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Moving to Germany

February 17, 2011

Moving to Germany

Having the opportunity to live abroad is an absolute dream come true. Since arriving in Germany, my days have been filled with excitement, confusion, growth, and discovery. Here are some of my first impressions of life in Deutschland…

stuttgart-germanyThe view from my hotel room of the town of Boeblingen, which is a suburb of the city of Stuttgart.

I have enjoyed waking up each morning to the view of this German village covered in fresh snow. In the center of the village, there is a church bell tower that rings at 6:00 am every morning to let everyone know it’s time to wake up! Since I am jet-lagged, sleeping in would be a luxury, but unlikely with these early morning church bells!

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My cute German hotel, The Reussenstein, which has fresh pretzels delivered daily. In Deutschland, I would expect nothing less!

stuttgart-germany-5My hotel room is simple and the bed is quite comfortable. There is no English television, so I will be watching movies on my laptop for the remainder of my stay.

Luckily, Dixie isn’t having a problem catching up on sleep!

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The hotel has a nice restaurant downstairs that serves typical Swabian cuisine. Wild Boar, Black Forrest Smoked Trout, and traditional Swabian Roast Beef are just a few of the delicious things on the menu.

When asked for my drink order, I had to specifically ask for ice in my Cola, otherwise, they wouldn’t have given me any. I adore how drinks are brought out in small glass pitchers and stemware… so fancy!

stuttgart-germany-8Unlike America, a lot of Europeans walk or take public transportation. Today, I ventured out to the city of Stuttgart and rather than driving, I took the S-Bahn for the first time, which was an adventure of its own!

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Being that it is still the middle of winter, waiting for the train was uncomfortably cold. I now realized I didn’t come fully prepared for these cold German winters and will need to be better equipped next time.

stuttgart-germany-11Downtown Stuttgart is filled with high-end restaurants, wine bars, shopping malls, and a few castles. This is what is considered to be the “New Castle” or “Neues Schloss”.

stuttgart-germany-12Located next to the “New Castle” is the “Old Castle”or “Altes Schloss”.

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While exploring the Altes Schloss, I stumbled upon winding staircases, a museum with crown jewels, and a church filled with beautiful architectural details.

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Continuing on through the cobblestone streets of the old part of this modern metropolis, I pass an old church and a platz with fancy outdoor cafes.

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There are no shortage of bakeries {bakerei} selling fresh breads {brötchen}, sugared donuts, and flaky croissants.

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Cute cafes are scattered throughout most European cities. Germans love spending time outdoors so there are always plenty of tables for those who wish to dine al fresco.

Strandkörbe, or hooded beach chairs, shield customers from the cold on windy days. Strandkörbe are beach baskets that are commonly found on the beaches of Northern Germany. I’ve decided that I must have one!

stuttgart-germany-28I passed a small flower market selling bundles of red tulips.

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Even in the middle of winter, colorful flowers are displayed in front of local flowers shops and home decor stores. I already love this place!

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I am discovering that I have an affinity for traditional German architecture, with its pitched roofs and charming flower boxes hanging in every window!

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Bicycles and mopeds are popular here… even in the winter! There are a number of Rent-A-Bike stations around town for tourists or locals who don’t have their own.

stuttgart-germany-36Passerbyers reading the daily news.

stuttgart-germany-38In addition to a few castles, downtown Stuttgart is studded with shopping malls and department stores, as well as tons of people out shopping in the middle of a week day. There doesn’t seem to be an economy crisis here!

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Moving to this large city where everyone speaks a different language feels extremely overwhelming at the moment. While I feel a bit lost and unable to read any road signs or maps, I am really looking forward to exploring this part of the world for the next few years. I imagine that even if I go somewhere new every weekend for the next three years, I still won’t see all of Germany!

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