Wednesday, April 22, 2009
As I sit here and indulge in my new found love, German chocolate, I couldn't help but give a little shout out to the two types of chocolate/candy that make my life in Germany complete... Ritter Sport "dunkle voll-nuss" (dark chocolate with hazelnuts) and Hanuta bars, wafers filled with hazelnut chocolate...thank you lord for coco, hazelnuts and Germany, and thank god we don't have this stuff in the states, because if we did our whole population would be morbidly obese. I am thankful to Germany as well, for the proximity of my school and everything else that you need I survive. Germany, you make me walk miles a day, just so I can indulge in all you wonderful tarimsu ice cream and dark chocolate bars without gaining a single pound. MmMMmMmm
I had the opportunity to go on a local wine tasting with a group of international students studying in Trier this semester. Our group is pretty diverse, 3 people from Spain, 2 from Holland, 1 from Finland, 2 from Russia, and 5 Americans (all design kids from KU!!! rock chalk baby). The wine tasting was cool, but not what I expected. I pictured his awesome little winery in the middle of all these vineyards, classy music, men in collard shits, ladies in nice dresses, maybe some cheese....and i was wrong. We all recieved an email from Bernt Werner ( the international student corrdinator who just happends to look like James Bond.... hehe ) saying no highheels. I skeptically took off the adorable brown heels i was wearing and threw on a pair of boots. All the kids met up at the Porta Negra around 6pm (the typicall meeting point) and hoped on the bus to the outdoor auditorium. Here we met our hero, Bernt, and he proceeded to lead us up this HUGE hill. The hills were covered in grape vines (they are mini trees actually) and we proceeded to climb in altitude, winding in and out of rows and rows of vinyeards. By the time we reached the top, all of us were huffing and puffing, our makeup was running, the guys in long buttong up shirts were perspiring, and all were wondering where in hell is this place. The view was incredible, I must admit, you could see all of Trier from here. There were bees swarming everywhere, and not just your typicall hunny bee, but JIANT yello jackets, the biggest bees i have ever seen. Getting stung by one of these suckers would be like getting an eperderil shot. When we reached the top we took a few moments from to quick photos and headed right back down the hill in the opposite direction...and to our surprie the winery wasn't in the hills at all, it was across the street, we were just taking the secenic route. When we arrived at Weingut-Deutschherrenhof, a small log cabin looking house off of some residentail street, we were surpired to find that it was a resturant, full of people, who were staring at us, maybe beacuse most of us dressed up. (our mama's would have been proud!) We took our seats in the back and were all good and ready for some wine. A really nice gentleman, whose name i could hardly understand nether the less spell/remember, can to our tables with the first wine. He was the son of the man who owned the winery and was very, very knowleagble. Most of the wines were white and really sweet, reiseling, because that type of grape grows very well in this area, also, up until about 40 years ago, red wine was banned from being grown in Germnay, because the last King of Germany, only liked white wine (reiseling), and therefore banned the gorwth of grapes to produce red wine. (crazy huh?).. Here is the list of wines we got to try, getting more dry(f.y.i.: drinesss=amount of acidity in grape, therefore, more acid=more dry) as they go. The list i got is all in German so bear with me...
1.) 2007 Weissburgunder trocken (white)... (trocken meaning "dry")
2.) 2007 Reisling trocken (white)
3.) 2007 Reisling Alte Reben- (white)(meaning old vine) 12.5%alc.
4.) 2007 Sebastian No.1 Reisling (white)(fermented for a very short while)-11%alc
5.) 2007 Burgberg Spatlese feinherb-(white)
6.) 2006 Deutschherrenberg Riesling Spatlese(white)
7.) 2006 Dornfelder (red)
8.) 2006 Spatburger trocken (red)
9.)Alter Tresterbrand -aka grappa, very strong liquor 42%alc.
The wine was all really sweet, but surprisigly good. We were taught how to properly taste wine...swirl, smell, swish, sip, swish and drink. Also, how to properly toast...you say "Prost" and look every single person in the eye or else rumor has it you will have years bad sex??
In between round 5-6 we were given 10 large pizza looking things, called them flammkuchen. What it is is really thin crust, with light cheese and meat.veggies. It is so light and so refreshing. No heavy enough to fill you up put just the right amount so you dont get completely hammered at the wine tasting.
