Triberg – Crazy, Sexy, Cuckoos

e048daec0e9c9ceec245cebc9d77b561First things first.  I dare you to not get TLC stuck in your head while reading this post. Secondly, as I write this, I am SICK.  SO SICK.  Like hacking up a lung SICK. And I hate being sick, especially in a foreign land.  And even more especially in a foreign land where they consider Vitamin C and Echinacea an appropriate solution to lung-hacking.  And if I’m being completely honest, I’m also a huge baby.  Regardless, if you’re reading this, please send a full-time nurse, some antibiotics, some of that good American Pseudoephedrine, and a hug.  Okay, enough of my whining. Onto our day trip to Triberg!

2d3764a9d82ef61c7e25d159835130e1November 1st is All Saint’s Day in certain states in Germany, so we had the day off to sightsee.  Choosing day trips is really tough, especially on a holiday since most things are closed.  I saw pictures of Triberg, which is located in the Black Forest, and I thought it looked like a great fall escape to get out and enjoy before the Germany wintry weather is really upon us.

d1decec12fe1aa3c2d42a3331efc8ebaIt was a three hour train ride, which is especially beautiful as you enter the Black Forest.  The trees along the ride are incredible – extremely tall spruce and fir trees that seem to reach up into space.  Also, I feel like I need to clarify that the train above is not the train we took to Triberg (love you, Mom)!

d3bb2c0c622cc65363e2487c3c8d44b3The town is most known for it’s cuckoo clocks and it’s waterfall.  We started the day with a trek up to see the waterfall, which was the real reason we wanted to visit.  It’s a pretty good workout up the hill to see the waterfall, especially if you choose to go all the way to the top, but so worth it!  Also, I continue to be impressed that in Germany there is always someone significantly older and less fit to hike up a hill, doing it without complaint.  So, no room for whiners, up I go!

bc5272c35d95198a0f9fa85f11274e12.jpgOn our way up to see the waterfall, we passed a guy wearing a Texas A&M jacket, and despite the fact that I’m what you would call a ‘2 percenter’ Aggie, barely went to football games, and the worst offense – married a Longhorn, something strange happened and I spontaneously transformed into a yell leader and gave a big ‘Whoop!’ AND “Gig ’em” with the thumb and all.  I haven’t seen Andy since.  I’m kidding, he can’t escape me.

bb7c5abf9a3bf9ab9f3fb9f751612192The waterfall and the trail up to the waterfall was truly stunning.  Perhaps I haven’t seen many waterfalls, but I thought the views were definitely worth the trip.

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3901bdbc48e6db6c173a4d5f776e62baAfter our hike up to see the waterfalls, we made our way back down into town and had worked up quite an appetite.  We had a pretty traditional German meal, accompanied with a beer, of course, and then set off to see the rest of what the town had to offer.

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384ae4cc37595941efdd96b156f5fceaTriberg is known for it’s cuckoo clocks, so we went in one of it’s most well-known shops, House of 1000 Clocks. The intricate detail that goes into making these clocks was truly impressive. There was also really neat wood-working shop with figurines, manger scenes, and Christmas ornaments all carved out of wood.

 

 

457fc177b501489229198f08cf28ac06Now, this is where I feel like I need to be completely honest with anyone reading this. This is about where we ran out of things to do, and learned a small lesson in travel planning.  If you aren’t sure how long you will spend somewhere, buy the flexible train tickets or rent a car!  Yes, had we really thought this through, we would have rented a car, because beyond the beautiful waterfall, there wasn’t much else to see!

I think sometimes bloggers don’t share enough about things they’ve been slightly disappointed in, so I’m putting it out there, guys!  With all due respect to Triberg, the waterfalls were beautiful but there’s only so much of my day I can fill with cuckoo clocks.

74a4e1d53f3578b5925e11566812b389If I were to do it again, would we make the day trip to Triberg?  Yes, of course!  But we would do it tagged onto another trip, possibly to see more of the Black Forest.

Now, back to hanging in bed the rest of the day in my sea of tissues.

Party like a Tourist.

“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot 
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It’s October in Germany, which can only mean one thing.  Oktoberfest!

End of September through mid-October in Germany is abound with Volkfests, which in Germany are really just festivals with beer, wine, food, amusement rides, etc. The most notorious Volksfest being Munich Oktoberfest. We happen to live near Stuttgart, which has a phenomenal Volksfest, and this year we did it BIG.  Lederhosen, dirndl, braided hair.  We drank the liters of beer, sang Sweet Caroline at the top of our lungs.  We sang German songs like Texans that know very little German.  And here in Germany, something I can appreciate, is if you dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, you are in great company.

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Dirndl shopping at Krüger in Stuttgart.

It’s only been just over a month that we’ve been living in Germany, and one thing has really stood out to me.  I’ve lived in some great cities, but am guilty of having not made the most of seeing and doing all the things to experience the places that I’ve lived in the US.  It’s more obvious to me now that we are in another country and go see something different almost every weekend.  If you’re friends with expats, you probably notice that as well.  They see everything.  They live like they only have a few years there. Oktoberfest may not be available to everyone, but I bet there are some really great things to see and experience right where you are. It doesn’t take a trip overseas to see new things, learn, and have loads of fun!
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The lesson for myself, is wherever I am, whether in Europe or small-town Texas, is to party like a tourist!  Live like you’re only going to be there for a few years.  Go to the festivals. Go to the museums.  Take a road trip.  Go to the farmers market.  Pour yourself a beer, turn on Sweet Caroline really loud, stand up on a chair, but not on the table (you animal) and live a full life where you are.  Prost!
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Sometimes You Get What You Need

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This week marks one month that we have been living in Germany.  It’s still so hard to believe that we’re here thousands of miles from our family, friends, and a decent margarita!

Andy and I have both lived in Texas our entire lives.  But about 6 months ago, we found out that Andy was getting a great opportunity with his job, that would take us to Germany, if we accepted it.  I’d worked in the corporate world since coming out of college, and the idea of not working honestly really scared me!  I mean, what am I going to do all day?  Will my life have purpose?  I wonder if I will get depressed with those long cold Winters?  Can I still afford Lululemon pants?!  We had several long talks, but both knew deep down that this was an opportunity, that if not taken, we would deeply regret.  We quickly told our families and friends, and then not long after, put our house on the market, sold our cars, and here we are!

I did a lot of thinking on how I would use this time in Germany, because as I said, the thought of being unemployed terrified me!  One thing really stood out to me in those times of reflection.  I think so often in adulthood, we lose the art of “play”, and get caught up in always being productive in some way.  For some of us, it’s because we don’t create the space necessary, and others are juggling parenthood and multiple jobs, and legitimately don’t have the space in their lives.  So in this season, I really wanted to be purposeful, and do things that I enjoy, just for the heck of it.  If you would have told me several years ago that I would be leaving my job, selling everything, and moving to Europe, I would have said you were CRAZY.  Nope.  I’m a realist.  What, am I going to start blogging too?  Well, God has a humorous way of reminding us who is in control.  And he has an even better way of giving us what we need, even when we don’t realize we need it.  I’m sure one day I will be back in Texas, neck deep in work deadlines, racing home to a couple unruly kids, and I will daydream about the season in life when I had the space and freedom to rest, play, dream, and to have the occasional 2 pm beer.  Am I right?

I’m really excited to share our journey, from life in Germany to travel adventures, and of course some of my favorite recipes I’ve cooked up (in our teeny-tiny German kitchen)!  Stay tuned.

Tschüss!

Christan