Bamberg: one of the best in Bavaria

Bamberg: one of the best in Bavaria

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” -Benjamin Franklin

I arrived in Bamberg late Friday night after about six and a half hours of travel, for a trip that should have taken less than four. Despite it being my most difficult train trip, I made it in before nine at least, and got all check in to my hostel, The Sleepy Owl. Being just a five minute walk from the train station, was certainly a perk, especially after so many things had gone wrong already earlier in the day. I was quite tired, after I finally arrived around eight-thirty, so I decided to stay in and get some sleep before heading out to explore the city early on Saturday morning.

My train trouble, unfortunately, started when I fell asleep for the first time ever on a train, and has probably deterred me from every taking a short nap on a train again any time soon. Although I was supposed to be riding the S1 all the way from Neustadt to Osterbruken, we stopped half-way there, while only half of the train continued on to our final destination. So while I was supposed to be hopping on a different train car, I was a bit disoriented from sleep, and the train left without me. Then I was forced to wait another hour before the next train ran through, and that’s what caused the rest of the delay. Because by the time I finally made it to Osterbruken, a bunch of trains were delayed to and from southern Germany. Oh well, I made it eventually. However, I was quite tired, and since I had already grabbed a bite to eat earlier in the evening at one of my train changes, I had a cozy night in my room till falling asleep.

On Saturday, by two in the afternoon, I had made my way around much of the city. I started off my day walking from my hostel to the Dom (church), but before I made it all the way there I ran right into a Christmas market (called a Weinahchtsmarkt in Deutsche). Of course, I took a stroll through, wandering from booth to booth, sampling some tasty treats, and enjoying the holiday spirit. Eventually, I continued on and found the Domstrasse (church street), the Dom, and a few other places of historical value before stopping at my first Franconian brewhouse- Ambrausianum. I had a sampler tray with a light helles lager, a weisen bier, a dunkel, and the famous smoked bier of the region. I actually quite enjoyed it, to my surprise, and I also really like the weisen bier too.

Afterwards, I ventured on to find the next place to sample the smoked beer, traditional in Franconia. The second “brauerei” I visited was called Fassla. I really enjoyed a lager from here, and I was very pleased to finally have reached a region of Germany where they brew more than shitty pilsner (which is all I can find in Neustadt). I guess that’s to be expected though, when moving to wine region in Deutschland, not the greatest beer.

Saturday was a lot of fun. It was so great to get out of the house, and adventure outside of Neustadt, getting the chance to see different regions in Deutschland. I had a wonderful time just simply walking around town, taking in all the sites. It’s times like this when it truly dawns on me just how wonderful my life is!

I get the opportunity of a lifetime every time I step out my door and go someplace new on the weekends. So far since having moved to Deutschland exactly ten weeks ago on Saturday, I’ve had too many incredible adventures to count. I’ve met countless new people, explored wonderful new places, and enjoyed trying so many new things. I’ve had the opportunity to start a new job, teaching in a vastly different environment than ever before. Further, I’ve learned valuable new skills in teaching the two new subjects from the social studies discipline that I’ve been assigned- human geography and economics. I’ve met some wonderful new people at my job who help make Neustadt feel more and more like home everyday. I’ve visited with family while being in Deutschland, which is truly special, but also demonstrates just how small our world that we live in really is.

Of the some 195 countries in the entire world, what are the odds that I’d be living in Germany at the same time when my cousin and her family are! We’ve never lived this close together in our entire lives, up until this point. It is because of this that I’ve finally had the chance to meet Tammy’s husband Jaxon, and their two and a half year old twins, Hopkins and Winfield. I feel so fortunate to have this unique opportunity to call their home in the northwest region of Germany my family home-away-from-home. I’m having the most wonderful time getting to know a cousin on my mom’s side of the family better, since growing up our time together was always limited to two week vacations in Kansas over the summer. Even better, we are getting to know each other as adults, each on our own international adventures; which is quite special as all my memories with the Frazier cousins growing up are of me, one of the youngest of the clan, tagging along with everyone who was older than I. Also, the twins are just adorable; of course it’s hard not to be when you’re two. And I’ve finally met Jaxon, who no surprise, is a lovely person, very generous and easy to get along with. I’m forever grateful to the Lee family and their willingness to invite me into their home anytime, whether it’s a weekend, a holiday, or any other time of the year.

Not only do I appreciate my job and my family in Germany, but there is still endless exploring for me to do all across Europe! So far, I’ve hit three countries, but I’m not nearly finished. I don’t think I could have ever anticipated all the wonderful experiences I was signing myself up for, just by taking a risk and moving across the world to Thailand last May. I knew life was surely going to change, but just how much, and just how happy I’d grow to become, I’m not sure that was what I had in mind. Sure, life’s had it’s difficulties these past seven and a half months, but nothing worth having ever comes free. Instead of dwelling on the tough times though, I see them as opportunities for growth. By pushing through and forging ahead, I always know they’ll be lessons to learn and amazing experiences on the other side of each uphill climb. I just cannot express in words how fantastic life is! Seeing the world yields perspective and an endless amount of gratitude–I’m just so blessed to call this wonderful adventure my life!

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