Emily Lisa

Joined May 2018
  • Day61

    Berlin Part 2

    July 29, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We started the day by sleeping in until around noon since we were up until 6 am the night before hand. We then went to get one of Drew’s favorite things in Berlin for lunch, doner sandwiches! Doner is a popular cheap street food item in Berlin and it is basically a Turkish gyro. They were very tasty and a great way to start our day! We then set off to finally do some of the obligatory touristy things in the city. We first went to Gesundbrunnen where some of the Berlin Wall still remains. Here we saw the wall as well as an exhibit that explained what it was like to live in Berlin at that time and talked about families who were separated by the wall. It was very sad, yet powerful and crazy to think that this wasn’t too long ago. We then went to Pariser Platz to see the iconic original entrance to the city of Berlin. We then further walked in the area and saw three holocaust memorials. The first that we saw was for the Sinti and Romani people, also commonly known under the derogatory term “gypsies”. This memorial was a circular fountain with a poem written around it. Outside the memorial was a wall that described the oppression of the Sinti and Romani over the years leading to and including the Holocaust. This wall helped isolate the memorial helping make it a peaceful place to reflect in the midst of the city. This memorial was surprisingly right next to the Republic Square which has many government buildings. This was surprising because Berlin is the only capital city in the world that contains shame memorials honoring and apologizing to the people that the county oppressed. It was nice to see that not only was Berlin owning up to their mistakes by putting these shame memorials in their capital but by also bent willing to put them right next to their official government buildings. Next we went to the memorial for homosexuals. This memorial was a large cube with a video constantly projecting inside with same sex couples kissing in front of nazi propaganda back in the day. It was nice seeing this memorial and the one for the Sinti and Romani since it is often forgotten that more groups of people than just the Jews were systematically killed during the holocaust. Next we saw the memorial for Jewish people. This was a large area containing a series of many rectangular prisms of different sizes. The idea of this memorial was to create a feeling of confusion amidst something that appeared organized. Walking into the memorial the rectangles get bigger and bigger until they tower way above you. This change happens very fast in a way that is hard to notice. On the outside looking into the memorial it is hard to see how high the rectangles get. The memorial did an excellent job creating that feeling in a way anyone could understand. After visiting these memorials we got a quick dinner then made our way to Drew’s favorite park for watching the sunset, Volkspark Humboldthain. The park is perched high above the city with a nice view of Berlin. It also had a cool shaped statue that Drew likes a lot which I made him take a picture with. We relaxed here for a while enjoying the sunset and then walked around into the rose garden. When we were done with the park we went back to our hostel to rest and recover after staying out so late the night prior. We were the only ones in the room at the time so we decided to all huddle around my phone to watch the most recent episode of the bachelorette while enjoying the remains of my chocolate from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It’s a good thing nobody walked into the room while we were doing that because we would have definitely been judged! We started the next day by stopping by a market to get food for a picnic. We ate our picnic food in Treptower Park which was a park by the river which was nice and relaxing. In the park we went to the Soviet War memorial which was donated by Russia. The memorial was very large and well done but was a but problematic for having quotes by Stalin who killed just as many people as Hitler. After this we walks around the East side gallery which was a part o the Berlin Wall which was repurposed into art. Many artists decorated these slabs of the wall with beautiful street art. It was really cool seeing all the art and seeing the city turn something horrible into something beautiful. After this we went to cool off inside at a sit down ice cream place. Here we shared something called spaghetti ice which is where they put ice cream through a spaghetti maker and put strawberry sauce and white chocolate shavings on top to make this dessert look like spaghetti with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. It was tasty, refreshing, and a fun novelty to try! After hanging out for a bit we met up with Drew’s friends again for trivia at an Irish pub. We were pretty bad at trivia and got second to last place. We would have actually preferred to get last place since we would have gotten free pitty chocolate due to it but oh well at least we drank tasty beers while there! After trivia we went back to Risa chicken so Drew could have it one last time before leaving Berlin. We then changed into all black and went back to KitKat with hopes of pulling a “pretty woman” and making it into the club this time. We successfully made it in which was exciting! This wasn’t too surprising since it was a Monday and the line was short but it was still exciting! We didn’t stay long since we really went back just to see what the inside looked like. There was a pool inside and tons of extravagant decorations like nothing I had ever seen before. After laving kitkat we stopped at Drew’s favorite doner place so he could have doner fries again before leaving Berlin. We then called it a night and Drew sadly had to say goodbye to Berlin. We were lucky to have the best possible tour guide with us for free while visiting Berlin! Berlin was a very live city and proved to me to be the opposite of Munich. However I loved both for very different reasons.Read more

