After visiting Stuttgart on Wednesday and spending hours at the wine village we decided to take it easy on Thursday and hang out in Toby´s hometown of Kirchheim to grab lunch and run a few errands. Then we took a quick trip through the countryside in his mom´s convertible and stopped to enjoy the view.
On Friday morning we got up bright and early for a 3 hour drive to Toby´s grandparents house, they live in a very quaint little village at the top of a small mountain. Upon arriving we were fed a very large lunch and then went exploring in some small towns nearby with Toby´s dad as the tourguide. It is a very pretty region, with lots of rolling hills and beautiful farms to explore by winding country roads. Toby´s younger brother really wanted to play miniature golf so we stopped to do that. German miniature golf if quite different than the mini golf I´ve played in the USA . First off there is no grass, the holes are constructed out a red tennis court –like material, which means the balls roll around a lot. Also the decorations are lacking a bit, no waterfalls or fake elephants standing around. However, in German miniature golf drinking seems to be encouraged, as there were several groups of older women walking around with bottles of wine, obviously enjoying themselves. It seems I was either really good and scored a hole-in-one, or I failed miserably and shot eights, so I ended up in 2nd place. After that we headed back to eat even more homemade German cuisine at his grandparent’s house (I ate A LOT of German food during this trip).
Saturday morning started bright and early with a large breakfast and a trip to the oldest town in Germany, Trier, where we saw a beautiful cathedral, as well as the outside of the Palace of Trier. Afterwards we got some delicious crepes, visited with some of Toby´s family and had lunch.
After a nap and some coffee we spent the evening in this picturesque town on the river called Bernkastel where they were having a very large wine festival. The festival is basically a combination of a carnival and a gigantic wine tasting, with local wineries setting up booths, food stations, craft tents and a variety of rides. There were quite a few Americans there, since there are several Air Force bases nearby. There were so many American´s that I started playing a game I like to call “Guess Who is American”, it´s really pretty easy as American´s (me included) dress and act differently than most Europeans. Tighter jeans and tops (for guys) and higher heals (for girls) is usually a good sign they aren´t American, but if they are wearing sneakers or an athletic shirt (exempting European football jerseys) you can probably bet they are. We spent the whole evening exploring the festival, trying local wines and food, and then wacthed fireworks that were set off from a castle on a hill while hanging out on a riverboat.
On Sunday we did a bit more exploring in the area, including touring an old castle and then we headed back to Kirchheim for the night. This evening we head off on our first big trip to Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm!