Monday, July 25, 2016

Abstract: the itinerary | Germany Part 0

What a cluttered title! This post will give a location-by-location overview of my itinerary in Germany (and one stop in Austria) as told by representative Instagram posts. I'm referring to this post as an abstract because it will serve as the introduction/preamble to all subsequent Germany (und Österreich) posts, and I do have some other formatting disclaimers to make later here. Though I suppose my outfits entry was the first of all my vacation content, I'll consider this the true "first" post. Also, indexing by 0 is fun.

Without further ado:

Berlin, Wannsee, & Potsdam

The Reichstag building in Berlin

Day 0:

Day 1:

Day 2:


A model of the Hamburg's Speicherstadt (warehouse district) in Miniatur Wunderland

Day 3:
  • Berlin to Hamburg
  • Stadtpark (urban garden) and surroundings
  • Walking distance - 11.21 miles; Elevation gain - 80 ft

Day 4:

Day 5:
  • Note: this day's torrential downpour put a damper on sightseeing
  • University of Hamburg Zoological Collection
  • Museum of Ethnology
  • Roaming around the Elbe River after the rain stopped
  • Walking distance - 10.2 miles; Elevation gain - 170 ft
Day 6:
  • Tour of the Rathaus, walking around the Altstadt and Elbe River
  • Hamburg to Cologne


The Cologne cathedral

Day 6 contd:

Day 7:

Black Forest & Bavaria (Munich, Dachau, Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau)

Yours truly in front of the Munich Rathaus

Day 8:

Day 9:
  • Munich Residenz, the former palace of the Bavarian monarchs
  • Dachau concentration camp memorial site
  • Englischer Garten (urban park with river surfers)
  • more Marienplatz
  • Walking distance- 16.67 miles; Elevation gain - 180 ft
Day 10:


View of Hohensalzburg fortress, cathedral, and Altstadt

Day 10, contd:
  • Arrive in Salzburg
  • Salzburg Altstadt
  • Walking distance - 11.19 miles; Elevation gain - 660 ft
Day 11:

Day 12:


View of the Heidelberg Altstadt and castle

Day 12, contd:
  • Salzburg to Heidelberg
  • Walking distance - 5.48 miles; Elevation gain - 270 ft
Day 13:
  • Heidelberg Altstadt and University
  • Heidelberg castle
  • Königstuhl ("King's seat" hill in the Odenwald Mountains) via the Himmelsleiter ("Heaven's ladder" 1200? 1600? steps? Elevation gain = ??? Distance = ???)
  • Philosophers' walk
  • walking along the Neckar and the new campus area
  • Walking distance - 15.94 miles; Elevation gain - 1630 ft
Day 14:
  • Heidelberg to Frankfurt
  • Frankfurt to San Francisco via Reykjavik
That does it for my itinerary. My blog entries about my trip will probably be broken up by location, mostly in chronological order, with a conclusion/reflections post at the end. This blog is mostly for myself, a journal of sorts of the places I've been to, the things I saw, and my thoughts about them. I hope that this record is interesting to read and look at, and maybe even organized and somewhat informative.

Some preliminary reflections about this trip: it was my first ever to Europe, and it was amazing. I was visiting my sibling at first in Berlin (study abroad), then to Hamburg where their summer internship is. We visited Cologne together with our mother; I went with my mother to Bavaria and Salzburg, then reunited with the sib in Heidelberg. Father unfortunately couldn't make it due to work, but he would have liked Germany quite a lot.

"Ich spreche kein Deutsch" - though I don't speak German beyond some courtesy phrases, my sibling's German seems pretty good and we relied on them quite a bit. English is widely spoken, but I still felt pretty clumsy not knowing the language. Navigation is easy and public transportation is great.

As newcomers to Germany, our itinerary seems to be very touristy and basic, ripped right off the TripAdvisor top 10 lists. This is partly due to my poor planning, and also because I didn't have any knowledge of German cities, geography, or history. Again, I should have paid better attention in history class and probably read a book or two before arriving, but I did learn quite a bit on this trip. Context is important. Lots of time spent in museums and old towns, not a lot of modern sites or cultural immersion, lots of train travel, and lots of walking. I'm okay with that, and hope to see more of Germany (and Austria, of course) in the future.

I have a lot of thoughts about Germany, about international relations and the current geopolitical climate that I haven't really sorted out yet. But, there was my abstract. Fourteen days were not enough.


  1. Oh wow, you managed to see so much of Germany! Sounds like a fantastic time, I'm really excited to see your more detailed posts.

    1. I am very excited to share them! It's probably one of the most incredible places I've been to.

  2. I'm leaving for Europe this weekend! I'll be there for almost two weeks with my family, and we'll be spending the latter half of it in Berlin, so thank you for sharing some of the places you checked out :D I'm so psyched! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

    1. My sibling was pretty much the best tour guide ever, so I'll refer you to their very detailed Berlin summary while I slog through my iPhone photos: