Frankfurt Fifteen

That early life phenomenon that so many American college students experience during their freshman year fueled by freedom, 2 am schmuffins from Sheetz, and a meal plan that just won’t quit is, I’m sad to say, not necessarily an isolated experience. The same rite of passage is common amongst those of us who fancy ourselves adults and live in Frankfurt (or any glorious European city) for two years. Much like the wide-eyed freshmen, we didn’t really have a choice if our pants would button after a year.

First, Germany lures you in with the scent of delicious meats and candies at their festivals and markets promising everything from whimsy to enchantment. Who could resist? Then, after a short time, it becomes clear that wine is far cheaper than water and beer isn’t measured by the bottle, but by the stein – an ancient unit of measurement ensuring immediate pride in hoisting an arm for a solid “Prost!” If cheap beer and delicious meats don’t lure you into their caloric web, the travel will. A three hour train ride (in the cafe car, of course) to food and drink destinations like Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin… Every 3 day weekend was spent on a train or a plane to some fantastic European city where we’d eat too much and sleep too little.

Tex and I hit Europe HARD during our two year post in Frankfurt. We stopped even planning vacations – we just bought train/plane tickets, booked a hotel, and showed up in a new city. Sort of like college students on a semester abroad – only, you know, with a pension, Roth IRA, and steady pay check.

As it turns out we visited 25 places out of about 100 weekends in Germany.

The List:
**Brussels – mussels and beer
**Strasbourg – fois gras and wine
Aachen – flammkuchen
Colonge – kolsch
Budapest – goulash and stuffed cabbage
Barcelona – tapas and wine
Berlin – ginormous schnitzels
Pula – truffles
Warsaw – pierogies
Reykjavik – minke whale
Antwerp – mussels…again
Tunis – lamb and couscous, decent wine
Prague – fried cheese
Innsbruck – garlic soup
Basel – smoked beer
*Dakar – shrimp and french fries
Nuremberg – sausages
Bamberg – strangely good Irish Pub
Paris – need I say more?
Amsterdam – bitterballen
Heidelberg – beer and Marriott executive lounge abuse
Ghent – I really like mussels
*Edinburgh – haggis – an acquired taste for some, a delightful treat for those of us who like offal
Bordeaux – wine tourism
Malta – fish and wine

So, there you have it – 2 solid years of food, drink, and travel. With such a rigorous schedule, Tex and I had little time to do anything else – like work out or write blog posts. However, now that we’re posted in Tunis, and I’m jobless due to this epic hiring freeze, I have all the time in the world to update the blogosphere on our wanderings and experiences…and hopefully tales of looser fitting pants.

 

* These were trips I took without Tex – Dakar for training and Edinburgh for a gals weekend.

** We hit these destinations twice