Trip to Germany Goes Into Extra Time!

In truth, we came up with the idea of extending our stay in Germany even before the USA’s thrilling extra-time victory over Brazil in the Womens World Cup quarterfinal that we didn’t attend. But after that victory, how could we not? … It seemed the US was a team of destiny, and our time in Germany was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a part of it.

So we sent Karen back home to San Jose, while the “Daytime Trio” stuck it out in Germany for three more days, hastily arranging tickets and hotel for more adventures into the western states of Deutschland. And it was worth it!

100_2494Monday in Munich

With our first extra day in Germany, we took advantage of already being in Munich. We hopped the S-Bahn Train to the Marienplatz, where we saw an enticing blend of modern shopping and historic sites stretched across the central downtown square.

Munich was different than most historical German cities we’d visited, with its mix of modern shops and high-end stores standing right next to old churches and municipal buildings built in the 1500s. It was fun to walk around and discover the sites. We also had one of the best meals of the trip, lunch at the oldest beer garden in Munich, the Augustiner Brewery. We capped the day off watching the Rathaus-Glockenspiel serenade and dance for the masses. Very fun!

Tuesday in Stuttgart and Heidelberg

On Tuesday morning, we did something completely different, touring the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart.

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The museum was a fascinating mix of industry and history, combining the development of automobile technology with the social and historical implications of the famous car-maker. Honest to it’s Nazi sympathizing and thorough in its scope, the history of Daimler-Benz Chrysler was an interesting story. (Up until the 1950s, where our interest waned.)

DSC00722After Stuttgart, we drove to Heidelberg, which turned out to be one of David’s favorite stops. The beautiful town is nestled in a steep valley along the Neckar River, with historic bridges and a medieval castle in various stages of decay. We had a relaxing lunch, took a steep hike up the hill to the Heidelberg Castle, and strolled across the Old Bridge.

And on Wednesday, Football!

The weather was a bit miserable in Dusseldorf and Moenchengladbach, but that couldn’t put a damper on our spirits. We were in Germany for the WWC Semi-Final between France and the United States of America. It meant so much just to be there!

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It was an incredible experience to be part of the Womens World Cup in Germany, and it was even more amazing that I managed to capture the best footballing moment of the trip on video. Uncle Timmy describes what happened much better than I can … but you can also watch it yourself:

From there, we had to make a six-hour overnight drive back to Munich to catch our flight back home, where we would sadly watch the USA fritter away its lead and lose to Japan in penalty kicks in the Final. Our trip was not relaxing — we drove more than 3000 kilometers (more than 1800 miles) — but it was worth every dollar and every kilometer for the memories of a lifetime.