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  • Day59


    July 27, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    When we got into Berlin we were exhausted from trying and failing to sleep on the overnight bus from Berlin. We dropped of our bags at the hostel but couldn’t check in yet so we spent 4 hours just hanging out relaxing at a cafe. It was an excellent opportunity for me to catch up on some posts and to finally book hostels and transportation for Spain and Portugal! Woo! When we could finally check into the hostel we took long much needed naps. After our naps we had some delicious sushi. This was pride weekend in Berlin so we started the festivities by seeing a drag show! The show was in a super classy ballroom and we were pretty much the youngest ones there which was a bit surprising to us. The show was a lot of fun and was fairytale themed with elaborate costumes with many pertaining to Disney characters. My favorite performance was by Fiona who tap danced! After the show we met up with some of Drew’s friends from his study abroad experience. We first went to Risa chicken, one of Drew’s favorite late night food places in Berlin which had delicious chicken! Then we went to a club called soda club which was described by one of Drew’s Berlin local friends as “garbage”. Even if it wasn’t known as the best club it was what we needed since we were all still in our travel clothes and didn’t dress up at all. The club played songs such as the lion king theme song and Soulja boy which was fun but definitely weird. We had a lot of fun but didn’t stay out too late since we were still very tired. By not too late I mean like 2:30 am, Berlin never sleeps and that is considered an early night here, it’s crazy. The next day we walked around and saw the Berlin pride parade! The parade was so much fun! The music that was played was lots of fun to dance and sing to ranging from things such as abba to the Macarena on repeat multiple times. There were many cool outfits including a group of old guys on lederhosen with rainbow colored feathers not their hats which were my favorite. Open container laws don’t exist in Berlin so we bought some Rosé to enjoy during the parade. The parade went on for many hours of the day and we got really tired halfway through so we went to Tiergarten park to take naps. We found a nice shaded area to gain some rest before going out at night. We then got Asian fusion for dinner and hung out at one of Drew’s friends apartment until it was acceptably late to start heading out to the clubs. Our plan was to go to one of the hottest and most extravagant clubs, KitKat. Since it was a summer Saturday night and pride this was probably one of the busiest possible nights for nightlife in Berlin. We got to the club and waited in line for 2 and a half hours! We actually had an absolute blast in line playing the car game called contact. When we finally got to the front of the line everyone but Drew got rejected by the bouncer which was pretty sad. Honestly it could have been expected since it was a very busy night and these clubs are very exclusive with what people wear and all the clothes many of us had on were picked from a small capsule wardrobe meant for travel. These clubs also strongly prefer German speakers and only two people in our group spoke German. Drew didn’t want to go in the club by himself so we all left and decided to ty another club. It was already past 3:00 am at this point. When we got to the next club the line was super long. It would have taken us at least an hour and a half to wait in which we didn’t want to do after waiting so long for the last club just to get rejected so we decided to call it quits. When taking a metro to one stop with intentions of making a metro switch to another stop we discovered that the next metro we wanted to take was closed for some reason and that getting back would take significantly longer than initially expected. Since we never got into a club many of us had to go to a bathroom at this point so we decided to just go to the McDonald’s at that station. I got fries at the station which everyone wanted some of. They were so satisfying at that point in the night that we wound up making another metro station McDonald’s stop at a future station on our way back to the hostel. We joked that we could start a food blog reviewing the fries at each of the metro stops in Berlin. The metros were unbelievably busy even around 4 am. It wasn’t even just people who looked like they were out for nightlife, many people looked like they just got off work! Step aside NYC, it looks like Berlin is the real city that never sleeps! We wound up making it back to the hostel around 6 am after a night of never actually getting into a club, but getting into 2 metro station McDonald’s. However were welcomed back with a great discovery! Earlier in the day we met the other people in our hostel room who were all from Great Britain. They were nice people but were a bit obnoxious with talking about partying. For example pretended to be shocked that there was no nightlife in Pickerington Ohio and made the assumption that that was the reason why drew and I went to different states. Because of this we made it a goal to make it back later in the night than them to in a sense out party them. And good news, we did it, we beat the Brits! It may not have been because we partied but they don’t need to know that, all they know is that we got back later then them! Victory is ours! Ohio for the win!Read more

