But I’m back! And better than before! And WordPress is, too– I’m not sure what I was so afraid of.
Last weekend we traveled to Bamberg! Little Venice, it was. Little idiot, I was, for forgetting to pack my camera. Elizabeth and I went there to visit Logan and Lisa (the other two Truman students teaching in Germany). My friends David and Lizzi are living there now (David is in the army and Lizzi is his wife) so it was fantastic to be reunited with them. We all went out to dinner the first night we arrived and realized how silly of a world it is to have 6 Truman State alumni sitting around one table at a restaurant in Germany.
Oh, I finally had Schnitzel! I was pretty disappointed in myself for eating mostly soups when out at German restaurants (you just can’t beat a 5€ dinner), and once I shared that fact with the table it was deemed necessary that I finally splurge on schnitzel. It was wonderfully German and way more filling than my usual zwiebelsuppe.
Bamberg is home to the best-known Rauchbier in the world, so that was the drink I ordered first. I chose the Spezial Rauchbier (the lighter smoky flavor), which I know is sort of wimpy but let’s face it: dark beers aren’t my thing, and I really wasn’t sure that smoked beers would be my thing either. When in Germany, though, any beer is usually good beer. And it was! Wikipedia defines it as having a “distinctive smoke flavor,” and Wiki tells no lies. It was definitely distinctive; different than any beer I’ve had before.
Bamberg also has lots of breweries that have all kinds of beer; we went to a few breweries over Friday and Saturday night and each of their beers were delicious. Since Germany pubs don’t have (and probably have never heard of) my usual cheap standbys for drinks, I’ve been exploring my palette. I’ve grown to love the taste of beer, even with meals– it’s really the least expensive option for a drink. It’s sometimes cheaper than wasser mit gas (literally meaning “water with gas,” haha. Think club soda, but not sweet.) and I’ve heard asking for stilles wasser (still water/tap water) is borderline inappropriate, so clearly beer is the best choice. 😀
Elizabeth, Logan and I have been collecting coasters wherever we go. (Unfortunately I have nothing to show that I was in London. No coasters anywhere in the UK!) We added extensively to our collection over this past weekend, sometimes taking two or three coasters from one place. We even had the bartenders sign a coaster from the Green Goose (that bar deserves a blog entry of its own)!
Saturday we spent most of the day downtown wich was so so so so so adorable. Bamberg has a river running through the city and a few bridges that give the town great character. I went into a ceramics shop and looked around and, ohmygoodness, I wanted to buy everything. I exercised good self-control (practice what you preach!) and did not buy any pottery, but I did do a lot of looking around. Charmaine is taking Elizabeth and I to Poland in early March to go pottery shopping, so I keep brainstorming what kind of thing I want to buy. I’m only going to let myself buy ONE piece of art (be it bowl, cup, platter or plate) since I’m spending money on traveling, not souvenirs.
The weekend in Bamberg was wonderful and it was great to see friendly faces again. I’m sure pictures will surface on Facebook eventually, so keep an eye out if you’re interested.
Two other pieces of exciting news:
1. We may be going to a seven-mile toboggan run in Switzerland (or maybe Germany… or maybe Austria? my memory is shot) this weekend! We’re waiting to hear back from Paula, but she might have an open room at the place they are staying. Cross your fingers! Seven miles downhill in the alps, can you imagine!? The snow, the speed, the windburn–I want it all!
2. Elizabeth, Logan, Lisa, Haley and I just booked our train tickets to Verona, Italy for Carnival! It’s the same weekend as President’s day weekend, so we have the Monday off of school. Alex, our patient and thrifty friend who works at our train station, hooked us up with a sweet deal for the weekend. So pumped!
Hope all is well stateside– keep me updated, people! Comment, email, write…