|Here I am in Tubigen, Germany|
A Post By JonathanI've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit in my life, but for some reason I've never written about it. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe it's because I never thought anyone would find my trips that interesting. I mean, it's not like I've been hacking my way through the Amazon or anything (would love to hack my way to the top of the Amazon bestseller's list someday though... *wink, wink*). I have been to some pretty cool countries, but many a traveler has seen the same wonders I have --Big Ben, The Great Wall, The Taj Mahal included-- so I guess I just felt like I never had anything new to add.
But now that I'm a member of this awesome blog (shout out to my fellow Boarders!), I figured it was high time I take my first shot at travel writing. So here goes!
Just a little over a week ago, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Germany. Deutschland! The land of my ancestors, where the beer flows like a river and the bratwursts grow on trees. Although work was the main impetus (warning: impetus will auto-correct to impotence if you're not careful...) for my trip --I led a group of college students on a study abroad-- I had some time to do a little sightseeing on my own. And holy shiest was I looking forward to it.
While the city where I did all of my business (no, not that kind of business...) didn't turn out to be the most interesting place in the world, I had been sent on a bit of a genealogical mission by my father-in-law to locate the village of Wachendorf (population 1,220), where his great grandfather, also my two month old son's namesake, lived before immigrating to the US in the 1800's. So while my students headed off to typical sightseeing destinations like Prague and Heidelberg, I jumped on two trains and a bus to find some random village in the middle of the Swabian Alps. Sounds pretty cool doesn't it? Hey, this travel writing stuff is easy!
The place, which looked like it was frozen in the 70's, was empty except for the barkeep. He couldn't speak a lick of English, but he definitely spoke my language when he poured me a pint of golden suds. I sat at a table by myself for a while, when all of a sudden in walked practically the entire village. Apparently a televised "football game" was starting in a few minutes, and I was there at prime gathering time. Man, did someone slip some Felix Felicis in one of my beers or something?
Before I knew it, I was surrounded by a host of local Wachendorfians, and boy could they drink! After a few rounds of beer and questioning, it turned out that the guy sitting next to me was related through marriage to one of my father-in-law's distant cousins! Feel free to hang up the Mission Accomplished banner now... All I had left to do was take some pictures of the local sights and be on my merry way. One of the younger guys, who was also one of the few English-speakers in town, was nice enough to drive me around so I didn't have to walk.
|Here's a picture of my drinking buddies. The guy who I'm blocking out is the distant relation and the guy all the way to the left is my driver friend/guide. This is a selfie, by the way... With an arm like mine, who needs a selfie stick?|
I had a number of other adventures while in Germany, which included a visit to a Prussian-era castle (did you know Germany has over 20,000 castles?) and a stop over in Tubigen, which has a lot of old German architecture. But I guess, with my visit to Wachendorf, I got a taste of local culture that few others have a chance to experience. And that, my friends, is something to write about!
|To close it out, here's a picture of Burg Hohenzollern, the Prussian Castle I went to!|