TOP Travel Lessons – #BLOG365 Day 254 #TOPStudyTour @TOPTeachGermany

Two weeks in Germany. Fifteen social studies educators. Two German guides. Four hotels. Three train trips. Countless rides on public transportation of all types. A record of 26,000 steps in one day. And a load of lessons learned.

  1. Always take a jacket. I didn’t. I had a few sweaters. But, they didn’t cut it. The weather was cold. Really cold for a Floridian. Just take the slightly bigger suitcase and stuff the jacket in.
  2. Don’t take the same type of shoes in two different colors. Ugh, my poor feet. I needed the change up of different shoes from day to day.
  3. Germans love water and coffee and cookies. And so do I. At every visit we knew some coffee and water and cookies would greet us. I really needed the coffee.
  4. German playgrounds are fun for all ages. Yes, I jumped on a trampoline in dress clothes.
  5. Stay close to the guides always. Keep your eyes on them in busy train stations. When you don’t have one of those flags like the travelers at Disney to keep you together, an umbrella will do just fine.
  6. You will look forward to laundry after day 5. And you won’t think it’s crazy when someone says “oh, I haven’t seen you in that outfit yet” when you find a shirt you haven’t worn in the bottom of your bag.
  7. Be flexible. When your group leader gets sick. When your train tickets are for the wrong day and you find a seat on the floor to make it to Braunschweig. When you eat standing up.
  8. In your search for the perfect schnitzel, just try them all. You’ll find the best on the last day anyway.
  9. Repeat #7 for apple strudel and beer.
  10. Forget the computer. Your Wi-Fi won’t cooperate and you won’t have time anyway.
  11. That squealing you hear in the early morning hours might be in your dreams, or it could be the butcher shop below your hotel.
  12. Every German will tell you their English is poor. They will apologize profusely for this. It’s not true.
  13. Germany is beautifully diverse. When someone asks me what one word I would use to describe Germany, I will say diverse.
  14. Dinner in the oldest bookstore in town is perfectly normal.
  15. Kartoffel salat is different in every city. Avoid the freezing cold kind.
  16. German trains are actually late sometimes.
  17. Stay out of the bike lane! For heaven’s sake!
  18. Euro coins take up a lot of space in your wallet. And they are heavy!
  19. Seeing monuments at night is the best time to see them.
  20. It’s not T.J. Maxx. It’s T.K. Maxx.
  21. School supplies in Germany are epic. Post coming later on this.
  22. Historical memory is all around. The good, the bad, and the ugly. They don’t forget. We shouldn’t either.

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