Editors Note: The following is a guest post by Natalya Pobedova. For more information about writing a guest post for please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone traveling to Germany is in for a treat, as well as an amazing cultural experience. This is what happened to me when I visited there. I had taken a few years of German language in school prior to my trip and even had a friend from Germany. But the Germany I experienced during my four weeks of travel, was not at all like the one I was expecting.
Expansive crop fields juxtaposed with the gorgeous Bavarian Alps off in the distance, while taking the hour long train from Munich International Airport out of the city outskirts into downtown Munich, was my first glimpse of the country. So this was Germany. Land of beer and lederhosen.
The first time stepping out of the Munich Hauptbahnhof into downtown Munich was exhilarating, to say the least. German BMW’s and Mercedes Benz’s zipped by in every direction, gorgeous German architecture stood in every direction and amazing scents wafted out left and right from various bakeries and street side food vendors. Shops of all kinds were selling interesting trinkets and souvenirs and anything else, as I made my way to the city’s famous Frauenkirche cathedral.
My experience with public transportation and hostels while traveling through Germany was amazing. It floored me how quickly and easily I could get anywhere I needed to go, by using the extensive train, subway, tram and bus systems present in even small German towns. Often I just needed to buy a day pass for a couple city Tarif Zones and could use it pass as much as needed. Connection times were rarely an issue either.
The hostels I stayed at during my four weeks were all wonderful. I chose the cheapest accommodation options and usually paid about 20 Euro a night to sleep in a shared room with typically 5-6 other people. There was always a locker where I could lock up my valuables while away for the day. Some of the hostels offered fantastic continental breakfast with authentic German rolls, meats and cheeses, Nutella and fruit. There was usually wireless internet connection as well, but the best part of staying at the hostels was getting to meet other Germans traveling around the country too.
Making an effort to meet people all along the way, I met a lot of really nice Germans who would show me around. They often seemed initially a bit reserved and standoffish, but would eventually warm up to me with incredible kindness and incredibly funny humor. It really broke down my stereotypical view of what most Germans are like, and I was surprised me at how many Germans across the board can speak amazing English.
Four weeks traveling in German changed my whole perspective on the country. It’s not just the land of beer, wurst and lederhosen. It is also home to some of the kindest and most welcoming people I have ever had the fortune to meet. I am forever grateful for my decision to spend four weeks there, and not somewhere else.
Bio: Natalya Pobedova is a travelling nomad and backpacker from beautiful Brno Czech Republic. She is 27 and makes a living as a freelance web developer to support her traveling needs. She also runs a travel website for backpackers as a hobby: http://www.travelsiders.com/. She dreams to fly to Brazil and speaks Portuguese fluently. She visited 14 countries already and most of them are in Asia and Europe.