{Throwback Thursday} Germany

With all this shit goin’ on (that’s the proper Florida way of saying Covid-19) I haven’t got to travel at all this year. Okay well that’s a lie sorta, I’ve been on my layovers for work as well as mini trips to Puerto Rico, Nashville, and Kentucky to see my mom all of which were included on a note I keep on my phone of trips I want to budget for and schedule in.

This was my list this year :
“Minis” to –
*San Juan, Puerto Rico (Done)
*Kentucky (Done)
*New Orleans (layover but EVERYTHING was shut down & I really wanted to take Clinton so I’m not counting it)
*Las Vegas (layover but not what I was going for)
*New York
*Nashville (Done)

“Midsize” –
*London & Paris for 5 days for my birthday

“The Big One” –

So needless to say, my 2020 travel plans were a total bust. First world problems huh? But really, truly, all I could picture was my beautiful birthday in Paris with my boyfriend – the Louvre, having a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, putting our lock on the “love lock” bridge, and eating macarons from Laduree. For the London portion of that trip I planned a whole wonderfully nerdy Harry Potter experience. It’s okay, all of these places will still exist after Covid fucks off (remember, I write exactly how I speak & if this offends you, pay for my blog domain & I’ll tone it down) so hopefully after we get ourselves together as a country & get healthy then maybe the rest of the world will welcome us back again one day.

In the meantime – let’s take a virtual trip to Germany shall we? My trip to Germany was the brain child of my good friend Lindsey. She planned it, she found the flights we listed ourselves on, and she did all the research. What did I do? Book our hotels & Air BnBs. I also attempted figuring out public transportation but since I am an Uber girl and most certainly don’t speak German, I failed spectacularly. I don’t like wasting time figuring out buses or trains, I’d much rather just go from point A to point B unbothered so I try not to mess with public transportation too much. However, much of Germany was Uber-less so I was lost.

Okay. Our trip was October 1-5 of 2018. The original plan was to go to Oktoberfest for the entire visit but then things started to shift when Lindsey mentioned Berlin and then again when she said another flight attendant told her about Frankfurt & a small town called Mainz. So here’s the itinerary we went with –

September 30th – MIA (Miami) to FRA (Frankfurt)
October 1st – explore Frankfurt & Mainz
October 2nd – FRA to TXL (Berlin) – explore Berlin
October 3rd – TXL to MUC – explore Munich & go to Oktoberfest
October 4th – explore Dachau & train into Munich for day 2
October 5th – MUC to CPH (Copenhagen) then onto MIA

We did this trip while we were still on reserve but we managed it! We bid for the exact same reserve line for October and got it so we could make sure both of us could make the trip. We were on reserve until 10 AM on September 30th & as soon as the clock struck 10, we both jumped onto MyIDTravel (crew travel website) and listed ourselves for the flight that afternoon to Frankfurt! It was so crazy because who even gets to do stuff like that?! People don’t get to just wake up and be like “yo, if I don’t gotta work today let’s head to Germany” – Clinton drove me from Boca Raton down to Fort Lauderdale to Lindsey’s crashpad where one of her crashpad roommates then drove us on down to Miami.

We flew Lufthansa & took the crew a bag of goodies hoping we would get an upgrade but ,alas, we did not. *I would like to note – it’s in good taste to bring your flight crew treats ANYtime you non-rev travel. They did ,however, gift us a Business Class gift with some toiletries, socks, & an eye mask. We already knew we would be getting a seat on the flight to Frankfurt & wasn’t even worried because Lufthansa had already updated and emailed us our seat assignment. I’m not sure if we were just excited or what but neither of us slept a wink during that 9 hour flight! Walking through the Frankfurt airport at ,like, 8 AM with our eye masks up on our foreheads & taking Snapchat videos of how damn tired but READY we were, I started messaging our first Air BnB host to let him know we’ve arrived so he can tell us how to get to his place in Mainz. It was not easy, HOWEVER, we did it! And from then on, it really wasn’t that bad finding our way around Mainz!

