Europe #4: Deutschland, the Land of Very Big Beers

Welcome to Europe post number four! After leaving Amsterdam, Giovanni took us across the border into Germany. The autobahn! I had thought that the autobahn was a special highway where everyone drove sports cars at 150 miles per hour. Turns out the autobahn is just Germany’s highway system – the whole thing. Most of the time it’s just like a regular highway in America. Our beloved tour bus, loaded up with all of us and all of our precious luggage clocked in at a max of about 60 miles per hour – really screaming down the road, ya know? Much of the time we were in moderate traffic so we didn’t see too many fast cars flying by in the passing lane, but occasionally one would shoot by. Not as dramatic as I’d hoped though.

We were in Germany for four days, but we weren’t in any single place in Germany for very long. Lots and lots of bus time. Our first stop was Cologne, where we stopped to see the Cologne Cathedral in the center of town and have lunch. Like many of our stops, we were only in the city for about two hours. I opted to spend my time photographing the cathedral instead of sitting down for lunch. The cathedral was grand and intricate from the outside and a lot of fun to photograph. The inside was dark, like most cathedrals, but also dramatic and nice for a few photos. Inside I lit a candle for my grandma who passed away this year. I’ve never lit a candle in a cathedral before, but I knew my grandma would love it.

Cologne Cathedral exterior, left, and interior, right.

Cologne Cathedral exterior, left, and interior, right. Construction took 600 years!

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Europe #3: Explosions of Sweetness and Joy

Ok…here we are at post number three and I’m only on my second day in Paris…*looks around nervously*…gonna get this trip written up in three more posts…yup!

Alright, so after my night at the Eiffel Tower, I had an incredibly fabulous day by myself touring Paris. Thankfully it can be summed up pretty quickly since I did things most of you have probably heard of. I went alone because I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I knew I’d be going at a really fast pace and that doesn’t usually work well with a group.

I had purchased a two-day Metro pass the night before, so I got up and made my way up to the Pigalle neighborhood to visit Buvette, a precious little restaurant that had been recommended to me by a friend of the family. It did not disappoint. The staff was delightful, spoke great English and the brunch I ordered was among the best meals I ate during my trip. I got their Croque-Madame, which is basically a melty toasted ham and cheese sandwich with an egg on top. Not only was it delicious, but it was beautiful.

Croque-Madame from Buvette. I could not have been happier eating this.

Croque-Madame from Buvette. I could not have been happier eating this.

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Drinkable and More Than Remotely Pleasant

Exams are over and I just finished my haircut/massage/pedicure day (I’m surprisingly reliable in my planning, no?). It was glorious. When the massage girl asked me to pick between three different massage oil fragrances I picked the one that smelled like grapefruit and rosemary and as she was massaging me and the room filed with that glorious smell I realized why I liked it so much. It reminded me of a cocktail. And I got super inspired. So those of you who enjoy my cocktail artistry – I’m working on a grapefruit and rosemary concoction that I am hoping will rival the ginger martini. But that’s a lot of pressure. So let’s just say I hope it’s drinkable and more than remotely pleasant.

My new pedicure and a lovely view of my sausage toes.

My new pedicure and a lovely view of my sausage toes.

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