And the train keeps going. Next stop for us was Germany, where we spent the most time during this adventure -- and made some of the best memories. We took the train from Paris to Frankfurt, where my mom's uncle and his German wife picked us up and hosted us for 5 days at their home in Hochheim (super tiny town!). My great aunt was born and raised in this home so it's over three generations old and has been their home for almost 70 years. It was so awesome to transition from the busy city life to being immersed in a true, European small town. This is one of those towns that everyone knows each other. When you call the nail salon, you greet the person by saying your last name and you're immediately recognized. My great uncle and his wife know almost all the restaurant owners and who's who. The town is completely walkable; no metro, only a few bus lines.
Our stay with them was so memorable because we got a change from the hotel feel/ living out of a suitcase to a much more home-y and cozy experience. I think what I'll miss most are the breakfast spreads my great aunt would have laid out for us in the mornings. All different kinds of cheeses, fresh bread, soft boiled eggs in the cutest little holders, and a German delicacy: poppyseed cake. We stayed there for four days and explored more of Hochheim as well as Mainz, where we went to the Gutenburg Museum.
That was one of my favorite places we went this whole trip because of how cool it was to learn the history behind print. Obviously being a writing lover, I was captivated from the start. Even cooler, we entered this vault that holds the world's oldest copy of the Bible. Sadly no cameras were allowed but it was even better in a way to soak it all in even more. That's actually been a trending nugget for this whole trip. Not to go off on a tangent but -- we only have wifi in our hotels/ the houses we stay in so during the day we're completely phone less which at first was really unknown, new, and outside my comfort zone. A few days later, and I've gotten so used to it and it's proved to make the trip that much more memorable. Instead I've been journaling during the day when we're out and have down time, and really taking the time to soak in every moment.
A few days later, we left small town life for Munich! Munich was amazing. I'm so glad we made the stop here as well. The city is so alive and filled with so much history. We did a full day tour on a double decker bus which was perfect. The city is filled with castles, $2 sausages, BEER, and such intricate architecture. Fun fact too is that there are no skyscrapers allowed to be built in the city because under the Catholic law, no building can be higher than their oldest church. So all of the skyscrapers are actually right outside the city lines.
Other than that, Germany definitely lives up to its stereotype about having mean people. Sadly. The people have been so rude!! :( it's crazy but it just opens your eyes so much to the level of care and customer service we get in America. The grass isn't always greener!
Finally to end things off, the absolute best part of Germany was hands down meeting 4 of my second cousins that I had never met before. It's so amazing the connection that family brings that is unlike any other. Within one hour of meeting all of them on different occasions, it was like we had been friends for a lifetime. I'm so blessed to finally have met more of my family-- they're truly people I want to do life with on a consistent basis. And hopefully have them visit us here in the Bay!