Sunday, August 17, 2014

Germany & France: Questions & Answers

Since we went to Germany and France in one trip I'm going to combine them here but I might split up some of the answers if needed.

Where did we go?
We went to Munich and Stuttgart, Germany as well as Mulhouse, France.
How long were we there?
We were in Munich for one day, Stuttgart for two days and Mulhouse for two days.

What language do they speak?
They speak German in Germany and French in France :).  More people in Germany were able to speak English with us if we had a question about something.  Very few people could speak English to us in France.  It could have been that we were in a little French town but it definitely was an eye opening experience to be surrounded by people we couldn't communicate with.

What currency do they use?
They both use the Euro which was really nice that we didn't have to change currency halfway through the trip.

Were things expensive?
Overall I thought things were pretty reasonable in both places.  Jake bought some clothes in Stuttgart and they were really cheap compared to clothes in Stockholm.  We did notice that most places wanted cash which was fine but we typically don't pay for things with cash because it is harder to keep track of where our money is going.

Would we be able to live there for a year?
I think we could live in either Germany or France for a year but I think it would be a harder transition.  So many people in Sweden speak English fluently that learning Swedish isn't necessary.  That wouldn't be the case in Germany or France.  I think had we moved to either of those countries we would know that language much more after living there as long as we have lived Sweden now because it would be necessary.  I took French in high school for two years but I don't remember any of it.  Maybe if I started studying it then something would come back but I'm not sure much would.  I think German would be a really helpful language to know.

What was most memorable thing about the trip?
Germany: The Porsche Museum was the most memorable part of that trip.  It was just awesome to see something we've been dreaming about visiting for years.

France: The Tour de France!  On Monday, July 14th (Bastille Day, French National Day) we started off the morning eating French 
pastries for breakfast and a French baguette for lunch and then we hiked up a mountains to watch the Tour de France.  It seemed like the perfect French experience.  We also rode bikes all over a cute, little French city before heading to the Bastille Day fireworks.  Jake said several times that was one of the best days of his life.  It was pretty awesome!

What was the food like?
Germany:  I feel like they had a lot of meat in Germany.  Like big hunks of meat for dinner.  It could be that is just what we ordered but that's what it seemed.  They also had lots of pretzels and beer.

France:  Pastries of course :).  Honestly, I'm not 100% sure what they had since we couldn't really read the menu.  We did have tarte flambée one day for lunch which reminded me of a very thin pizza.

Least favorite food?
The tarte flambée I ordered our first day in Mulhouse had more onions on it than anything ever should but other than that the rest of the food we had was great.

Favorite food?
The pastries we had for breakfast were amazing.  I had one with chocolate and another with shaved almonds and they were both melt in your mouth good!

Would we want to go back?
We would both love to go back to Germany or France.  I'm not sure I need to go back to these three specific cities, especially in the near future because they were pretty small and I felt like we saw what we needed to see, but there are several other cities in both countries we'd like to visit.

What was I most surprised by?
I was surprised by how little English people in Mulhouse knew and how isolating that can feel.  I was also really surprised we were able to watch the Tour in the mountains.  We talked about it and looked into it before we took the trip but it wasn't until the night before at 10:30 pm that we actually found a way to get up the mountain.  So that was a very pleasant surprise.

Did we do anything we thought we wouldn't do?
The last question answers this one.  I didn't think we'd get to see the Tour up in the mountains.

What did I learn about myself on this trip?
I learned that sometimes the best days are the ones that just fall into place. I am slowly learning to not stress out over the details and that for the most part things will work out and if they don't then you just have to change your expectations and move on.

If you want to read about our time in Germany or France click on the links.

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