Sisters European Adventure

One year ago, I managed to find my sister Emily in the chaos that is the Frankfurt, Germany airport. We’d been planning and dreaming about tracing our family roots to a little town in north-central Germany, and the gorgeous city of Prague, Czech Republic. After a conversation led to declaring, “This MUST happen!”, we were finally on our way. In honor of the one-year mark since this wonderful adventure, here are my top 10 absolute favorite things.

  1. Chocolate croissants. Need I say more?
  2. Train rides. In America I travel by car more than anything, occasionally adding in the Dallas Area Rapid Transit when trying to avoid traffic heading downtown. In Cambodia, it is mostly pedaling my bicycle, hitching a ride on a motorcycle taxi, or piling with friends into a tuk-tuk. So riding on a train was a fun new adventure! We traveled from Frankfurt to Detmold with rolling hills and farmland passing by, and then from Detmold to Prague as the fields gave way to mountains and forests and the big city landscape.
  3. Family history. Emily and I spent one morning pouring through online records of births and deaths from the area of Germany we were visiting at the church records hall. It was like finding lost treasure when we spotted our last name among the records!
  4. When getting lost leads to an adventure. For the most part we navigated the cobblestone streets of little Detmold and the tram system of Prague with no problem (thanks in large part to Google maps and local SIMs with amazing data). One day Emily and I wanted to find the church where our ancestors were married and their children christened. It required a bus ride, and Emily’s limited German. We managed to get close but got dropped off in what felt like the middle of nowhere. After a quick consultation on my phone we realized it was just over a kilometer walk to the town we were hoping to see. As Emily and I walked on the edge of the little highway, we looked at each other and exclaimed, “This is Germany! We’re walking in the middle of nowhere in Germany!” It was a fun addition to our excursion.
  5. Concert at a castle. On a whim I decided to check and see if there were any concerts taking place in Prague while we were going to be there. A small group from London was going to be finishing out a round of concerts at St. Vitus Cathedral on the grounds of the Prague Castle. We couldn’t pass that up! What a regal setting and fun opportunity to take in beautiful music.
  6. Grand old churches. I just couldn’t get enough of them.
  7. Local fare. To save money we didn’t eat out all of the time, but made sure to sample some of the local food- kolache in Prague, schnitzel in Detmold.
  8. Familiar treats. A few times we just needed something comforting and familiar. Hello, Starbucks. Thank you for taking over the world.
  9. Chilly weather. When we arrived in Prague the temperatures had dipped down into the 50s F. Okay, this probably isn’t bad for most of you, but for this girl who lives in the tropics, I was freezing! But that is a rare treat and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  10. This girl. I loved getting to see Europe through my sister’s perspective. We could be totally honest about what we really wanted to see, when we needed a break, and we could bravely try things together we wouldn’t have on our own. It was just delightful to explore and experience and appreciate the beauty and culture and people alongside this lovely sister of mine.

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