An Unexpected Summer Vacation in Germany

German Flag on boat in Bernkastel-Kues

Why go to Germany?

I knew that the summer would race by and soon Autumn would be approaching.  Something I did not know is that I would find myself in an unusual situation with some additional days off.  Therefore, I spontaneously planned a vacation to Germany! Germany seemed like a very obvious choice for me to consume my free time.  I spent 8 nights at the most affordable hotel (aka one of my best friends abode).

My good friend Jen while we were in Idar Oberstein!

I have friends that live all over the world, including one of my very good friends; Jen, who happens to live in Germany.  Her husband is in the military which enables them to travel and live in a variety of places.  She moved over to Germany about four years ago but it was not until this past summer that I had the vacation time to visit her.  Each day was filled with fun and adventurous things to see and do!  You can find details of each of these places below.

Me on the day we hiked around the vineyards near Bernkastle-Kues.

Places that we went in Germany

Planning my Trip

As I mentioned previously, this was an extremely spontaneous trip for me.  Technology is a huge advantage in our lives today.  This trip would not even have been possible without it.  Using Facebook Messenger App, I was able to contact my friend in minutes.  Since we do not have the chance to talk regularly, I started the conversation with “What are you doing next week?”  She naturally asked me the same question and my response was “I am hoping to visit you!”

Clearly she was available, and I was more than willing to jump at the chance to go.  Google Flights is one of the absolute best resources for booking flights!  Other similar flight websites that I have used include Skiplagged, and Kayak.  They are each good for their own reasons and I use all 3 of them, but I use Google Flights the most.  I often use it in tandem with the others.  After a few clicks away and I was scheduled to depart for a foreign country!

I really do not understand this philosophy, but I have heard to book your flights on a Tuesday.  It was Thursday night when I first contacted Jen.  The Tuesday that followed was the day I booked my flight.  Maybe this means I got lucky on my price, but for a last minute international deal I paid only $925.  Let me be the first to tell you that you can definitely book cheaper international tickets.  With that said, August a peak tourist month in Germany.  I think there were several factors that contributed to the price but with free hotel accommodations I was not as concerned for this trip.

Flying International Alone

Booking the flight was the easier part for me.  Flying can be difficult and I get stressed out to go alone.  My anxiety consumes me the day of my flight every time.  That is never going to be the stopping point for me to get where I want to go.  CJ was calling me the “brave little toaster” for making this trip on my own (usually we fly together).  Nonetheless, the TSA checks always intimidate me and when I have layovers (I did on this trip) I get worried about missing my connecting flight.  Not to mention, I worry also about the possibility of having a freak airplane accident like the one that happen to the women on Southwest in April.  As my sister kindly reminded me before I departed, it’s far more likely to die in a car crash. (Thanks sis! *Rolls eyes*)

It was a relief to finally arrive at Frankfurt, the pilot announced that we would need to board a bus that would take us to the terminal. What?!! I have never had to do this flying anywhere.  When I reach Jen, she told me that this procedure was a fairly common occurrence at Frankfurt.  It was not hard, I just followed like a herded sheep but sitting and waiting increased my anxiety.  Going through customs made me panic stricken.  What if they didn’t let me in? I knew I had no reason whatsoever to be denied, but I did not know how to pronounce Hoppstädten-Weiersbach (the town I would be spending my vacation).  If the customs officer asked where I was staying I had no idea how to say it. Thankfully he only asked if I had been to Germany before, to which I stuttered a response. “No…well I mean I never entered the country but I flew through Munich once.”
He let me in and I found my friend waiting just outside the doors. Phew!

 

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