• Name: Hallie Palmer
  • Job Title: Receptionist
  • Work Anniversary: September 2018

Where did you go?
“I went to ten different cities in Germany & Austria!”

  • Munich
  • Dachau
  • Ansbach
  • Pfarrkirchen
  • Triftern
  • Rothenberg ob Der Tauber
  • Passau
  • Berchtesgaden
  • Salzberg
  • Fussen

Who did you go with?
“I went with my family- my mom, dad and my sister.”

What kind of trip was it?
“Just for fun. We went to meet some family that we’ve never met before.”

Do you speak German? How were you able to communicate with that side of your family?
“I don’t know any German, and they hardly speak any English. We used Google Translate but that didn’t always work, so we just kind of smiled at each other. They were really gracious so that helped a lot, but Google Translate helped get a lot figured out within the conversation.”

Why did you go?
“My Oma – which is German for grandma – is from Ansbach, Germany and she keeps in touch with them. She told them we were going and we were able to get in contact with one of her cousins. I was nervous about meeting them because we didn’t know the language.
But do you know what’s really helpful in Germany? Beer! It’s so good!”

What’s your German beer recommendation?
“I would say dunkels, that’s what we prefer. I think that’s a darker beer. We were also told to try King Ludwig and it was delicious.”

Tell us about something that you did on your trip.
“We flew into Munich and we went directly to Marienplatz. It’s a courtyard with shops everywhere.
In that courtyard there’s a building, Glockenspiel, it looks like a church, and every hour it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century. There are two levels and on the top, you can see statues carved out of wood that are made to look like people. There are knights that duel and behind them are the King and Queen. That was cool!
My favorite thing we did was when we randomly went to a Mozart concert in Salzburg, Austria. It was called “The Best of Mozart,” it was dinner and a concert in a castle that looks over all of Salzburg. It was a medieval castle with a big courtyard and if you walk further there’s a tower where you can see the whole city of Salzburg.
After our three-course dinner, we went to this room with nice wood flooring and the ceiling had gold stars with teal fabric, it was really beautiful. It looked really medieval. You could picture people from hundreds of years ago being in that room. It was a really cool experience.
When we went into the room there were five people playing the violin, cello and bass. They played Mozart and other classical music. It was a once in a lifetime situation. Something I’ve never experienced before, it was almost like going back in time.”

Tell us about something you ate on your trip.
“I grew up on German food, so pretty much everything we ate was German. I do enjoy traditional German food like bratwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut, potato dumplings and even pork with gravy.
Something my mom looked for but never found was apple strudel. My Oma makes apple strudel and it is delicious. It’s a doughy, slightly thin pastry and we never found it! Her recipe is so good!”

What is something you always bring with you when you travel?
“LIPSTICK! Yes, lipstick. I brought pink and red with me, or even a lip balm. Anything that can help the lips look pretty!”

Would you visit Germany & Austria again?
“Yes, we have family there and I would like to see them again.
Something that I would like to explore further would be Fussen, Germany. Fussen has the Neushwanstein castle, which Disney based the castle from “Sleeping Beauty” from.”

Would you live there?
“Yes, temporarily. Germany is gorgeous and so is Austria. In order to be fully comfortable in Germany I would have to live there for a little while.”

How was getting around without knowing the language?
“Getting around was my biggest worry. We relied on Google maps and that helped us a ton. In fact, it was our saving grace. We looked up restaurants and hotels. It knew the train and bus systems.
There was one time in particular; that didn’t work out so well for us. We were taking the train from Passau to Berchtesgaden. We had to take three trains. The last train said we were going to our destination and before it left it changed.
Luckily, there was a man sitting next to my parents and he was on the way to the same place. He stayed with us the whole time. We got to Salzburg at 8:00 pm and the info booths were closed, so he looked up bus routes and none of the buses were running.
We ended up taking a taxi and my parents didn’t have any euros at the time so he paid for our ride. He even recommended a restaurant, and it was the best the restaurant we’d ever been to.”

Any last tips?
“When traveling, always have a charger, have back-up plans and be
prepared to spend money outside of your budget.”

How do you document your trip?
“My dad would literally take pictures of everything. We did a Germany album on Facebook and he added 800 photos and I think I took 400 pictures!”

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