Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Germany (and London): Photo recap

Last night I battled jet lag to upload and sort through our photos from London and Germany. My eyes were red, but we had American Idol, the Mavericks-Hornets game, and election coverage to keep us awake. The photos kept me awake too, of course, because they reminded me of what a great trip it was.

First of all, even though the forecast called for rainy, 50-degree weather throughout our trip, we had surprisingly nice and springlike weather the whole time. One day in London was crazy, with rain one minute, sunshine the next, then both simultaneously five minutes after that. And the next day was gorgeous. Just check out that sky.



I LOVED London. I sort of thought I would, and Torsten, who lived there for three years before he moved to the US, said that I would, and also I had been there before, but only in 1995, and I hardly remembered it. But wow, it was great. It was just the perfect city. It's sophisticated but not snobby, and beautiful and complex, and each little neighborhood is like its own mini city. Often after I spend a few days in a city, I feel like I've more or less seen it all, but in London I knew I hadn't even gotten to the tip of the iceberg. AND the city buses are double decker, so I got the luxury of seeing the sights from the top of a bus without paying exorbitant tourist fees. How much more perfect could it get?



Basically, I want to go back to London. Although we had a good time in Germany too. The weather there was also surprisingly nice and mild. We didn't do much--we weren't there for long, and it would have bothered Torsten's mother quite a bit if we'd gone jaunting off to faraway towns like last time. So we stuck around his hometown, walking around the city, hiking a little trail that Torsten loved as a kid, and visiting a garden show. It was very peaceful. And very nice.



So! Since we're talking about travel today, let's address your questions that have to do with that subject.

First, The Tomball Three asks, How many countries have you visited and what are they?
Outside of the US, obviously, I've visited Canada, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Senegal. So I guess that means I've visited nine foreign countries.

Ashley D asks, If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
This question stumps me because there are so many places I want to visit. My practical side wants to say Antarctica, because I want to visit all seven continents and that one is the most difficult and expensive to get to. So if I could travel anywhere, that would have to be it, since I would be more likely to get to the other places later. But high on the list are also Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Panama.

Alexa asks, What is the most outrageous thing you witnessed while in Germany?
Ummmmm. Wow, this is a really tough question. I haven't really seen anything outrageous in Germany, and particularly not on this last trip, which was very low-key. Let's see. Last time we were there some woman backed into Torsten's parked car without even looking behind her, then flipped out at him and called him an asshole like it was his fault. That was pretty outrageous. Although not specifically German. Does that count?

The Frog Princess
has two questions, both travel-related. The first is, What is your favourite German food? Please describe in detail.
There is a lot of really yummy German food, including schnitzel, bratwurst, and black forest cake. But my absolute favorite has got to be mett. I had never heard of it before my last trip to Germany, but it is basically minced pork meat from the inside of a sausage. It's served raw, usually on a baguette with onion. And it is SO GOOD.

The second is, Based on this last trip, what is one touristy thing that I absolutely must see/do while I'm in London in July?
Oh man. This is impossible. If Torsten were answering this question, he would say the London Eye, which is a HUGE wheel above the Thames, like a Ferris Wheel only much, much bigger. It takes about half an hour to go around and you are in a big glass capsule with like 20 other people. It provides fantastic views. Of course, it also costs about 13 pounds, which is a lot considering the exchange rate. But it was fun. Still, it wasn't my favorite part of the trip. I would suggest walking the Millennium Mile, which has the added bonus of taking you past Tower Bridge, which I love. Also, I'd take one of the normal double decker buses, and try to ride in the front at the top--on some routes, you get a great view of lots of the sites, and it doesn't cost nearly as much as the sightseeing bus tours. But really, you just can't go wrong with London. That city is AMAZING.

You can see the full set of photos here.

43 comments:

Nilsa S. said...

I've been to London a number of times and I don't think I ever saw skies as beautiful as that. Lucky girl you are! Pictures are great - sounds like you're still on a high from the trip. Yeah!

Stephanie said...

Yayyy London! God, I love that city. Did you see the building where I worked across the river from the Tower of London? Yayyy London!

PS. Torsten's family is very cute.

playintherain said...

Oh, I LOVE London! I went about 7 years ago and didn't think I would like it, but I fell in love. It's very clean for such a large city. Looks like you had fun!

lspoon said...

Wow! Looks like a great trip! I'm so jealous :)

LoriD said...

I love London too. My brother just moved there and I can't wait to get out to visit him. I love your pictures!

Catharina said...

I spent a day in London in May 2006(while visiting a friend nearby) and we had that exact same crazy weather! Maybe it's typical for London this time of year? Since we only had that one day there, it was really too bad, but I loved the city anyway!

Maxie said...

It looks really beautiful! Unfortunately I've never been to europe... but i'm glad you had a great time :-)

p.s. I saw that you commented about the whole thing that happened to my friends this weekend and thankfully that was NOT in my town. We go like 45 minutes away to go to that bar... but usually stuff like that doesn't happen where I live, thank god. :-)

Michelle & the City said...

wow i can't believe how blue the skies were! glad you guys had a great time on your trip :)

sid said...

You're kidding me. You're American 13 pounds isn't that much for you as it is for us for south africans. what is it now 12 rand for 1 pound?

lfar said...

SOOOOO NICE! That first picture? I am writhering in jealously!

