Trip to Germany: Not Including Model Horse Show

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I thought I would post my note about the trip to Germany here, including everything except the live show. It's long, so be warned! I wrote it on my laptop as I was travelling. Here it is!

I am writing this from my plush seat on the train on the way to Germany. See, I *had* an assigned seat, but somebody was in it. So I had to move to the dining car, which is freakiní awesome. First class seats, and all I have to do to stay here is drink a three-euro cup of tea. Really, really slowly.

Highlights from the trip so far:

Fields of horses!! So far out the window Iíve seen a field each of Brabants, Halflingers, loooooads of fat hairy ponies, Fjords, and of course Ė Friesians! Theyíre EVERYWHERE! Pretty surprising, right, since half my trip is in Friesland. Iím still excited every time I see them Ė Iím sure it will get old soon.

The train just crossed into Germany. Iíve been alerted by my cell phone company, who kindly sent a text just after the border letting me know how much calls and texts would cost here. Shortly after the text we went through a town.

Germany looks pretty much the same as Holland, with two main exceptions Ė no more orange all over the place, and umlauts. Umlauts everywhere. Itís pretty awesome seeing german again though! I took four years of German in high school, so the signage Iím seeing is so far more recognizable than Dutch. Ausgang! I know what that means!

The other great thing about being in Germany is that now the train announcements are in three languages Ė Dutch, German, and English. Sweet, sweet English. Itís surprising that I understand the German announcements better than the Dutch onesÖ
Now that the train has progressed more, Iím seeing GEOGRAPHY! This country isnít flat! I have taken a couple terrible window pics of the hills, thatís just how excited I am.

Thatís it for now. Back to pretending to drink my tea, and casually ignoring the ďbuy something or leaveĒ death stares from the servers. Sometimes itís pretty great to be able to play the Stupid American!

*Three Hours Later*

Iím now in Frankfurt Main Station. I was SUPER excited for a second, because thereís an unsecured t-mobile network here. Lo and behold, when I try and load a page it takes me to a handy site where I can pay 8 euros per hour to be online. I love you all, but Iím not paying that much to be able to kill time on the internet for the next three hours. So. I have three hours to kill. Good thing I have my cross stitching, my iPod, this semi-useless-without-the-internet laptop, and am right next door to a book store. If it comes down to it, Iíll go over there and get a book. I should be OK with an audio book and stitching thoughÖ here I go.

*Two hours later*

Iím here! Well Ė I am at least done with training. Itís 3:45 PM, and Melanie gets off work at 4, and can be over here around 4:30. So, naturally, I walked around the station to find someplace where I can sit down without buying a meal, and has enough empty seating that I wonít feel like a buffoon dragging my human sized RED suitcase through the place. The only establishment that fit the bill was, of course, a bar. So now Iím sitting here drinking a Guiness. The reason Iím drinking Guiness is that the bar tender doesnít have any English, so I had no idea how to order anything else. Itís not bad though. This next 45 minutes will pass quickly at least! Dad Ė I got you some coasters! For Bitburger! (If any Portland friends bother to read this, laugh with me about that)

More observations about Germany. You can still smoke inside here! YUCK! This bar has two guys smoking at the other end, and all the windows are open, but I am so not used to the smoke that itís all I can focus on. At least I brought enough clothes that everything Iím wearing can go in a plastic bag until I get home, lest the smoke stench Ďinfectí the rest of my suitcase.

People jay-walk like crazy! Iím always scared to do it in Leeuwarden, both because there are Police everywhere and because I see nobody else doing it. When in Rome, right? Well here, there are people of all ages darting through traffic. I just saw a grandma drag a young kid by the hand across the intersection of a busy road, between cars.

Going to stop now Ė I think Iím going to have to break this trip into at least two notes, otherwise Iím going to just get a bunch of tl:dr comments!

**Three Days Later**

Iím now on the train home. This weekend has been AMAZING.

First note Ė on the dining car again, and thereís an old skeevy looking guy at the table next to me that is totally macking on an adorable Japanese girl. She is being SO kind to him, and he keeps asking her in English if sheís a model. Now heís giving her pens that he says he invented, with light-up soccer balls on the top. Heís one of those guys that always leans in really closely to talk to you, like he is telling you a secret. Crap Ė he just caught my eye, and now I have a light up soccer pen as well. Lucky me!

