The first part of my adventure found me in one of my favorite countries, Germany. Don’t tell, but I’m already trying to contrive a way to go back on a hiking trip! Our plane flew into Stuttgart, and we spent the first evening wandering around the beautiful old city. I had been to Stuttgart once before, but I didn’t remember it very well, so it was fun to walk around and get a feel for it again. I love the intricate old palaces, and blue-green copper accents sprinkled in among red roofs. The next day we headed off to Neuschwanstein Castle of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame– also one of my favorite places for a bit of hiking!
Neuschwanstein is situated on top of a mountain, and you have to hike up to it. We had absolutely gorgeous weather that day, and the walk up was just beautiful. Once you’ve made it to the castle itself, you can hike up further to a small bridge, and view the castle from above. This time, my dad and I also climbed up a cliff further up, and the view of Bavaria was stunning. Climbing up those rocks and seeing the view at the top was one of the highlights of this entire trip for me!
One thing I love about travel is the ability to observe how other people live, and then finding things to apply to my life when I get home. The number one lesson from Germany? Less screen time! We were absolutely amazed by how little people use their phones. At one point we walked past a park where at least 150 people were gathered in groups. Among the crowd, we noticed that no one had their phone out at all, and this pattern continued as we traveled through the region! I’m making a point of putting my phone down more, and actually paying attention to what’s in front of me. Thanks Germany!