Dan and Lisa Go to Europe: Switzerland and Munich


What if today we were just grateful for everything_.png

Hallo friends!!!

OKKKAY I shouldn’t have waited so long to blog because now I have TOO MANY stories! Imma hit you with some highlights:

SWITZERLAND

1) Is beautiful beyond belief. Switzerland was our last addition to the trip after my Dad sent us pictures of Lauterbrunnen. The pictures DO NOT LIE. These HILLS ARE ALIVE PEOPLE.

2) Also, all the travel blogs about how expensive Switzerland is do not lie. Y'ALL. It is expensive. We stopped at a food court in the Zurich airport shortly after landing, and Dan paid almost 10 Swiss Francs for six chicken nuggets and a Coke. That is over TEN DOLLARS. They do not play in Switzerland.

A sampling (a franc is just about 1:1 with the dollar right now):
1 dish of fried rice from mountain Chinese restaurant, 17 francs
1 liter water, 47 francs
1 chocolate bar, 3600 francs
Air (breathing), 108 francs/breath (shallow)

3) Switzerland provides fun thrills like a via ferrata! Apparently, via ferratas exist all over the place, and according to the internet, are halfway between hiking and free climbing. (Note to my mom: You are clipped in with TWO carabiners the whole time!!) I immediately wanted to go, because there is something clinically wrong with me. Dan, having much better self-preservational instincts than I, declined, and went to drink beer while he awaited my return, imagining the various ways I could die, such as cables snapping beneath me.

It was very fun, but also, trey scary for a big ole heights scaredycat like me. An example: a huge bridge at the end. Upon seeing it, we initially loudly declared, like idiots, "Oh, this isn't that bad!" Because after walking across on a single “tightrope” cable, a bridge of at least a foot width looks pretty good! This was before our brains had whirred along to give us the rest of the pertinent facts, which were as follows: the bridge swayed a bit upon walking, you had to switch your cables about 5 times in the crossing, and -- this is the crucial bit -- there was a depth of 1200 feet to which you could fall and die. Okay, so TECHNICALLY wouldn’t die, because even if you fell off, your cables would save you but is that an experience you would want to have?? Slipping and then dangling over 1200 feet?? (Answer: Naw.)

Nika, a Russian woman who became my fast friend on this journey, took one step on the bridge, looked me square in the eyes, and said, "This is awful."

It was. It was awful. I accomplished the feat only through 1) denial about the chasm underneath 2) the five people waiting behind me, watching. But then of course I felt Super Cool afterward, so it was worth it, and then the next morning I woke up and was so sore it felt like I HAD fallen those 1200 feet, and hit a nontrivial amount of rocks on the way down, so you can’t win, I guess.  

MUNICH

1) We hiked for miles everyday in Switzerland, and it is still WAY more exhausting to be a  casually strolling tourist. Why is this? Like, we walked around a fair bit through Munich but nowhere NEAR as intensely as Switzerland, height or miles-wise, and I wanted to die at the end of every day. I’m convinced there is something about being a tourist that saps you of your strength, Space-Jam aliens-style. Read more on my blog: www.spacealienssappingtouriststrength.org/theories/TRUTH

2)You may remember that Munich is a nationally designated Learning City Where Dan Agreed to go to as Many Museums as Lisa Wanted. Accordingly, we went to Dachau concentration camp, a walking tour of Munich, the Deutsches Museum and the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, all of which I would HIGHLY recommend. Obviously, many of these tours were sobering and rightly depressing, but offered fascinating context into the rise of the Nazi Party and Munich’s decisions about how to deal with its past as the city where much of that took place.

But there were also genuinely fun/fascinating facts. Here’s one: there was a Munich beer hall, Hofbrauhaus, that -- to deal with the fact that men were sick of other men taking their spots at the table when they went to go to the bathroom -- installed PEE TROUGHS under all the tables. I was so revolted by this I wanted to share it with all of you, to ease my burden of carrying this disgusting fact. Had I lived in Munich at the time, I would have burned this beer hall down to the ground, then established a more dignified venue, such as a Chuck E. Cheese. Still better, though probably equal pee, come to think of it. Although it's SLIGHTLY more ACCEPTABLE WHEN IT COMES FROM CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT YET LEARNED TO USE THE TOILET. This is my heritage.

This brings me to

3. Although I am basically 1000% German by heritage, I'm not into a lot of traditional German food, such as wursts and meats and schnitzel and stuff. I tried it, because I sort of felt like it was my duty, with a last name that literally means “bacon” in German, to give it a chance. It was … fine.  If you're disappointed in me, get in line behind the ghosts of my ancestors past. (Then I peed in a public trough* and my ancestors were like, "you aight.)

But I actually had a GREAT time eating in Germany. Here is some food Lisa can get behind:

Pretzels: Duh, I mean obviously, 5/5 stars and they are everywhere and you can get them with delicious butter and cheeses and they are so cheappp that in comparison to Switzerland they are basically free

Lebelkassemmel: A sandwich with mustard and BIG OLE juicy slab of meat, which I just looked up to identify and Wikipedia compares to BOLOGNA, which is so clearly libel that I suggest Big Lebelkase immediately get their lawyers on the case

Radlers: Y'all in America make it so hard for me to pose and pretend I like beer. Maybe if you poured 50% lemon soda in there we could talk. These are my demands. I nail them to your door.

Tomorrow, on to Prague!


*Being a human with dignity, I did not do this.