This is the Air BnB we stayed at in Mainz. The host was awesome, the house was spotless & stylish, and it was in a super cute neighborhood. Oh, and it was affordable! Most Air BnBs and hotels that we found in Germany were pretty affordable. Our host, Torsten, explained how to get around in Mainz & where we could find the “old” German villages. We dropped our bags off in our room & set off to explore – Germany is so lovely! We didn’t get to see a lot of countryside but I loved all the little villages.

We learned a few things real quick –
1) ALWAYS purchase & validate your train/bus tickets. We noticed that no one was checking our tickets on the train so we decided to re-use one for later assuming it was good for an all day ride. I mean obviously right? NO. NOT RIGHT AT ALL. On our last train of the evening, the ticket taker notices our tickets are not correct for the train ride we are currently on and started demanding we pay 60 euro for a new/legal ticket (mind you, tickets are only a couple euro when purchased at the station) – we had been out to eat and shopping so neither of us even had 60 euro on us anymore! They caved when I started to panic & waved a 20 euro bill at them saying “this is all I have!” and let us pay ,I think, like, 10 euro but it was still a little scary to be in trouble in a foreign country over a damn train ticket. (Please note – you’d think I would have learned my lesson since I’m being all preachy, oh no, fast forward to 2019 in Italy – my aunt and I got $50 tickets issued to us by police for not validating a $1.50 bus ticket. This folks. This shit right here is why I don’t do public transportation)
2) Sparkling water is the norm. I don’t like sparkling water. It tastes like TV static.
3) Tipping is not expected. Service is not a big thing like in the USA…our servers were never overly accommodating and one in Munich literally sighed out loud and was visibly annoyed with our requests.
4) You usually have to pay to use a public restroom. I think it was a quarter.

We went to the cutest little village and drank fancy lattes and bowls of pretzels. We explored cathedrals and old buildings and gardens. We hopped back on the train and went into the city of Frankfurt – very, very metropolitan in some areas but had dinner in Frankfurt’s “Old Town” – schnitzel, apple strudel, and delicious German beer! I drank more beer on this trip than I ever have cared to in my life! But hey, when in Germany, do as the Germans do! Somehow, somewhere we ended up in a street fair and drank mugs of hot mulled wine. This may have been the night that as we were getting on our train, we just about missed it so I hurried up and literally JUMPED through the train doors only for them to close on me anyways & trapped my backpack purse in the doors. The doors also do not open once they are closed (which the system believed they were) and so I was stuck. Literally, LODGED in between these mother freaking train doors and trying to wiggle free like a turtle rolled over on it’s shell *remember, this purse is being worn as a backpack* – well, fun fact – the train can’t move until all doors are ACTUALLY fully closed. So. Here my dumbass is, stuck between 2 doors via purse, having 2 men try to pry the stuck doors open enough for my purse break free so the doors can properly close all the way! I was mortified but couldn’t stop laughing and Lindsey couldn’t stop laughing so everyone moved away from us on the train. Not even my most embarrassing moment on this trip! Keep reading…

The next day we decided to head to Berlin for the day – the train ride was too expensive so we hopped a plane instead. I booked a budget hotel/motel that was somewhat walking distance to most things & very popular. Berlin is not walker friendly because everything is so spread out – you definitely need transportation or get a bike, however, I don’t remember seeing bike rentals anywhere although people were biking all around us. We walked most of our journey but also took a bus at one point and because we were out til 3 AM, we took an Uber back to our hotel. Berlin was freezing! And raining! Definitely our coldest stop. I pulled up directions to the Berlin Wall & we took off – nearly a 3 mile walk. As Apple maps is saying we are reaching our destination, I’m looking around for the Berlin Wall. I don’t see it. Where is this graffitied wall?! Well, there’s a visitor’s center…we walk inside to ask where the Berlin Wall is and they look at us like we’re stupid and point outside – that gray wall we’ve been walking alongside? THAT is the Berlin Wall. Us silly Americans. They explain to us if we’re looking for the graffitied sections, we need to head about 6 miles (I don’t believe they use miles but I’m using what I saw on my phone) away to the East Side Gallery & walk us through the bus we need & what stop to get off on. We spend a little time at the memorial center/visitor’s center because this is the ACTUAL thing we came to look at but heeded their instructions to get to the East Side Gallery. Once we got there, we were both freezing and soaking wet as the rain had picked up. We spent about 2 minutes looking at the art on the wall & went to go find a place to warm up at. We found a dark, beat up little cafe’/bar. I say dark & beat up in the most loving of ways because it was TOTALLY my style! Exposed brick, candle light, beaten furniture, peeling wallpaper. It was the perfect setting for a cold, gloomy afternoon! It was called Tante Emma (“Aunt Emma”) which is even more fitting as ,well, Emma! Lindsey had an Irish coffee & I had a hot chocolate with rum & cream. It was the most perfect little cafe’ to me. I loved it. One of my favorite stops.

