Germany Tried to Eat Us - My Family Travels

My friend Jocelyn says “if you’re not bleeding, you’re not having fun”. Ironically, she was one of the few in our group of six girls (and our teacher, Frau) who went to Germany and didn’t get injured. We went on an EF Tour called Germany in Depth last June. It was a fairly normal trip, except that most of us were injured in some way. We came up with the great idea that Germany was trying to eat us.   

       First, it got Morgan at the palace Linderhof. We were told that we only had a few minutes to look around the garden, so she and four others ran off. Within seconds her knee gave out, and she collapsed on gravel, scraping her knees and elbows. She couldn’t walk well the rest of the trip.

       An hour later, we were at Neuschwanstein. It really is the most beautiful castle on the planet. Our tour only allowed us one hour in the town at the base of the mountain. The problem was that the climb up the mountain at a reasonable walking pace takes about forty-five minutes, and it’s about half an hour going down. My friends and I decided that we wanted to see the castle, so we agreed to run up the mountain, Morgan stayed behind with our teacher, due to her injuries. I had been there before, but I had taken the bus up the mountain, so I didn’t know how steep the mountain was; it felt like about an 80 degree slope. Five minutes into the run, I had an asthma attack. I turned back while the rest of my group continued up the trail. Having an asthma attack on a foreign mountain is not only painful, but grossly embarrassing because I began to cry. I think a scared a few other tourists on my way to the restaurant where the rest of our tour group was having lunch. Desperate to avoid more public humiliation, I walked to the bathrooms. Through tears, and at a glance, the German word for men, Herren, looks a lot like “women”. It didn’t even occur to me that I was a restaurant in Germany; I simply went into the restroom I thought said “women”. To my complete and utter surprise, I saw urinals on the wall. It hit me then that although German culture is slightly different from ours, German women do not use urinals. I quickly backed out and rushed to the real women’s room.

            It turned out, I was lucky. Another girl on the trip, Megan, almost broke a toe coming down Neuschwanstein and had to wear a walking boot for six weeks.
         On our cruise down the Rhine on one of our last days in the country, we had gone a while without serious injury. As Morgan brushed through her hair, however, a strange little bug stung her finger. It swelled up to the size of a sausage. It stayed that size for days, regardless of our efforts. The swelling only went down once she got home.
                Even though Germany tripped us, scraped us, bit us, and knocked the wind out of us, we still all agree that we want to go back again sometime. Perhaps this time Jocelyn will be the one to get injured, and then she’ll have even more fun.

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