Germany was kind of our home base while we were in Europe.
Our wonderful friends lived in the tiny town of Otterberg which was about an hour southwest of Frankfurt. Germany really is exactly how I imagined it to be…lots of stucco, brick and terra cotta roofs:
There were a few things that kind of surprised me about Germany:
-The autobahn is crazy, yet efficient…I believe our average speed was about 90mph!
-People do not drive old cars. (Every car we saw was made within the last ten years, or maybe even less. They have super strict standards.)
-Eventhough the houses are super old, a ton of them had solar panels on their roofs.
-Wind farms are everywhere.

Our first meal in Germany consisted of Schnitzel, fried mashed potato log things, and gnocchi with a creamy gorgonzola sauce:
(don't judge.)
The oldest house in Otterberg:

They had an awesome bakery at the end of the street:
(I'm pretty sure we had a chocolate crossaint every day while we were abroad)
We took a day trip to Heidelberg which is where Gage and Jessica had just moved from and they said we had to see it. Heidelberg has a river that runs through it and a castle up on the hill…it really is as beautiful as everyone said it would be.
Us with Remi:
Coffee in Heidelberg:
(our first stop of course)
Kisses for Remi:


A view of the castle on the hill:
The outdoor shopping area was awesome and huge:
(Chris and I even splurged on some sweet European kicks!)

Lederhosen are sold in the department stores in Germany:
(not the technical term, but I'm sure mine is better anyways)
Our lunch spot:
Pretzel-shaped bread:
Not the castle…just someone's house:
(no big deal)
Back at the house in Otterberg, Chris took me for a ride in Gage and Jessica's bakfiet:
He's serious about it:
(this always reminds me of Flight of the Conchords)
Jessica made a raclette dinner for us. We had no idea what it was but we were pleasantly surprised.
Raclette is in the same vein as fondue, but instead of dipping, you cover the grill with cut up veggies and sausage while your slice of raclette cheese gets warm and gooey in your little tray slot under the grill. 
Once everything is cooked, you take whatever you want and put it on top of your potato, then scrape the melty cheese on top of the veggies, then you top it all with hollendaise sauce.
Not something you would eat all the time, but it was amazing and fun.
(Chris and I actually re-created this a few weeks ago with our griddle and broiler…an actual raclette grill would be so much easier but our makeshift way worked great in a pinch.)
And our last meal in Germany was a kebab salad of sorts, with the best tzatziki sauce for the dressing. It was from a little hole in the wall gyro place down the street from Gage and Jessica's house...apparently the same restaurant has a cart somewhere in Portland and I'm determined to find it.
(It's amazing we didn't come back home 50lbs heavier, but we walked everywhere for 9 days so I guess it kind of cancelled it out. The food in Europe was also a major factor for me deciding to get my gall bladder out…there's no way I would've been able to eat anything I did on our trip otherwise. Also, we never eat like this but we were on vacation!)
And because we hadn't had a true pretzel in Germany, we got one at the airport and ate it on the plane as we were taking off to head home:
(we flew out of Germany at the very end of our trip…but I still have more places to share!)
Next up: PARIS!

Stay tuned...


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