I decided to complete a Certificate III in Foreign Language Studies and learn German because my daughter had a German partner, who is now her husband. I thought it would make him feel that he was being sincerely welcomed into our family if I could speak some German. Our daughter spent several years living in Germany, and that provided a wonderful reason to visit the country several times, and put all the training I have had at VLLC to use. My husband and I like bushwalking, so the most adventurous thing we did in Germany was to tackle an unguided walk in the Black Forest, known as the Trail of the Red Deer. A group of small, family run hotels provide excellent accommodation, and the walk begins and ends in Fruedenstadt. This photo shows me on the trail.
We walked the Trail of the Red Deer, just after a very severe winter. The trail had just been opened for Spring, so we were officially the first tourist walkers to complete the trail that year. There was still quite a bit of snow around, and there had recently been heavy rain, which washed away a bridge over a stream we needed to cross, a day or so before we got to it. It takes 7 days to complete the trail. When we got to the place where the bridge used to be, it was getting fairly late in the day and we didn’t want a huge delay. So we decided to take our boots off and walk through the stream in bare feet. It was only ankle deep, not flowing really fast, and not very wide. However, it was being fed from melting snow, so it was extremely COLD! The attached photo shows me yelling AAAAAAH!! because of the freezing water I was walking through.
My most recent trip to Germany was in August last year, for my daughter’s wedding to her German partner. Because of doing a Certificate III with VLLC, I was able to converse with my son-in-law’s relatives and friends, as well as being able to conduct many transactions in shops, hotels, train stations and so on. The wedding took place in East Friesia, which is not visited by many tourists, although it is very popular with people from other parts of Germany. After the wedding, my husband and I visited Lueneburg, a town just south of Hamburg. My daughter had spent some time living there with her (then) partner, and said it was a charming place to visit. It certainly was, with its mediaeval old city centre and fascinating history. I have many photos of the wonderful old buildings, but they don’t have me in them. I just wanted the buildings, not people. We found a restaurant there which served our favourite beer, which we had discovered during a visit to Bavaria about 10 years before. We couldn’t get this beer on the Trail of the Red Deer, so we were very pleased and surprised to find it in the north of Germany!
This last photo shows how pleased I was to find this beer – it’s brand shows clearly on the stein I’m holding.