symbols. the three of us found a small cafe and i ate a bratwurst with mustard. while we were dining, some guy came by and gave us baby roses on behalf of a candidate running for chancellor in elections next month. before leaving town, we meandered around the neckar river and walked over a reconstructed bridge blown up in wwii. we drove (i napped) to her cousin martina's 40th birthday party and spent almost 4 hours with her family feasting. about 25 people, all but a seven year old much older than us, spent the evening relaxing outside under a canopy. dinner was a 4/5 course buffet of goodness. i had 11 kinds of cheese today! i drank champagne with orange juice and again with lemon sherbert, pear liqour, honeydew melon liqour, plum schnapps and wine, but the family thought i was several drinks behind the pack and was surprised i didn't have more. i'm not even a medium drinker of any kind of drink, and still barely a minor in the us, so its quite different for me here. another full day with much appreciated sleep...


  1. The history that you are experiencing is so fantastic! How cool that they used to put students in jail!? Lol! (might not be a bad idea here in the states) ;)
    What an awesome sounding dinner -- make sure you keep up with walking as exercise, or you might come back a much fuller Megan than you left. Lol.
    It is so great that your friend Stef, and her family have been so kind and hospitable to you... God bless them! They sound like wonderful people!
    Miss you Megan!

  2. I am so jealous of all the good food you get to eat. The castle sounds amazing! I remember seeing my first castle when I was in Scotland. There's something about them--they have so many stories to tell it seems. Love you!