A Look At Germany By DarthyDay

This last Christmas, my boyfriend and I decided to visit my family in Germany. Since this was his first time there, it was very interesting seeing his reaction to the cultural differences and similarities that we share. So, I figured to write down our adventure to share with you and brag about my home country.

An international flight over the sea is always long and you can expect to be in the sky for roughly 13 hours, not including overlay between airports. On the “big plane”, the one flying over the ocean, you sit for about 9 hours but receive a personal TV with various movies to watch, games to play, or music to listen to. You also get two meals and it may just be me, but I do really enjoy airplane food.

We finally landed in Hamburg, Germany where my dad picked us up and we drove to my hometown of Buxtehude, Germany. Just the 45 minute drive, you can tell the difference of the roads and landscape than that of the United States. We, of course, road on the autobahn, which is basically the German equivalent of a US highway. However, the roads are much narrower and made to accommodate the land so greenery is not lost.

We spend 2 weeks in Germany, however, during the holidays stores close more often than just the usual Sunday. One thing every German town and city has is the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) which are booths set up with foods, candies, alcohol, and goods that are sold for the people to celebrate. We went to a few markets which were located in Buxtehude, Stade, and Hamburg. Decorations are splattered all over downtown, which, I would describe, as traditional rather than the commercial Christmas look that we are use to.

Christmas is celebrated for 3 days, December 24th thru the 26th. Christmas Eve is the day you spend with family and open gifts. December 25th you spend with friends and/or family and celebrate with drinks and cakes. December 26th usually consists of going to a restaurant to eat a traditional German dinner which is roasted goose. Christmas time in Germany is not too different than Christmas time in the States but, still holds a bit of cultural differences. Just to clarify also, Germany does not do the pickle ornament that Americans think we do for some reason.

We also stayed to celebrate New Years with friends and family which is very similar to the way the US celebrates. The only difference, I would say, is the potency of the fireworks that they carry with the only illegal ones being from Poland because they can contain TNT.

I was able to show my boyfriend the different types of German food that I enjoyed while growing up and was overjoyed that he enjoyed it too. Every morning, I ate my bread with zwiebelmett, which is basically raw ground meat with onions and it is my favorite thing to eat. I don’t want to bore you with details of the foods but here are some we ate. We had currywurst, gruenkohl, hünerfrikassee, schnitzel, doner, and many different cakes which all brought be back to my childhood.

Since we were in Germany for two weeks, I wanted to show my boyfriend some historical locations along with shops that we aren’t able to go to in the US. We visited a concentration camp called Neuengamme and witnessed the museum learned details about that specific camp. We visited Hamburg a few times to see historical buildings along with the famous Reeperbahn and the saw the stadium that St. Pauli plays in (go St. Pauli!). We went to a clothing store called Primark that has cheap, fashionable clothing. Hamburg is a very big fish city so we were able to experience traveling by ferry but also the usual train system.

All in all, the trip to Germany was something I needed so I could see my family and having my boyfriend with me made it 100 times better to be able to share my home with him and experience the culture. I would recommend a vacation to Germany to everyone because of the many different adventures one could have plus experiencing the food and party life (bars close at 6 am) is so different and exciting. We will be going back next year and I can’t wait to do things we weren’t able to do and share it with everyone.