Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stuttgart: Mishaps and Memories


Night skyline of Stuttgart
     The trip to Stuttgart starts in the morning while still in Heidelberg. I just had gone to bed at 6am because we were up late drinking wine, playing cards, and having good conversations. I had planned to sleep until 9am, not take a shower, and catch my 10am train to Stuttgart. Well, as it turns out some new neighbors were moving in and decided that it would be a great start to the day to hammer shelves and hooks into the walls at 8am. After 10 minutes of the hammering, coming to the conclusion that it would not stop any time soon, I finally just got out of bed, took a shower, took my time getting ready, and even cleaning up after the party a bit.

     Finally I made my way to the station, hopped on the train, and began my journey to Stuttgart. However, halfway through the train ride the train stops and the person on the loud speakers announced that there would be a delay and we would go back to the previous station and wait for about an hour. Alright, I can handle this- a bit inconvenient, but what could I do?? While on the train I contacted my host for the night, Saskia, that I would be late because of the train. She responded that she was sick and had a lot of  homework for an upcoming exam but I was still welcome to stay with her. I told her that if she was 100% OK with it then we would cancel my stay there and I would find a different place to stay. We both agreed and so once I did make it to Stuttgart my first mission was to find a place to stay. I was thinking it would be alright to stay in a hostel until I looked at the prices! HOOOO WOW!! I then thought “Well, maybe if I find the hostel and ask at the front desk I could get a sort of discount for whatever”. I wrote down a few of the addresses and walked around for 2 hours trying to find 3 different ones but having no luck whatsoever. So, I found myself a Starbucks and posted an emergency couch surfing request for the night. (I had a different host still planned for the next night but I did not want to bother her so much because I knew that she was in the process of writing her master’s thesis). Within about 10 minutes I get a reply from a guy named Brandon. He said I was welcome to stay with him for the night, but then asked me if I was wanted by the police… to which I responded “I do not think I am, should I ask?” He said that as long as I am not illegal nor wanted by the police I am welcome to stay there. So I’m thinking “Alright, ok. Should I really ask a police man about me being wanted? Why? Does he not  harbor fugitives or illegals?” I then check out his profile for the second time and see that he had been in the US Military for 7 years and then it all clicked from there. Turns out he lives on a nearby base and I had to be checked in and out every time I go on/off base.

The Stuttgart Castle

Before we met up I first needed to buy a new sweater. Somehow during my travels I managed to get a big blue stain on one of the two sweaters that I had. So I went shopping on the large, main shopping street in Stuttgart where I found a cute and warm sweater on sale for only 10 Euros. Yay!!! Afterwards I headed back to the HBF (Main Train Station) to meet up with my new host, Brandon. He picked me up in a Pick-Up Truck!!! Yay! It had been over 7 months since I had ridden in one and was so excited! While we drove to the base we had a great getting-to-each other conversation. He was turning out to be so funny and a great person for random conversation (I let slip my inner-star trekkie). After arriving, eating, and talking on base we decided to walk down to the nearest town to go to a local brewery and try some local beer. He warned me it was a long walk but addictive beer…. No problems. J When we got to the brewery (Shoen Brau) he was shocked that I automatically asked the waiter to seat for 2 and for us to be served Hefeweizens in German. He had never been around someone that spoke German around him at a restaurant and he was very impressed. After we downed the delicious Hefeweizens I ordered us some Banana-weizens (Hefeweizen with Banana juice in it, the Germans love it and so do I). Brandon had never tried one before and he had been living in Germany for 2 years and he liked it! But afterwards we stuck to the normal Hefeweizens before stumbling our way back while having a snow ball fight the entire way. J

     The next morning we woke up at 11am and I was informed of my sleep-habits. Apparently when I am sleep deprived and drunk I try to plug in my phone to peoples Aquariums. Brandon had a big laugh with it and said that in the night I had woken him up by reaching over my head and trying to plug in my phone to his turtle aquarium glass. He had asked me what I was doing and I responded “Plugging in my phone, I almost have it”. He then told me to forget about it and go back to bed, in which case I did (or so I am told). So now we know there is a new rule of thumb with me: Do not sleep deprive me AND get me drunk, or I will do weird stuff in my sleep.

