Posted by: facetothewind | May 15, 2010

First taste of Germany

Here’s where I began my journey. Trish dropped me off at Jett’s Wildcat Petrol (to get the shuttle to the Phoenix airport) a gas station that lost its gas vending license and installed a dumpster and porta-potty in front. And who says America doesn’t have style?

Here’s where I ended my trip…the Leipzig train station. Picture of me beside the ICE (Inter-City Express train). The train clips along at about 125 miles per hour as quiet as a whisper and so smooth you could walk down the aisle in stilettos and not fall over. Oh, but I miss the clickity-clack thing.

Here’s a little video of the first days in Germany with my friend Jeff Friedman who is a visiting professor from Rutgers…

Sebastian and I had our reunion dinner together at the apartment in Leipzig…

City Hall in Leipzig which was built in neo-Gothic style of architecture in 1905.

If you can’t tell from the photos, it’s freezing here – unseasonably cold for even Germany. Fortunately the apartment is wonderfully warm and quiet and being back together with Sebastian warms me deeply on the inside. Tonight I met his brother Benjamin who is a pretty fascinating guy with a very sharp mind and broad interests. I made us all leek soup, bread and beer for dinner.

Speaking of beer, yes, everything you’ve heard about Germans and beer is true. They drink it like water. It’s everywhere. You can openly drink it in the street, on the train. There is no restriction to where you can guzzle beer. And it’s damn good! Fresh and foamy. The German beer market is sheltered from the rest of the world beer market by the German brewers’ adherence to the Reinheitsgebot (“purity order”) dating from 1516.

Curiously, Germans know nothing of IPA and amber beers which are so popular in the US. They’re strictly into the three categories: Pilsner, Hefeweizen (served in a tall glass – see below), and Schwarzbier (dark).

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