(spell check says that's not a word, but I'm leaving it)

glamorous152 said...

great pics! Makes me want to go to London even more (if that was even possible!)

Pickles & Dimes said...

I agree with Nilsa, when I was in London for a week, I saw nothing but grey skies. You looked like you had perfect weather!

the frog princess said...

Have I ever mentioned that I am terrified of Ferris Wheels? However, being in a big glass bubble might not be so bad... I'll think about it :)

And Mett sounds... interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about raw pork, but if I ever make it to Germany I'll be sure to try it :)

Emblita said...

Loved the photos! They are awesome and how lucky you are to have had such good weather in London.

I'm glad things went better with the in-laws... I sort of went through the same thing with my MIL but I think she just needed to get used to the idea that I was becoming a part of the family. Since then she´s mostly been nice.

I didn't ask a question since I was totally blank- but one came to me now so I'm including it here:
Now that you have been to London and liked it so much- would you consider moving there if the opportunity arose?

Deutlich said...

why are these pictures making me misty eyed?! yeesh.. I suck w/the emotions these days..

Kat said...

The Mitt? You just made me more nauseated than I already am - ewwwww....

As always, LOVELY pictures, you must have like THE best camera ever!

Sizzle said...

I wanna go on a vacation! I really want to go back to London. There is so much to see/do/experience.

Alice said...

oh wow! i've only ever been to london when it was cold and sort of nasty out :-( i want to go for lovely spring weather! i'm glad you guys had such a great time!

Ashley D said...

You are so lucky! Both times I went to London the weather was cold, wet, gray, and rainy. I saw no such thing as a blue sky with clouds!

Lacey Bean said...

Glad that you had such a good time! And that the weather held up! I liked London when I was there, but was kind of disappointed in the city - I guess cause it reminded me of New York? But of course, I would go back in a heartbeat.

pessimisticredhead said...

You guys are so cute! And it looks lovely.

fairydogmother said...

The Tomball Three asked the question I was originally going to ask, but now that you've answered it I have a new question:

Spain holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first time I ever travelled without my parents, and the first time I travelled overseas. So my question is what is your favorite part of Spain to spend time in and why?

Also, I've not yet been to London, although I have a feeling I would love it. In the meantime I'm enjoying traveling vicariously through others.

Penny said...

Awesome photos. I always love it when someone can capture a sunny day in London. Sounds like you had some fun...

Welcome back!

d e v a n said...

Love the pics!

SLynnRo said...

Isn't it amazing how different the sky looks in Europe? It is SO much prettier. I can't explain it. Every picture from Paris I have looks like the sky is fake.

Saly said...

I love the photo of you guys on the bench.

1218Blog said...

So you must have brought the blue skies and sunshine with you to London! I have never seen it like that. When I went it was gray skies and rain all the way. It looks like a fabulous time.

Banana said...

London is on my "have to go before I die" list. It look like you had a great time. Welcome back! :)

Julie said...

Yay! You're home! Great pictures! So glad you had a great time! I've never been to London...or Germany...but want to go to both places. They're on my bucket list.

Stefanie said...

Oh, I love London. Who was it who said, "When you've tired of London, you've tired of life"? I don't recall, but I do enjoy the sentiment.

I haven't been there since 1995 either, but since you're quite a bit younger than I am, I remember it. :-)

Mandy said...

Looks like a fabulous time! Love the pictures!

kristens81 said...

All of the pics are stunning. I lived in Scotland when I was younger and travelled to London quite a few times but as nilsa s. says I never saw such beautiful skies.

kristens81 said...

All of the pics are stunning. I lived in Scotland when I was younger and travelled to London quite a few times but as nilsa s. says I never saw such beautiful skies.

Vanessa said...

Between your photos and description, I think I want to move to London!

Alexa said...

i want to get stuck on the top of that ferris wheel for a very very long time

Princess Pointful said...

The sky is spectacular.
You look so light up in your pictures with Torsten!

a little bird said...

i love london too. there's nothing better than a scone, a tea, and a rainy/sunny day in camden lock.

you look like you had a wonderful time :)

chasinglibby said...

ahh i'm so pumped for my trip! i hope i get lucky with a few nice days...but being november i doubt its possible.
still, i'm so excited!!

alyndabear said...

It's been gorgeous the last few days - but very on/off. Sunshine and short sleeves in one minute, and then rain the next. I'm so glad you got good weather. :)

Next time you come to London, I will take you out for lunch!

Jessie B. said...

Love the photos you posted here! The sky looks amazing - perfect blue with perfect white clouds. I have never been to London yet but I think I'd want to stay if I went.

L Sass said...

My trip to London in 2002 was a similarly beautiful weekend. Glad I'm not the only one with photos of London that are all blue sky and sunshine instead of the typical London Fog!

distractedspunk said...

Jess, I loved London when I went, and I've always said I would live there if I could. However, now that I've lived six hours by plane in one direction, I'm not sure I want to go in the other direction. I think I'm shooting for a bit closer to home.

I loved your pictures. And seriously. I could totally picture you living in London. Also, can I throw out a recommendation? The Winston Churchill War Museum was absolutely FASCINATING, but most people miss it because of its location near Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

Aurora said...

Amazing cloudy skies. I love clouds in photos. Great photos!