     Once we had woken up fully, showered, and ate breakfast he took me around to get some coffee at the food court and to show me what a Px looked like. When we got our coffee I was so shocked to get it in a to-go cup. I have been so used to getting real cups with my coffee and sitting down to enjoy them I had forgotten that America does not do that. I asked if he had real cups and he gave me the weirdest look and said no. Okay, I guess I could deal with it. Then Brandon says to me that we would walk around with our Coffee in the store. I demanded that we sit down and enjoy the coffee, he obliged, and I then realized how Germany had affected me so much. (Also: They do not recycle on base and I was offended by it: Thank you Germany). Once in the Px store I was like a little child: “OH WOW! DORITOS!!! OH WOW!! CHEEZEITS!!!” Brandon had a good laugh and I also taught him about a few products and appliances of the Germans. He seemed a bit less interested but another soldier who had overheard me talking about life in Northern Germany was interested and followed us around a bit as I was explaining some things. We left the store after about 20 minutes of me Oooh-ing and Ahh-ing and headed back to his place.

Stuttgart is the birthplace of Mercedes-Benz

     After another meal (Brandon eats 8 small meals a day) we decided to go see a Windmill and the Zoo/Botanical Gardens. Well, we got lost and ended up 20 minutes out of the way. By the time we made it to the Windmill it was too dark to venture to it and see it and the Zoo/Botanical Gardens would close in a few hours so it would not have been worth it. So we decided to find a local restaurant near to where we would meet more Couch Surfers later in the evening. We found a restaurant that served “maultasch”. Maultasch is a Schwabelian dish (typical Stuttgart-ian) which is different veggies (and maybe some meat) wrapped in a pasta dumpling and boiled. I chose their “Oma’s (Grandma’s) Special” which was the traditional of the traditional. They served it in a French Onion Soup with carmelized onions on top of it. It was sooooooo good! We wanted to eat more but we were so full already! Oh well, maybe I will have to learn how to make it. :-p

     Afore mentioned there was a Couch Surfing meet and greet that night at a local lounge. We found it with a bit of difficulty and began to meet other Couch Surfers, some hosts and some surfers. It was a lot of fun and we learned about the various immigrants, nationalities, etc. of the people living in Stuttgart and a part  of the Couch Surfing community.

Where I spent the majority of my time :(

     After a few hours of meeting some pretty awesome people I left around 9pm for my next hosts place. Well, go figure, I got lost and I made it to her house around 11pm. When I got there she was getting ready for bed because she had to wake up at 5am. She said I could sleep in and do things on my own, just do not steal anything. She was very nice and while we were awake we had great conversation.

     So, Stuttgart definitely was a challenge and something different. As I talked to different people I do not really remember why I came to Stuttgart, I really knew nothing about it or what it had to offer. Turns out Stuttgart is the home-city for Mercedes Benz and was mostly a car city. It was fairly modern and so there was not a lot of Cathedrals, Old Museums, etc so see. But, the people I met and the memories I gathered definitely made the city worthwhile. 

XOXO Emily 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Romantic Heidelberg

  On top of the Old Bridge

 Now it is time for my post about my third travel location: Heidelberg, Germany.

     First off, this place is absolutely gorgeous. It has the perfect mixture of modern and old world charm. I missed my bus from Frankfurt because the map that the bus company provided was incorrect and they arrived 10 minutes early which meant they left 10 minutes early. So I only had 5 minutes to realize the directions were false, ask for help, call the company, and find the bus. But, I missed it so I took a train to Heidelberg. Which, turned out better because I arrived there earlier.
     Upon arrival I texted my new Couch Surf Host, Ben, and we arranged for me to take the Tram to his stop and he would meet me there. When I got off the tram I did not see him until the tram passed and I saw he was on the platform opposite. We quickly went to his place, talked, ate a quick lunch, then headed off to the inner city where he would show me around. :) Ben is a student studying Sciences at Heidelberg University. He has traveled around quite a bit and had may interesting stories. I loved talking with him because we had different opinions about somethings and we would argue about it with good humor.

     First we went to the Student Prison!! This was where in the 1800s-1900s students were governed not by the local government but by the school. So if they misbehaved or got into trouble with the law then they would be sent here for a few days to sleep and think about what they had done. At first it was considered horrible to go here, but towards the end it was the "cool thing to do". On the walls were shadow-portraits and peoples stories about what they did to get there. My favorite one was "3 honest students had found rocks on the sidewalk. As these rocks were 'found objects' they felt inclined to return them to the authority...-by throwing them through the windows of the police station". I though that one was the best, but there were other stories about letting loose pens of pigs and chasing them into the city, calling the police names, etc. It was so interesting to hear these stories (Ben had to translate them for me) and laugh about the creative ways people thought of to get into the prison.