All and all the wine tasting was a huge hit. I had a lot of good conversation and must admit by the end i was midly intoxicated. I learned alot about what is growing in the hills of Trier and about the history of wine in Germany...all in all a wonderful and successful adventure
sorry for sucking at blogging. With school and well GERMANY as a distraction i have neglected to highlight some of the wonderful things i have done. I SWEAR, starting this second that i will post at least twice a week, unless i am traveling...:) thanks for your patience!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I got the amazing opportunity over Easter break (which in Germany is like a week long) to travel to my roommate Monique's hometown of Dresden (eastern Germany). I was a bit hesitant at first, thinking of other places i might like to visit during this time but then was like why the hell not. Her boyfriend offered the Americans a room in his mothers hostile and we gladly accepted. Our train* left Wednesday at approx. 3:30am. I was exhausted, I had only slept for 2 hours before waking to catch the train, but was so excited. We actually all almost didn't get to go...We bought a group ticket and if one person out of the 6 didn't show up our ticket would be noninvoid. Well 3:25 came around and we were still missing one of the 6. We were all freaking out especially Monique who had Easter plans with her family....But, luckily the last and final member showed up about a minute before the train left, out of breathe, and all was good in the world again. We took the train all the way to Dresden, (approx 8hrs). The sleeping quarters, well there was no such thing, the seats, were stiff and the cabin was so stuffy. Marcus, Monique's boyfriend, met us at the train station and escorted us to his mother's place, which ended up being so incredibly quaint.(unlike the previous youth hostile we had stayed at in Heidelberg, which was more like a dorm...ewwww) It was a small one bedroom appt. fully furnished, with a huge queen size bed (which ended up sleeping 3 girls) and single bath and kitchen. It was located in this adorable court yard, accompanied by a large bunny rabbit and Ginny pig in a cage. :)
Day one: We all got up super early to find Marcus had made us all breakfast, it was delicious, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, toast and jam, coffee and juice. They we all headed off to explore what is known as old Dresden. Old Dresden was the kind of place that my father would fall in love with. Old churches, awesome architecture, live music, life...all around very peaceful and charming. We journeyed through King John's court, beginning with a HUGE gold statue of him, took a pit stop for some ice cream (tarimasu!) and took a few pics of this large and in charge gold statue. Next we proceeded over the Carola Bridge, which allowed you to cross over the Elbe River from "new town" to "old town" . In 2002 the Carola Bridge was flooded due to a large tsunami that some how hit the Eastern part of Germany and caused the Elbe River to rise to record breaking levels.
First stop, Hof church, beautiful Gothic esque architecture. We ventured inside, not as awesome as the outside made it seem or as the Frauenkirche Church, but still nice. We walked past "Oprah's house", as Monique put it, or as we know it, an Opera House. This lead us into a huge garden, the King John's garden, and courtyard full of fountains and awesome landscaping. The atmosphere was perfect. As you walked through this huge arch entry way a man was playing Royal songs via trumpet...nice effect for tourists. Walking out and back around the court yard we came to a large freise depicting the lineage of power in Dresden that of course ended with King John ( I was starting to get the idea that this guy was a big deal in Dresden?)... pretty cool. We stopped and visited the Dresden Frauenkirche (aka."the church of our lady"), a church that had been destroyed in WWII. Only about 5 years ago, had they finished construction on it. During construction, some of the original stones from the original church were used. You could tell which was which, dark stones old, light stones new...neat. The inside blew me away. Check out the picture above to see the INCREDIBLE alter piece they had constructed. The church was packed, due to Easter weekend, and you weren't suppose to take pictures, but i don't there was a single soul there who didn't snap at least one photo. From here we kind of just ventured around next to the Elbe. It was a beautiful sight and we were all still so exhausted...
That night we had dinner at a local brewery (which are all over Germany). Here I was able the experience my first 1 LITER mug of beer...HUGE and cheap and OH so good. I have come to fancy dark beer, maybe it is just Germany but damn it is good. Dinner was marvolous. We had an awesome view of the whole city. The sun set made for an fantastic end to a wonderful first day, not to mention that we were all a little tipsy after 2 Liters of beer and a hefty meal.
*keep track! on this trip, I traveled by train, bus, car, boat, and plane!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Jordie Buckmelter (07/97)-(4-20-09).
My first dog, you will forever be in my heart. My sweet little schnauzer. I picked you out of a litter of Yorkies, and look what I got... the goofiest, adorable, spoiled, protective, small dog syndromed, best friend and companion the world would ever know. I will forever have you in my heart. My first pooch, the Jordmeister, my bobo, my jordie pordy pudding and pie kissed the girls and made them cry, bubba gump, i love and miss you, but will see you in heaven my faithful friend!