I had an opportunity to travel to Germany twice over the period of three weeks. The first trip was long and very busy and included a hectic itinerary in first Hamburg, and then Frankfurt and briefly Stuttgaart. The highlight of this portion was all the driving I got to do along the Autobahn. It is true that there is no speed limit, but once you approach urban areas, you must slow down to the specified speed. Drivers unaware of this have been caught off guard by the speed cameras and the subsequent traffic citation they receive later in the mail.
Hamburg reminded me a lot of Amsterdam with the canals and waterfront shops and restaurants. In Hamburg I met up with a colleague’s local friend who showed us around and eventually led us to one of his favorite restaurants.
Frankfurt is primarily a financial hub in Europe with a lot of un-European and un-inspiring skyscrapers. This could be bypassed altogether, but is a common destination for business travel.
I was fortunate enough to make it to Munich during their famous Christmas Market in Marienplatz. I spent the entire evening drinking mulled wine and trying authentic Bohemian currywursts and bratwursts. I was also able to have a pilgrimage to Franziskaner, Spaatenhausse, and Hoffbrauhausse, the last of which was a little bit too touristy. Afterward I met up with a colleague of mine from Munich for a light dinner and a night out to his favorite wine bar. Munich is well worth the trip if you’re in Germany and I am already thinking about the feasibility of going again for the Oktoberfest in September of 2009.