Inside one of the rooms of the Student Prison

     After this we went to the main Cathedral where we climbed the steeple to (almost) the top where we had a beautiful 360 view of the city. Here Ben and I took our time, talked with one another, and enjoyed the beautiful view of Heidelberg. He told me of festivals the town had, the joys of living here, and so much more. I could have stayed here forever but we soon headed off to the old bridge.

The view from the top of the Cathedral
     The Old bridge was fun and really neat to be on but we crossed it fairly quickly because Ben had arranged for me to see an old European Fraternity house. This was so cool! His friend toured us around, told us some of the history, and let me meander my way around telling them about the Fraternities in the states. (Sorry now pictures or names because I do not want everyone getting too nosy :P )
     Ben and I decided it was time to go grocery shopping for Bens going away party tonight (he has an internship in Frankfurt for the next 6 months). He decided he wanted to make Hamburgers and drink beer. An American specialty ;) I helped him make the burgers and cut the veggies. Ben even taught me a few things about making Burgers! Go Ben!!! The burgers turned out delicious and I congratulated Ben on becoming a "Professional American Burger Cook". :-)

The next day I left Ben's (I was only spending one night with him because he was leaving for Sweden then Frankfurt) and headed to the Heidelberg Castle. It was 300+ stairs to the top and I nearly died with all the weight on my back and shoulders because I had all of my stuff with me. The castle had been built, destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed, etc. multiple times and the remnants created a beautiful mystique within itself and Heidelberg. From here the view was absolutely breath taking-more so than the Cathedral. I spent a long time just looking out onto the city and wandering around the ruins. I have found that I had come to love Heidelberg and now I would love to return to Heidelberg, and Germany, sometime in the spring/summer of a future year to see a different season of beauty.

The view from the Castle

     Towards the end of my wandering of the Castle I get a text from my new host, Uros, that he was in the area and could pick me up. We discussed a meeting point but, me being me, I got confused and lost. So I had to call him and describe where I was at. Uros was totally cool about all of it and found me within about 20 minutes. We then headed to his place where we had some great conversations about his job, life, and about Heidelberg. Uros was a Physicist who was full of life and stories galore. He is an inspiration to those who love to travel and try new things. At his place he was so kind as to let me crash there the rest of the day and to also do laundry. I was amazed that his washer was also a dryer and within 4 hours I could have my clothes washed and drieed in the same machine! Uros laughed at me because I was so shocked and awestruck by it.

Parts of the ruined Castle.
     Uros left me alone in his place to go back to work and I quickly did all my laundry. He came home a few hours later and invited me out to dinner with a friend of his. However, I only had a pair of leggings and a tank top on and everything else was still in the wash. He was so nice and asked his friend to bring some clothes for me and let me where a hoodie of his. When we picked up his friend I decided to just stay in the hoodie and look like a true "careless" American. ;-) We tried to go to an Italian place but they were booked so we went to Uros favorite German restaurant. I tried a new German dish "Flammkuchen" that was like realllly thin pizza crust with procceutto, cheese, onions, and a special sauce on it. IT WAS SO GOOD! And his friend that we were with was great company. She was so nice and was so willing to tell me everything she could about Slovakia and her life. I greatly enjoyed her company and her opinions/knowledge about the world.
After dinner we went home to play cards with more of Uros friends who were all scientists. We drank some really yummy red wine and played card games until 6am. However, I did not regret that I would only have 2 hours of sleep because I had so much fun!

Me at the Castle!!! 

     I am so grateful for the people I have met so far and for sharing a moment of their lives with me. So far these people are the most amazing and inspiring people I have known and I wish them all the happiness in their futures. I also hope to meet them again and build some good lasting friendships. Thank you everyone.

XOXO Emily

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amsterdam a city of beauty, hen/stag parties, and adventures

 So my second trip to Amsterdam was filled with lots of fun, getting lost, and discovering some secret ability I have. This time I went with Emma and stayed for a whole weekend. No one dayers for me this time!
Why hello Amsterdam, again.