Back to the weekend! Once I arrived in Ingelheim, Melanie came to pick me up in her adorable Civic. I sort of love seeing ďAmericanĒ cars here, even though Honda is Japanese of course the Civic still seems American to me! We went to her house, and were only going to be there for a Ďfew minutesí before leaving to walk around down town and have dinner. Being model horse girls though, we ended up spending an hour looking at each otherís horses! She has some really lovely pieces, and confirmed for me that I ďneedĒ a traditional Haggis to add to my collection. Hers by Sommer Prosser is SO pretty!

After pulling ourselves away from the call to discuss models for the rest of the night, we went to downtown Mainz. This city is BEAUTIFUL. We walked all around the downtown areas, all along the river front (the Rhine!) and back through the older parts of the city. There is the most amazing old church Ė I took many photos inside, including one that I accidentally left the flash on for Ė ooooops. It was really awe-inspiring though, Iím such a dork about history like that Ė I always think about how difficult it must have been for the citizens to build. This church was begun in 950. No Ė not missing a digit. Thatís more than a thousand years ago. America can be pretty neat, but we certainly donít have anything like that.

We then went to a really American feeling Mexican restaurant, where I met Melanieís sister. They are both really fun people, and we had a good time discussing some of the differences in our countries, as well as life in general. She had a dancing class after dinner, so Melanie and I went walking around more, got ice cream, and felt touristey. It was fantastic, a really good time! We ended up back at her house around ten, did some more packing for the show, and were in bed around midnight.

Iíll do a whole separate post for the show, since only some of you will be interested! In short Ė it was freakiní great, everybody was SO friendly, and I did way way WAY better than I expected. I also had a really positive response to my tack making, and gave out my e-mail a dozen times for possible orders. The show could not have possibly gone better!

Following the show though, we headed back to Casa De Knuttel, picking up some really great Italian food on the way home. We watched this crazy show that takes hours, basically a lot of small challenges between this famous german guy and a challenger that is voted on like American Idol. If the challenger wins, he gets somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 euros. The show can take between two and MANY hours, on into the next morning. It was quite interesting! I had to turn in again around midnight though Ė a couple nights in a row where I only get 4-5 hours of sleep just kicks my butt.

Today is Sunday, and I got to sleep in until 9AM. When I woke, Melanie had already prepared a really nice breakfast of fresh bread with about sixty different varieties of Marmalade. Okay, maybe not quite sixty, but a LOT. I finished packing my suitcase, and we headed out to a nearby tower with a tiger breeding operation underneath. I know, right? Tigers and a tower built in 1912. Whoda thunk it. They also had goats and rabbits, which were significantly easier to photograph.

Then we ended up the weekend in style Ė there was a Trakahner breeding farm nearby on the top of the hill, and we drove over there and parked to walk around to the fields. We came upon a whole field of yearling colts who were just gorgeous. The photos speak for themselves Ė we petted and gave wither scratchies until they all moved off. Thereís a red colt I met there that I fully intend to buy once I hit the lottery.

On the way back to the car we went past a field of broodmares, and they slowly came over to investigate us. They were all SO sweet. I braided two of their forelocks, so when they go inside tonight I hope somebody sees that they were loved. There was one black mare in particular that just stood with her head against me for at least 20 minutes, and just let me pet her and scratch her ears and rub on her nose. It was heaven, smelling her horsey breath again. We thought it might be time to leave to catch my train, so I said ďOkay pretty lady, youíre going to have to walk away first, we canít leave youĒ. And she did, right away. She just turned and walked off back to her friends. Melanie called me the horse whisperer.

When we got into the car, we had six minutes to get to my train, so that wasnít happening. Fortunately I got a different one, and just had to change once in Mainz, which was no problem.

All in all it was a perfect weekend. Melanie is just a great person, and I think we will be very good friends. She was the perfect hostess, and I canít say enough good things about her and all she did to help this weekend happen for me! I hope I can return the favor in October, when thereís a live show in Groningen, which is really close to Leeuwarden where I live.

Here's the link to the non-model horse pics:

I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip!


  1. Shenanigans's Avatar
    That was so much fun to read!
    Love the horsy picīs. Scratchies! :lol
  2. Prairie Dream's Avatar
    What a trip! Glad you had fun and met great people.
  3. bronzino's Avatar
    So awesome - I didn't see this before. the photos with the horses were lols, especially because of the comments!