Germany: cobblestone streets, colorful half-timbered houses, endless chimes from cuckoo clocks, rolling vineyards, snow-capped mountains, beer and schnitzel. That’s what I envisioned when I thought about Germany before my first trip there in 2013. But I didn’t exactly find that in Berlin. Instead, I found an abandoned amusement park, many significant lessons in history, a melting pot culture, and very modern buildings. I loved it, don’t get me wrong! But it left me craving more, hoping that my fairytale Germany really existed.
Queue the McReynolds, some of my old friends (high-school sweethearts!) from the glory days. They live the expat life on base in Wiesbaden, about 30 minutes outside of Frankfurt, and in November, they offered their precious home to us for the weekend. (Let’s just say, they would earn five out of five stars on Tripadvisor–easy–as both tour guides and hosts. I still feel like I can’t say “thank you” enough!) Oh, and they have their own goldendoodle, Dixie, who is strikingly similar to my own doodle dorks I miss so much in DFW.
Loving on Dixie, hanging out and reminiscing with Texas friends, staying on base with an American grocery store, and snacking on chips and salsa was the taste of home I so unknowingly needed.
Megan and Carson started our Rhine River tour in Bacharach, which is now a contender for the most picturesque village I’ve ever been to. Remember that Germany I described earlier? It was exactly that. And the best part was that the tourists were few and far between.
Rolling vineyards along the Rhine River–check!
Bacharach had it all.
It was undeniably charming. And even a bit humorous.
The more we walked, the more I felt like I was flipping through the pages of a storybook. I was kind of waiting for someone to pinch me and laugh while exclaiming that this wasn’t in fact real.
The next day we ventured to Rudesheim, where we found even more fairytale scenes, sipped on sweet Riesling wine and gluhwein, and wandered through Christmas markets that were setting up to open the following day.
And just before the sunset, we rushed to make one more stop in Mainz.
We didn’t spend much time here, as it was getting dark and a delicious German dinner was calling our names, but the city was definitely worthy of a quick wander.
Our last day in Germany was spent playing with Dixie and strolling about Wiesbaden.
Wiesbaden is fairly small, yet classy and quirky and adorable.
It’s known for its healing hot springs, an extravagant casino, and for having the “world’s largest cuckoo clock.”
And who knew Germany has such delectable Italian cuisine? We had a fabulous lunch at Ristorante ComeBack. Don’t be fooled by that cheesy name… we would definitely go back.
Ah, it was such a mellow and delightful weekend. The kind where you don’t have specific places to be at specific times… the kind that even without set plans, everything works out swimmingly because you’re in good company… the kind where you just feel refreshed and recharged, happy and grateful. It was the kind of fairytale weekend in Germany that I had always dreamed of.
Thanks again, Megan & Carson! We’re awaiting your arrival in Madrid 🙂