However, we did start off with getting lost trying to find out hostel. I forgot to print off the directions and since our hostel was a boat it didn’t have an accurate address, Google Maps wasn’t much help either. Yes we slept and stayed on a boat. It was so cool. I had that lovely song about being on a boat in my head the whole time. I even played it for Emma, who wanted to kill me by the end of the weekend because I sang it that often.  We got lost for 2 hours trying to find this damn place, before we found WiFi to get the directions off the website. Two hours of carrying our luggage, okay my luggage. We did find a nice little bar that was filled with locals, not WiFi, and we had some drinks, beer and tea. Walking past the hostel twice without knowing it, luckily Vapianos, a nice little Italian style place there and in Germany, had WiFi and we found it! The boat was nice. We were worried since we were paying so much, but it was worth every euro.  
Just had to.
We got to fall asleep to the gentle sway of the boat. Emma felt like she was in a coffin, she got bottom bunk.  The receptionist left at 8 or 10 every night and left us with the bar, trusting people would pay in the little bowl in the fridge.  It was super awesome; minus hearing people come and go since the walls were thin. It was funny watching us get on and off the hostel since we weren’t too sure on the ramp we had to use. All in all it was an awesome one of a kind stay.
After we were all situated in our room, we went to go have some fun exploring this beautiful city. First we started off with a canal tour, but almost fell asleep during it since we had been up since 4 am. I did see some things that I didn’t see the time before. Emma was just wide-eyed, because this was her first time. Once the tour was done we just walked around the main area looking for a place to grab food and wait for night to come. As night fell we sat in a spot and just people watched for a bit. It was funny to guess who was high, who wasn’t, and who was drunk and we were pretty good at it for the most part. We talked about home and got to know each other better, since watching Dr. Who and Sherlock doesn’t already do that.
When we were bored of sitting around and observing the general population we headed towards the Red Light District. We went early, mostly because we are old frail women. Emma found our stroll past the bars, window girls, and sex shops funny, because my face was red and I didn’t know if I should look or just keep walking past. It was an interesting and fun time. We, once again, learned a little bit about each other’s culture. We saw a woman buy condoms and the owner just looked at her, asked if that was all, and she walked out. She didn’t even ask for them he knew! It was funny. He tried to talk her into buying something else too saying how pretty she was and how those two guys were going to have fun. On our way back to the boat we saw two police officers on horses charging through the crowd and you know something serious is going down if they call in the Calvary, Emma’s words not mine. The rest of that night was pretty ordinary and quiet. I was a good student and took my quiz on time and Emma got ready for bed.
Cats and children just hanging off the balcony.
The next day we met my friend Thijs and boy was that some good fun. We met him at the train station after getting lost trying to find the meeting point, but he got lost too so it was all good. From there we went to an open air museum and I finally got to see some windmills! Oh, and we visited a clog museum and store. Clogs are not comfortable! That is all I can say to that one. The museum was cool, because it was so quaint. I am trying to think of a way to explain it other than think old cottage with little canals running through it. Once we were done there we went back to Amsterdam. We went and explored the Jordaan district. There we found a market and walked down. I saw some ham just chillin’ in the open air and I freaked out a bit. This market was a huge novelty for me and for the others since they got to see my reaction to it all. Right off this little market was a small bar. Thijs found it for us, since Emma and I would never have thought to go down this other little side street. What made this bar special was that it was seriously just people who lived in that area, no English. It was so much fun and I have never heard so much accordion music, ever.
Our hostel was by a boat named Gandalf!
Now it is after this bar that we find my, apparently, hidden talent. We decided to go for a walk after our second drink at this bar and nothing serious happened. Just talked and enjoyed the scenery. However, after a good 45 minutes of walking Thijs mentions that we should go to another bar. We didn’t know what direction to go and I happen to see this small black sign four blocks away as the sun was setting in an already cloudy day, because I thought it said Guinness. Well I was correct and Emma was shocked. I was the only one with glasses! She said that had to be a talent. I don’t know if I should be proud of this talent or disgusted. Either way, we all had another drink and enjoyed the rest of our time together, because Thijs was going to see his sister after this beer.
Just relaxing on a random couch.
On the way back to the boat Emma and I bought a fifth of Malibu and a liter of coke, you can guess what we did that night. We thought a night in would be more fun than trying to see everything and being cranky in the morning. Plus, we were going to see the Anne Frank House the next morning.
The Anne Frank House was amazing. I didn’t want to go the first time, but I am glad I went with Emma. We got in line at about 9:30 am and exited the house at about 11:30. Luckily, we got there when we did because the line was wrapping around the church that was by the museum! If any one goes to Amsterdam I recommend going there. I haven’t read her diary, but the house was just awe inspiring.
After the museum we didn’t do much. Just walked around and enjoyed our last two hours in Amsterdam. I do have to say that it was a trip well spent. I think Amsterdam is one of the prettiest cities in the world. The next post will be by either Emily or me, we don’t know yet, but it will be a good one. I meet up with Emily in Freiburg in a few days and that is going to be a blast! Off to finish packing or sleep, whatever one comes first!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Sweetheart Frankfurt