Once warmed up, we walked through Berlin some more before deciding on dinner at a place recommended to us by her cousin – it was as “Old German” (I do hope this is not offensive in any way) as you could get which is what we were looking for! It did have TVs with sports playing which modernized it a bit though. Everyone spoke German & we couldn’t quite figure out what to order so we spoke to the bartender who spoke enough English to understand us (note – please out of respect, learn enough conversational phrases in the language of whatever country you’re going to) & we told him “we want sausages and sour kraut!” and hoped for the best. It was damn good. We had more German beer, whatever one they recommended to us at the bar and because they enjoyed us they comped us rounds of different shots! We stayed out pretty late that night because Berlin doesn’t really sleep! We hit different bars & wondered the city streets til about 2 AM – Berlin was so cool. It looks exactly how I imagined it – art & paint everywhere! And not to be terribly American but I kind of thought maybe a touch dangerous – but I ended up feeling so safe! If you can walk around a city at 2 AM and no one bother you at all then that’s saying something. We even made it all the way back to the East Side Gallery to where we could really look at the wall this time. We got an Uber to our hotel & he was really cool – there were some places we still hadn’t got to see so he drove us to them before dropping us off – free of charge. He drove us by the Bellevue Palace and the “tall, pointy tower” (the Berlin TV tower) – after a glass of wine at the hotel bar that was shockingly still open, we went to bed.

The next day was my most favorite – we hopped another short plane ride to Munich. We stayed in Dachau because one of our stops on this trip was the somber and sobering Dachau Concentration Camp. However, night 1 was going to be spent in Munich at Oktoberfest. We got to our hotel & put on our dinrdls that we purchased for Oktoberfest. I was so excited for this part even though at first I thought I looked ridiculous – however, given that I’m curvy & my tits were pushed all the way up to my chin, I was feeling pretty confident and ready to go drink! Famous last words. Anyways, we take the train into Munich and got off at our stop. Oktoberfest was so fun! I have never experienced anything like it in my life! The beer tents were packed to the brim with people! Men were grabbing us to dance & I got pulled out on the dance floor with a total stranger. All the men were extremely handsy and trying to flirt and holla and it was just too much!! I am a hit in Europe ya’ll. We went to every one of them but only drank at Hofbrauhaus. After pounding our first stein of beer (well hers was beer mixed with lemonade), we ventured back out for food & rides…yes…rides. After drinking that much beer. We were the only 2 on the ride (you know the fair ride that ,literally, only spins you around really fast? Most fairs call it the “Scrambler”? well, we rode that) anyways, being the only 2 on there, the ride operators decided to give us our money’s worth and gave us an EXTRA long ride! We had a blast…until I wasn’t anymore. I could feel the beer sloshing around in my stomach and we went faster and faster around in circles. Lindsey took a video and you can literally see the exact moment I was no longer enjoying myself on that ride. My maniacal laughter stopped and my face fell & I blurted out “Lindsey I wanna get off!” while HER crazy laughter continued as her ridiculous friend *me* was concerned about keeping a liter of beer inside of her. I survived. And so did our dresses.