  • Day51

    Rhine Valley

    July 19, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We started our Rhine tour with our guide Stan the Man with a visit to a winery! The winery used to be a monastery which was cool since monks usually made beer not wine. These are my kind of monks! We tried multiple Rieslings and Stan corrected me when I said Rieslings are sweet because the ones from this area are more dry. To be honest, I did not initially like Stan because I found that correction and him asking if Michael, Anna, and I were at least 18 to be a bit condescending. However my opinion of him dramatically improved over the course of the day. We then took a ferry cruise along the Rhine valley that ended at a beautiful castle. At the castle I discovered that Stan had a spur of the moment Las Vegas wedding officiated by Elvis and Miss Puerto Rico. He is still married to his wife 25 years after the wedding which I found incredible! My opinion of him dramatically improved after discovering this and realizing he was a sommelier and having great wine conversations with him. We then had a tasty lunch where I got a Paulaner beer and mushroom schnitzel. At lunch we talked about our opinions of game of thrones characters. Stan had interesting and very feminist opinions which I was a fan of! After lunch we finished our tour the way any Rhine tour ahold end, with wine! We went to a winery called Georg Breuer which had amazing Rieslings! Mom, Dad, Michael, and Anna all bought wine bottles since it was so good. Stan then drove us to the train station so we could say see you later to Germany and hello to Brussels!Read more

  • Day50


    July 18, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Frankfurt was our more laid back day. We spent the day casually walking around the city seeing the major sites. Highlights included Römer, the medieval looking old square and the lock bridge. Michael finally got to try Apfelwein which was exciting. Apfelwein also known as apple wine is an alcoholic drink similar to cider. The drink tastes pretty strong and flat but people are encouraged to add sparkling water to it to water it down and add a bubbly dimension. The drink wasn’t bad but wasn’t my favorite. Michael loved it, maybe mostly because he loved to say the word “Apfelwein” but regardless it was a hit with them. While walking we all played games and I stretched everyone’s mind by asking everyone to list an inanimate object they are similar to and one they are different from. After some pushing they all participated in the exercise which was fun! After a day of walking we were tired so we decided to just have a quick dinner at the English pub near the hotel. Afterwards Michael, Anna, and I watched most of the most recent bachelorette episode. The WiFi wasn’t great and there was a lot of buffering which Anna and I fell asleep while waiting to finish. I then finished the day by finally taking a bath with a bath bomb! Nice and relaxing!Read more

  • Day49

    Rothenburg ob der Tauber

    July 17, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Guest Posting on Rothenburg ob der Tauer by Mom:
    We enjoyed Garmisch-Partenkitchen so much that we got a late start for our 3 hour drive. Unfortunately there appeared to be a major traffic accident on A7 that completely closed the autobahn down. Our GPS rerouted us, but it took an additional 2 hours to arrive at our lodhing, Gastehaus Eberlein. The under 25 group took advantage of the down time for a nap. We found the walled medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber quite charming. There were many shops where we purchased souvenirs. Emily was especially infatuated with the teddy bears and cuckoo clocks. As a snack, we shared a Nutella flavored Schneeballen which is a shortcrust pastry rolled into a ball and decorated in the traditional fashion with icing sugar. We went to the facinating Medieval Crime Museum which included many contraptions of torture. Emily claims you can choose your friends from those who wore the drunk barrels or the gossip masks. After a nice meal on a terrace at Reichskuchenmeister restaurant, we enjoyed ice cream/gelato and listened to a cello trio playing popular music while waiting for our tour to begin. We went on an evening Nightwatchman's tour with at least 150 of our closest friends. The guide did an excellent job entertaining and moving everyone along as he told stories of how people lived in the Middle Ages. One of his stories included the oldest foundation in town which now houses an establishment called Zur hõll (hell). So when Don enjoyed taking pictures during "blue hour", the under 25 group enjoyed drinks in "hell". Emily claims that she enjoys traveling with her dad 22 hours a day, but not during the "blue hour" time period. In addition we walked on top of a portion of the city wall which had nice views of the village. Overall it was a good day, even if it was abbreviated.Read more

