On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I headed out on the train to go visit some friends in Bayern, the neighboring German state to Baden-Württemberg. The travel time was about six hours, and I had three transfers.
I was heading to Neuenmarkt, Germany, a city in the Oberfranken region of Bayern, to see my host family from the first time I was in Germany. In high school, I won a month-long summer study trip to Germany through AATG and PAD. During that program, I took classes at a Gymnasium (German high school) in Kulmbach and stayed with a host family. My host sister is Alex, and she lives with her parents. She also has a brother and a sister who live in neighboring cities.
The first time I was in Germany, I quickly became close with my host family. We were both very excited to see each other again after over four years. When I arrived in Neuenmarkt, Alex met me at the train station. We walked back to her house, and then we made noodles with salmon sauce for dinner and played cards. Later in the evening, we went together to her friend’s birthday party.
On Saturday, we baked Christmas cookies and watched Christmas movies together. Her house was decorated for Christmas, and it was so warm and cozy. It was so nice being in a home with a family again after living in my student apartment building for so long.
On Sunday, Alex and I went out to eat at a traditional German restaurant with her parents and grandparents. I tried Krenfleisch, which is beef in horseradish gravy, with Klöße (potato dumplings) and Semmelklöße (roll dumplings). After eating, we went hiking around the lake in Trebgast. The first time I was in Germany, we went swimming in that lake, so it was really neat to see it in winter.
The weekend passed by so quickly, and I hope I will have an opportunity to be in Germany in the future and come visit them again.