We walked around and saw what we needed to see before Lindsey asked me “you ready to have another one?” I am very cocky. “Yeah!” I blurt out and we head back into the Hofbrauhaus tent and get our 2nd steins. I drink the 2nd stein and am vibing out and enjoying the music and fending off strangers when it hits me fo’ real fo’real this time – I am shit faced. This was not how this is supposed to go. I had read in travel blogs to pace yourself & I thought I did! Oh no…I am white girl wasted. In a different country. Where men have been grabbing at us all night. What if I pass out somewhere? Lindsey is tiny! She can’t protect us! What if I die? Is this what dying feels like? I think I’m dying. It’s so cold outside. I’m definitely going to die. Ya’ll I only had 2 damn steins! So I do what is clearly the logical thing to do – I text Clinton that I am very drunk and I’m very afraid for my safety. He loses his shit. He calls me immediately and I believe this is our conversation from what I can remember :

“Why are you afraid?! Are you okay?! What is happening?!” – him
“I’m fine! I’m just drunk! Whyyyyyy do you always stress out like this? Clinton this is ridiculous I am fine. Lindsey talk to him & tell him I’m fine! *Lindsey hands me my phone back saying “GIRL TALK TO HIM HE’S YELLING AT ME”* God Clinton I’m fine. You’re being dramatic. I’m fine. Okay whatever track my location we’re leaving anyways” – me

Somewhere in between this I know we stopped for more food – bought a pretzel that I thought could soak up some alcohol and help me get normal again. I dropped it. Last thing I really remember is Lindsey trying to order a sausage and some older man kidding with her & telling her what she ordered was “cow peepee” and she handed it back to the lady working the cart & asked for bratwurst.

So, anyways, my sweet, darling boyfriend tracked my little blue dot from location services from Oktoberfest all the way to Dachau, walking me through each individual step. I’m fine. I’m drunk and have to pee but I’m texting him so clearly I am fine. “I’m fine” – what this blog post should actually be called. “That time I was fine in Germany” My mother must be so proud. After begging Lindsey to please find me a bathroom (there were none) when we got off the train, we -very shockingly- made it to the hotel without me having a wet dress. I passed out in bed. Yes folks, that is the summary of my time at Oktoberfest. Food. Beer. Handsy men. Wasted. Argument with my boyfriend in America. Pass out.

I wake up at 5:30 AM on our last full day & shower & get ready. Never underestimate me – Lindsey woke up a little later & looks at me & says “I didn’t expect you to be up so early” to which I respond “Girl I am hydrated and showered and ready to go! I’ve already looked at the map! Dachau is walking distance from here! Let’s go!” – I was back in the game. I also sent a very lengthy apology text to Clinton. The rest of our trip was much tamer. I drank tons of water, for one. We walked to Dachau and had a very eye opening experience. Obviously unlike anything I have ever experienced. We stayed for hours. Original plans were to take a train to the Neuchwanstein Castle but we no longer had time so we just took a train into the city of Munich and explored. More churches and cathedrals and museums. We had a late lunch at Ratskeller, bought all of our souvenirs, and decided with this being our last night in Germany, that we weren’t going to sleep. We were going to stay up all night in Munich, take the train to get our bags, then take the train right back to Munich to catch our flight home! It was a great plan in theory but we were exhausted. We ended our trip in Munich at a hookah lounge splitting a cold cheese sandwich when Lindsey said “I can’t let my last German meal be this sandwich!” so we found a restaurant that was still open to have one more delicious meal at ,like, midnight.

It was the perfect trip! Even if you include me getting stuck between train doors or getting trashed at Oktoberfest or almost being charged 60 euro for a 10 euro ticket! It was a blast & my absolute favorite trip I’ve ever taken! I came home with the worst swollen feet and ankles I have ever experienced from all the alcohol and walking with little rest but I wouldn’t trade a single thing about this trip.

The things you read here are true and accurate & I will never water down an experience, even if it makes me look like a dick. I’m sure you can appreciate this.

So that was my experience with Germany! I hope that inspires you to book your trip out to Oktoberfest & to always drink responsibly!

– Autumn

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