So here I am, in Frankfurt, without my best friend! Its time for me to journey my beloved Germany by myself!
Ash and I parted ways as I headed off to Frankfurt from Cologne and Ash went back to Oldenburg. The train ride was long and there was an 18 minute delay thanks to some dude having a panic attack (ON A TRAIN), and I was so worried that I would have missed my connecting train. Thankfully, however, the train was on the same platform as my previous train so I did not miss it.
Once I arrived in Frankfurt I contacted an old flatmate of mine, Ole. But he was working so I decided to wander around Frankfurt by myself. As I was walking the streets I came across a tiny little Farmers Market. I went up to the Veggie/Fruit stand and asked only for one Apple. The man asked me if that was all and I responded yes. He then started to measure the weight of the Apple, stopped, looked at the Apple, then to me, and handed me the Apple saying it was a gift. I tried to refuse and pay him and he insisted. Thanks nice Sir!! Free lunch!!! After that I continued to wander around beautiful Frankfurt before decided I'd go to the US Embassy!
The US Embassy is far out by tram. When I reached the stop it was supposedly at I looked around, guessed a direction and walked in that direction. As I was walking next to this wall I looked across the street and see this huge compound with a fence around it. So I thought "Ok, so I found a prison,... this is awkward." But then I walked past two older gentlemen, both of which I noticed were speaking American English. I shouted "WAIT!!!", they turned around and stared me down. I then said I wanted to see the US Embassy and would like to know where it was. They pointed to the compound and said "You're almost there." Whaaaa??? So I ventured to the Embassy and found a tiny plaque in the front of the compound entrance as to where I could get a photo. As I got a few photos I hear a loud shout behind me "HALLO?!" as I turned around a guard/police officer was yelling at me in German. I quickly responded that I do not know that well of German and that I speak English. He then calmed down and bit and asked me what I was doing. My response? "Taking a picture with MY Embassy!!" He laughed at this and told me that taking photos of the compound was considered terrorism. My jaw just dropped. I quickly handed him my camera and said I  only took pictures of me with the sign. He looked through them and said it was alright. We then chatted for a little while before he had to go back to duty and I quickly scooted off. *Whew!*
As I got back into town I get a text from Ole who is now off work and said he was hungry. I was hungry too so we decided to meet up for some good old Doners and Frankfurts special drink: Apple Wine. Both were so good and Ole and I were able to catch up a lot (even though I did most of the talking, lol). Around 8pm I said goodbye to Ole and I started towards my Couch Surfing Host location. These next few days I would be spending with a guy from Wisconsin named Joseph. It was a 40 minute tram ride to the middle of nowhere but I eventually found his place. He welcomed me in and I met his two cats, Desmond and Charlie. Joseph was super friendly and helped me figure out what I was doing for the next day. He gave me some tips and hints and showed me how everything worked around the apartment. Bed time!!

The next day I woke up to go on a Frankfurt on Foot Tour with a few guys from Ohio. It started at 10:30 in the morning and would end around 1,2, or 3. Needless to say I was tired out. But the tour was fantastic, he took us around the majority of the city and explained the history, and quirks, of Frankfurt. Also on the tour was a couple from England, a guy from Australia, and another from Texas. The tour guide was from Ohio, so it mostly was a little America reunion. :p  The tour guide was awesome and I really enjoyed the entire time. Especially since Dave, the tour guide, made sure to talk one on one with us and cracked jokes about everything.
After the tour I went with the two guys from Australia and Texas to a local restaurant to try the local dish. It was this "green sauce" that was usually paired with potatoes and shnitzel. It was SO GOOD! The only downside to that restaurant is that I almost had to crawl out the bathroom window because my door had a funny lock system and it seriously took me 5 min to get out of the toilet. Also, the waiter asked us how much we were going to tip him. I wanted to respond "calm your tits dude, we'll tip you what we want and when we want". But I held it in and just gave him a 50 cent tip.
Around 7:30 I met up with Joseph to grab some dinner. Joseph really wanted Chinese food since the Chinese New Year was on Sunday. We found a local Asian restaurant and had really yummy food and good conversation. I learned what it takes to teach English overseas and talked about perhaps joining the Peace Corps. Joesph was full of so much knowledge and information that I was really able to get a grasped on my future potentials.
At 9 I met up with Ole to go to a Jazz bar to listen to a Jazz Jam Session. It was so much fun and so chill. We just sat at the bar and talked while really, REALLY good musicians just jammed out on their respective instruments and were creating the most awesome of music! If I had more time I would definitely have stayed longer to hear the music and spend more time with Ole. But alas, I still had a 40 minute tram ride to Josephs and Ole had to get up early the next day.

