For our Spring Break here in Spain, I decided to travel to Germany for one week to visit my good friend, Lina! Lina and I became best friends while we were doing Rotary Youth Exchange in Brazil a couple years back, so you can imagine how exciting this trip was for me. Lina’s family was extremely kind and let me stay in their home with open arms. Within one week I was able to learn some German language, experience German culture, relive some Brazil life, and enjoy delicious food with cold German beverages.
German language sounds so beautiful to me, so I tried to learn as much as possible in such a short time. I managed to learn many words like numbers, days of the week, colors, simple conversation starters, good morning, goodnight, “I am Alyssa” (Ich bin Alyssa), and many others.
My first destination was the city of Hamburg which has breathtaking architecture and friendly, helpful people that can speak English well! Lina and her family live in Brunsbuttel, and they took me to various places: Marne, Heide, Friedrichskoog, and Sylt Island. Every place had it’s own story, like how Heide holds the largest marketplace in Germany! Sylt Island is known to have beautiful beaches where many celebrities visit and also known to be super windy, which was exactly how it was when we visited.
Lina rides horses so one day she took me to her friend’s stable to ride. There was also three Brazilian girls there, and we all learned how to ride that day. By the end, we discovered that one girl is studying in the same city I’m doing my internship, in Valladolid! It’s a small world after all.
Ironically I spent my 21st birthday in Germany, and I truly had a memorable experience. When I walked downstairs first thing in the morning, the family was awaiting me and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me while I blew out candles. We all ate a huge, delicious breakfast followed by presents and cake. My birthday was also on Easter this year so we went for an Easter egg hunt afterwards! I wasn’t expecting any of this so I was so surprised and thankful for all Lina’s family did for me. It was a birthday I’ll never forget.
I’ll also never forget the beer and food! I had the pleasure to try many different types of local beer. I tried lamb for my first time and I also helped make Schnitzel, which is a breaded pork with a special gravy sauce, typical German. Haribo gummies and Kinder chocolate are also popular in Germany. I could not keep my hands off the mouthwatering sweets!
In all, I enjoyed seeing my friend Lina again and learning about her culture. I am positive that I will be returning again some day. Germany has stole my heart.