Dec. 26: Mia’s friend picked us up from the train station and drove us home, where we took some much needed showers after our time in the mountains. After, we just hung out with Mia’s friend and ate some pizza before going to sleep.
Dec. 27: We went to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, which is an hour from Mia’s city by train. Before going, we ate some pretzels, then boarded a train so full of Chinese tourists we had to stand the whole way. Once we got there, we walked uphill about 30 minutes surrounded by scenes of the Bavarian forest to reach the castle, which was absolutely stunning. We don’t have any kind of castles in America, so to me this was really cool to see. It was so huge and white and I can’t image how it was ever built. I was equally impressed with the views of the Bavarian countryside, and by the forest itself. We always hear stories of fairytales and princesses and castles, and the forest with its dense trees and moss and fog, seemed like something out of a fairytale to me. On the train on the way back to Kaufbeuren, we also passed through the forest, and when we entered, it was like a tunnel: it was so dark, and the trees in the forest were so dense the sun barely shined through, and I could really imagine how fairytales were started. When we got back, we walked around downtown Kaufbeuren, looking in some shops and buying some chocolates. Kaufbeuren is really small, but really cute. The houses are brightly colored and they still had Christmas decorations up. We also ate the famous döner kebab and I fell in love!!! It’s so yummy, and I really can’t believe we don’t have it in the US. We stopped by the grocery store to buy some necessities like pretzels, glühwein, toffifee, and kinder eggs, before heading home after a long and cold day out and about. I took a nap while Mia picked her brother up from the train station, then we all went to their grandparents house for dinner, where we ate schnitzel and potatoes. In the evening, Mia and I drank our glühwein with one of her friends and just chilled. Today I realized pretty much all of my “must-do’s” in Germany pretty much relate to food: kebab, glühwein, pretzels, schnitzel, chocolate and sausage were all on my list. The only things left to do are “big” pretzels and beer!
Dec. 28: Today we went to visit Munich with Mia’s cousin. We mostly walked around the shopping areas near Marienplatz. There were so many people in the city since almost all of Europe had vacation right now, so the stores and streets were really crowded. Even still, I enjoyed walking around Munich and admiring the interesting architecture. Later, we met up with Mia’s brother, and we all ate dinner at a classic Bavarian restaurant: Spatenhaus an der Oper. I ate some yummy “pork knuckles” and potato dumplings with some good German beer, a nice ending to my time in Germany, which I really enjoyed. I’ve learned that Germany has really cheap alcohol, really yummy but very filling food, and lots of natural beauty and cute cities!