We recently traveled over to the little town of Saarburg, located near Trier in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany.
Did you know that Germany has states? We used to live in Baden-Württemburg, now we live in Hessen. The state names seem to be much more of a mouthful than the state names in America, though. I mean really, Rhineland-Palatinate? Baden-Württemburg? Or how about Nordrhein-Westfalen? Or my favorite, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern? Back in America, you couldn't even get people to call California by its full name, it is often shortened to Cali (which I hate). Imagine cramming the state names of Germany into a song like we sing in America about our states. I don't see it happening.
Anywho, we went to Saarburg for one, to see it, and for two, to visit Matt's German Cousin, German Cousin's Wife, German Cousin's Daughter, and German Cousin's Son. German Cousin was really the only one that could speak English. German Cousin's Wife, German Cousin's Daughter, and German Cousin's Son could speak "a little" English and since we can speak kleine Deutsch we had a hard time communicating. So we turned to the international language of Fußball and food to communicate.
My daughter, Ashlenne, and German Cousin's Daughter were reluctant to try to use their language skills. So they reverted to a language every teenage girl knows. iPod's and Google translate.
Matt and German Cousin may have grown up on separate continents, but they have always been close. They laughed the same and had the same mannerisms. They even wore matching shirts.
The actual meeting of German Cousin was a little awkward for me. It was the first time in Europe that I got the "Two Cheek Kiss Greeting." And I was not expecting it. I was better prepared when we left, offering my own "Two Cheek Kiss Goodbye." I felt so European.
After lunch we went exploring the town of Saarburg. We climbed the 1,050 year old castle tower (it has been reinforced since then).
Climbing the tower gave us great views of the town of Saarburg.
German Cousin told us that Saarburg is known as the "Venice of Germany" because of the canals that run through it. You tell me, does it look like Venice?
We stopped and got some Spaghetti Eis which is vanilla ice cream squeezed out to make it into long noodle shapes and then topped with strawberry sauce and shaved white chocolate. It is really good.
I tested German Cousin and tried out my sense of humor on him. Don't worry, he laughed. You were right blogosphere. There are some funny Germans out there.
We rode a chairlift to the top of a nearby hill. Our doggie, Minkie, even rode with us. And she didn't even try to jump off once.
We played and relaxed at the top of the hill.
That beer is Minkie's, not Alexander's. See how tipsy she is?
Then we hiked back down the hill through the vineyards of Riesling grapes that cover the hillsides.
All in all, it was a pretty good day in Saarburg.
When we got home, I checked another little corner of Europe off my list.