  • Day48


    July 16, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas.” Oops my b, I thought we were approaching Cinderella’s castle in Magic Kingdom but it was just the Neuschwanstein Castle that Cinderella’s castle was inspired by. Silly mistake! We started our day by meeting our castle guide Drew who had a surprising amount of hair for his age. On the hike up the the castle we stopped to get lunch with Hofbrau beer since Michael and Anna sadly had to miss Munich. Walking around the castle we learned that the inside was only 1/3 completed because the king it was made for, Ludwig II, died in the midst of its construction. He was a bit of a fairytale king who just cared about the arts and leisure rather than ruling and he cause Bavaria to not be independent of Germany. Because many were upset with how he ruled, there was a plot by his brother, a psychiatrist, and a newspaper writer to declare him insane so he could no longer be king. While their scheme was unraveling at the castle Ludwig II died which at first was declared suicide but in modern day people believe it was (insert dramatic music) MURDER! Gasp! When we toured the inside of the castle we learned more about what Ludwig II was like. He wanted to make his castle like a living museum with the art on the walls telling stories. It was a bit like Michael Jackson’s Neverland in the sense that it was his crafted personal fantasy world he could visit to escape his troubles. He was in love with the composer Wagner, and almost every room was inspired by Wagner’s art. I view him as having a mix of a Great Gatsby and Micheal Jackson complex with his castle. After going inside the castle we went on a bridge outside the castle which had an outstanding view of the entire outside of the castle. The view is so good that we had to wait in a really long line just to briefly be on the bridge which surprised us but the views were worth it! After we were done with the castle we had a beautiful road trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. When we got there we met our tour guide Jim and he took us to the local chocolate shop. At the chocolate shop we met the chocolatier Linus. Linus used to be known as the most eligible bachelor of Bavaria since he worked for a two star Michelin restaurant, is an expert chocolatier, and is easy on the eyes. Don’t get your hopes up though because he now has a beautiful girlfriend who we met after the tour. Sigh. We started our visit by making chocolate bars! Each of us made 3 chocolate bars. Our supplies were white, milk, and dark chocolate as well as tons of toppings and we could use them to make whatever our hearts desired. Moms chocolate was the prettiest and mine was the ugliest but hey they both taste the same and that’s what matters! Linus then walked us through a chocolate tasting starting with the original coco beverage people used to drink back in the day which I thought was disgusting and then through progressively sweeter chocolates. We even learned that as of two weeks ago there is now a fourth type of chocolate called ruby chocolate. With all natural ingredients it has a red color and fruity taste. It was good but I wouldn’t want to eat it in large quantities. All the chocolate was delicious and fun to try! We also saw a few of Linus’ crazy intricate chocolate creations such as a replica of the ski jump from the Olympics held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and a cross that has historical significance to the town. After the chocolate stop Jim showed us a bit of the town. Linus may be the most eligible bachelor of Bavaria, but Jim is the true gem of Bavaria. He’s this adorable old man with a Boston accent who knew tons of history and loved sharing stories with us. I want to adopt him as an extra grandpa. I already miss Jim, he was the best. 10/10. For dinner we ate at our hotel which was the Hotel & Gasthof Fraundorfer. They had boys that do traditional dance in lederhosen and an old man who played the accordion and yodeled which was fun. I had a Paulaner radler, goulash, and potato pancakes which were all amazing! The hotel itself was incredibly cute. The whole town felt almost like a German street in Epcot with how adorable it was, but it at the same time was really authentic which was cool. So I guess you could say I got to have the feeling of two Disney Parks without even going to Orlando, not too shabby!Read more

