Welcome to Germany!
On the plane, with my inflatable neck pillow, ready for my Icelandair flight to Iceland!
Welcome to my Rick Steves'
"Best of Germany in 13 Days"
Guten Tag! Ich heiße Melissa.
(Hello! I am Melissa.)
This was my first Rick Steves' tour!
Yep, I'm a tour newbie--woot!
It has been my dream to take a Rick Steves' tour for many years. After some life changes, I wanted to do something to celebrate myself. When the tours opened for 2022, I decided, what the heck...I'm doing it!
I'm going to Germany!
And what better way than with Rick Steves'
Come with me as I share my adventures (and misadventures...oops!),
and the history and beauty of this magnificent country during my Rick Steves' tour in June 2022.
The ability to travel is not something to take for granted, so, I soaked up every moment of my time in Europe, learning and
absorbing all I could.
Views of Greenland from the air, enjoying the "midnight sun".
In this travel scrapbook, I'll be sharing with you:
Lots of photos
Historical info and fun facts
Tips/tricks (in blue)
My misadventures (in pink)
Food recommendations (in green)
Links to my favorite places (in purple)
Deutsche Redewendungen--German expressions (in red)
Welcome to my adventure!
While this trip may be over, the memories, lessons, and friendships gained will be treasured for a lifetime.
I hope it will inspire you and your
Travel is the gift that keeps on giving! :)
Our tour guide, Matthias (Matti), is the coolest! A native of Germany, he shared many personal life stories of his time growing up in Berlin, what it was like living during the time of the Berlin Wall, where he is now in his life journey, and of course, all the local history of the places we were visiting. Every day was filled with surprises, from local tasty treats on the bus, to life stories, to buying us specialty snacks, to sharing historical information about the area, to joking around with us and just simply having fun.
Taking the group all throughout Germany, we experienced the cultural differences (food, language, customs) between Northern Germany, Bayern/Bavaria, Thuringia, former East Germany, and the metropolis that is Berlin.
Dirk is 'da bomb! A magnificent driver, calm and cool under pressure, he got us into the most tight places (the gate in Rothenburg for one), and got us around construction on the Autobahn.
Dirk was super cool and friendly. Sometimes, he played fun music on the bus; other times, he told us stories of his driving experiences with Rick Steves' tours.
He was so glad to be
I couldn't have asked for a better person to transport us
"Merry Band of Travelers!"
Small but mighty!
Here we are overlooking the Mosel Valley on our way to the Rhine.
Our tour was smaller than usual, only 14 of us. But it really allowed us the opportunity to spend time with everyone and to get to know each other on a more personal level. Only two families weren't from California or Washington--
you could call them the midwestern folks.
They were from Indiana and Nebraska (me!).
Scroll through to ready my travel tips!
These are the tips I found most helpful to me during my travel planning.