Germany is one of my favorite countries to visit so it was with great excitement that I set out on a whirlwind 6 city tour of Germany! Every trip to Germany is exciting but this one was especially so since I was going to explore cities and regions I have never been to including 3 in former East Germany.
As the wonderful Deutche Bahn trains carried me far and wide, I was amazed by the green beautiful scenery passing by my eyes. The rolling landscape is full of green meadows, dense forests, farmland and the ever present church steeple! Even as I neared the Baltic coast the landscape was still rolling just not quite as high.
Today I’m sharing a few interesting tidbits I learned as I explored these historic highlights of Germany!
In Freiburg I enjoyed a guided tour by the monk, Berthold Schwarz, who invented Black Powder during medieval times in the very same city!
During a tour of Mainz my guide told me that Germany has a population of about 83 million people and is roughly the same size as the state of Montana, which only has a population of about 1 million people. Interestingly, I’ve never thought of Germany being that crammed full!
Erfurt was the first city I visited that was once part of East Germany. While wandering the medieval streets I was struck by the number of pregnant women I saw (they were seriously everywhere!). Matthias, my guide, said it was true and felt it was due to the fact that people are finally feeling they have a future!
Beautiful Potsdam was where I discovered that President Truman first learned the tests on the atomic bomb were successful at the beginning of the Potsdam Conference and approved the order to drop the bombs while still at the conference held at Cecilienhof Palace.
I really enjoyed the funny dry sense of humor my guide in Rostock possessed and had to chuckle when he explained that Rostock was once part of the German Democratic Republic of which they were neither Democratic nor really a Republic. Times have definitely changed here!
My last stop was Wiesbaden which has been a town attracting the rich and famous for decades. Originally drawn to Wiesbaden by its spa, the casino helped keep the rich entertained. In fact, the casino in Wiesbaden is where Fjodor Dostoyevsky lost his fortune and subsequently became the inspiration for his novel, The Gambler.
During the next few weeks I’ll tell you more about the amazing cities I’ve visited and hopefully inspire YOU to explore some of Germany that is off the normal tourist path!
Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people at all the local tourist offices that made it all happen! To learn more about Germany off the Beaten Path, please visit the Historic Highlights of Germany website.