  • Day44


    July 12, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Munich, the land of beer, pretzels, and Oktoberfest! We got into Munich late at night and rushed over to the original Hofbräuhaus and was able to order food just minutes before they stopped serving it. I got a liter of radler, Wiener schnitzel, and we all shared a pretzel. We also were able to get a seat near a TV so we could watch the end of the semifinal World Cup game between Croatia and England. Croatia won in overtime 2-1 which we were happy about! It was a lot of fun to see the original Hofbräuhaus since we like the one in Columbus so much. The place was massive and there was a traditional oompah band that we watched after the game. Walking back to the hotel it seemed like the whole city was celebrating Croatia’s win with horns honking and people cheering. It was a lot of fun to be in such an exciting atmosphere! We spent the next day with a private tour guide named Oz. He was phenomenal and did a great job showing us all the major sites of the city while also giving us an immersive experience on Munich culture and history. He was a very intelligent and fun guy and really embraced Munich culture by doing things such as wearing lederhosen during the tour. We learned how Munich identifies as Bavarian rather than German and takes pride in their white and blue flag. Not blue and white but white and blue, this distinction matters to a lot of the locals because that is the correct way to read a flag, left to right and up to down. When they fly the German flag they fly the Bavarian flag at the same height in a similar way to how Texas does in the States. Munich is known as the conservative city in Germany with its polar opposite being Berlin. Munich embraces the saying “Mia San Mia” which means “we are who we are”. Munich has a strong identity with things such as beer gardens, pork, and lederhosen and they don’t want to change. While Berlin says Munich is backwards for being conservative, Munich takes this with so much pride that it even installed a clock in the city whose hands move backwards. Oz said that Berlin is the NYC of Germany with being a big liberal and historical city and Munich is the Disney World with being traditional, clean, costs a lot, has costumes, and a Jew hating leader. He said that Bavaria is like Mom taking care of Germany since a lot of industry and money is made here, but it is a Mom who wants a divorce from Dad (Berlin) and wants him to take all the other kids (the other states of Germany) with him. He said that during our tour he was having all of us build a house of information about Germany than will have a Bavarian flag waving out front. We learned a lot of this information during the foundation building part of our tour where we saw may sites and learned about the history and politics as culture of the people. During this portion we also saw the famous glockenspiel play at 11am which was fun. The next part of our tour was the food portion where we walked around a market and ate different foods. He gave us lanyards with a ring to hold our beers around our necks so we could walk around with them without having to carry them which I must say was an amazing invention. We also had sausages, pickles, pretzels, and a traditional Bavarian pastry dessert which were all amazing! We then entered the last part of our tour which was the decorating phase where we learned a bit more about Munich, saw their version of Harrods, and in one street saw five of the car brands manufactured here, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Porsche, and BMW. We concluded our tour at the beer garden where Oz has his stammtisch. A stammtisch is something you get if you are a local of a beer house where you can have a specific table automatically reserved for you on a regular basis. Oz and three of his friends have a stammtisch at this beer garden where they meet the first Sunday of every month. I love this concept and culture surrounding beer gardens because they form a great sense of community and help people keep in touch. After the tour Oz stuck around for an extra 3 hours at the beer garden with us to just hang out and talk which was really nice and fun. If I come back to Munich I definitely want to do his beer and schnapps tour since he is such an interesting person and made learning about Munich so much fun! After we were done with that beer garden we walked around for a bit and then went to dinner at another beer garden called Augustin Keller. This beer garden was huge and felt like a ginormous backyard party. Dad and I split a liter of their lighter beer and I got pork and we all shared a pretzel. The place was so big that they had trucks driving around collecting the dirty beer steins and moving them to get cleaned. This was a much different atmosphere than the smaller beer garden we were at earlier. We all liked the smaller one a bit more but it was fun to see how different beer gardens can be! We ended our day in Munich by walking back to city center for Dad to get more photos. While he was taking pictures I watched the street performers who played the marimba, xylophone, and glockenspiel which was fun and reminded me of my percussion days! Munich was a lot of fun and I hope to return one day for Oktoberfest. Prost!Read more

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