Overall Frankfurt was fantastic! I am so glad that I came here because I learned that I love to be lost and that the people here are so welcoming and friendly.

Wait the Carnival in Cologne is a party?!

Again, sorry about these posts being a little bit out of order things have been a little bit hectic for us. As you know Emily has been traveling the south of Germany! However we started our trip together.
We started out in Cologne, together, and for Carnival! Emily surprised me with this trip and I thank her for there. We were just chatting online and she told me her couch surfing request for Cologne had been accepted. I thought nothing of it and then she told me that it was for two. I was beyond excited. Cologne during Carnival would be awesome, however it wasn’t what I expected. Cologne during Carnival is C.R.A.Z.Y!
Emily in front of the Dom
Once we arrived we just saw how crazy it could be. Everyone was dressed up, drunk, and just having a good ole time. I knew about the costumes and the drinking, I mean it is a festival in Germany. I just didn’t know the extent. For me it is Halloween + St. Paddy’s day, but with drinking in the streets and everything closed. One of my friends told me it sounds like St. Paddy’s in New York City. We decided to chill around the Dom and the Hauptbahnhof because we were just seeing so many costumes and there was a small parade going on. We saw some people dressed as witches, snails, flowers, and some other things during this parade. One thing I was wondering was how they weren’t freezing since it was cold. I really wished I brought my warmer jacket.
Just chillin' in the streets.
After the parade Emily and I went in search of our host. She didn’t live in the city center and that was nice since we got to see another part of the city. She also had one of the best views ever! The skyline was beautiful at night. Once thing about our host that made her one of the best ever is that she was super open. From the moment we walked through her door she was warm and welcoming. We even got to meet some of her friends. She took us out to some bars that night so we could see some of the partying at night. She said that Sundays weren’t good days to see the nightlife of Carnival since it is dead, but it was still busy! Everywhere people were still dressed up, and extremely drunk, and the party was still in full swing. We went out with our host and her friend. They got all dressed up and it was fun. Debby, the host, was a hula dancer and her friend, Pia, was a white snail. I think I know what I am going as for Halloween next year. And no the snail was still super cute!
How can they not be cold?
We didn’t get in until 3, which is still early, but all of us were tired. Emily and I woke up at 8 am and made Debby some tea since her throat was sore the night before and she still took us out. She was shocked when she woke up and we had the tea ready. However, once awake we all had to leave the apartment to get a good spot at the big parade. This parade lasts up to 6 hours, so I am told. I know that when Emily and I left to warm up and get some stuff it had been going on for 3 hours! 3 hours and it wasn’t even halfway done. Now unlike the States the people in the parade chuck the candy and hand out flowers. I was hit several times and it wasn’t a like chuck, it was a high speed missile aimed for the crowd. All the candy Emily and I got we gave the kid next to us. He was thankful, well as thankful as a kid getting even more candy can be. At the parade they gave out flowers, but you had to give the guy handing them out a kiss. Emily got a flower on accident and I didn’t get one. Again I don’t know how half those people handled standing there in the cold. I was freezing!
We saw the Mask/Shrek in a train station on our way to Cologne.
After the parade, more like when Emily and I decided to leave, we went and got some stuff to make dinner and dessert for Debby. She wasn’t expecting anything from us since couch surfing is a volunteer thing, but we made vegetable soup and blueberry cake. She was shocked that we just cooked for her since we had already bought some wine. Sadly I was in bed early that night, 7:30pm. I was just so wiped out. So much going on and little sleep just takes its toll.
We left on Tuesday on our separate way. Emily went to Frankfurt and I went home to get ready for Amsterdam, again. Emily already posted about Frankfurt and I will post about Amsterdam in the next few days.

Post about Amsterdam up soon,