Meeting your boyfriend’s family and childhood friends for the first time can be a little nerve-racking… For me, it happened in Germany.
Meeting your boyfriend’s family and childhood friends for the first time can be a little nerve-racking… especially when it’s in a foreign language. For me, it happened in Germany. And thanks to a blog I had read on what it means to be German, I was ready to be immersed! ‘Weisswurst, Weissbier und eine Breze’ for breakfast… bring it on!
Within 15 minutes of touching soil, I had an Augustiner (beer) and butter pretzel in hand, thanks to Dan’s friend Volker who picked us up at the airport. His family generously hosted us for our 10 days in Bavaria in the beautiful village of Starnberg, 25 km south east of Munich. On the southern end of the Starnberger See (Starnberg’s lake), the magical view of the Alps could enchant even the least outdoorsy soul.
Over the following week and a half, we visited Munich’s main attractions including Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, Deutsches Museum, St. Peter’s Church, Nymphenburg Palace and even the standing surfing river by the English Garden. We also went to the country side, stopping by the picturesque castle of Neuschwanstein, the scenic alps region around Garmisch and doing a brief visit of Wessling as well as Ammersee, where Dan grew up.
But of course, our main purpose in Deutschland was to meet Dan’s opa and oma (grandparents), who were celebrating their 80th and 88th birthdays. From the first moment, I was welcomed with arms wide open and large honest smiles on their lips. And that held true for Dan’s mum (who was also visiting from Australia), uncle, aunt, cousins and friends. Despite my lack of German, I felt as part of the family straight away!
After our 10 days in Munich, a drive on the limitless roads of Germany took us to Berlin for our last days in Europe. We walked around the city, visiting tourist highlights. Most of all, I was so happy to catch up with my dear friend Lena, who I met in Sri Lanka in late 2012. Thanks to Lena’s social skills, we also found out about a really innovative Olympus exhibition for photographers. Cameras could be borrowed at no cost to photograph the many quirky exhibitions held throughout the three-level warehouse. My trusty Canon did the trick for me, but what a clever way to attract a crowd and introduce people to a camera model. Thumbs up Olympus!
And now possibly 20 pretzels – each – later, we’re back in Australia. We’re completely jetlagged, but full of beautiful memories of the people we spent time with and the places we discovered. I’ve been initiated to the German culture and I’m happy to say… I passed with flying colours!