When I got back from Japan, I joked with Rex that it felt like the opposite of a Cinderella story. I went from gorgeous hotels with maids making my bed every day and six course meals every night back to real life, where I had to wash my own dishes and (gasp!) even clean the toilets. I was treated like royalty for two weeks, which was awesome, but I also know that’s not real life. Real life has work, which is okay.
Except…guess what? I’m back out of real life again. Looks like Cinderella gets another go-round at the ball. Hooray!
I thought the princess metaphor was apt for today because the first thing we did when we got to Regensburg was to hop on a river cruise boat called the Krystall Prinzessen (Crystal Princess) and sail around on the Danube for a few hours. The boat was beautiful; it was glittering with Swarovski crystals all over on the walls, floors, and ceiling art, and they even had a grand staircase a la Titanic with CRYSTAL STAIRS. Seriously, I hope heaven looks like the Krystall Prinzessen. It was so…sparkly. We saw beautiful scenery as we sailed down the river eating exotic types of ice cream sundaes and getting our first views of Germany. What a way to start the trip.
After the boat cruise, we did a walking tour of Regensburg. I feel like this town is what people think of when they think of stereotypical Europe – small winding cobblestone alleyways, cute cafes with outdoor seating, all sorts of colorful storefronts, etc. I loved every minute of it. My favorite part was probably the cathedral, which I hope is one of many that I will see while I’m here. Europeans sure do know how to build a good cathedral.
We ended our tour at a Biergarten for dinner, where we ate on a back patio to enjoy the gorgeous Germany evening. I really wanted to order for myself, so I had one of our guides read me the menu and teach me how to say what I wanted. When the waiter came around, I ordered in my best attempt at German, and he kind of smiled at me and then said in perfect English, “Okay, so you want a chicken salad.” Oops…guess I didn’t need my German. Well EXCUSE ME for trying to embrace your culture, dude! The food was good, but we have a super picky eater on this trip named Eric. He needed some serious coaching from Alan to even try a bite of the sausage that he (Eric) ordered. Once he tried it, I seriously thought he was going to throw up. He ended up eating a soft pretzel instead. The braver ones of our group tried the traditional Bavarian dish of pig knuckle. I was not among the brave. Pig knuckle?? No thank you. I’ve had a summer’s worth of weird food already. I enjoyed my chicken salad with a Bavarian cream dessert, thank you very much.
Tomorrow we’re going to learn more about Germany’s education system, specifically here in the state of Bavaria. I guess things are a bit different in Bavaria than they are in the rest of Germany. Our leader was trying to explain it to us, and he said, “Bavaria really leans its own way politically, they have their own systems for everything, they speak with a different dialect, and they basically think they’re the best state in Germany.” We must have looked a little confused, because he added for further explanation, “Basically, Bavaria is Texas.” We all immediately understood exactly what he was saying about Bavaria and nodded our heads with expressions of, “Oh! That makes sense!” I think our one resident Texan might have been a bit offended, ha ha, but she took it in stride.
Great first night! Time to go sleep in my fluffy, comfortable bed that will be made for me while I’m out tomorrow.
I really could get used to this.