In mid July I had 2 friends from the states come to visit me. Since my husband had just recently deployed I was obviously very excited to have visitors!! These two girls, both of them named Ashley, were my 2 best friends in high school.
One Ashley I’ve known since 4th grade and the other one since 9th. When the 3 of us get together there is no doubt we’re going to have a good time! Neither one of them had been to Germany before so I was very excited to show them around. They had a small list of things they wanted to accomplish while they were here. 1. Go to another country besides Germany 2. Get a beer stein 3. See a castle 4. Visit a concentration camp and 5. Eat some delicious German food. If you live in Germany then you’ll know how easy it is to accomplish almost all of these in one day!
The Ashley’s flew into Munich so even though I knew they’d be tired I decided to take them to the Haufbrauhaus for lunch. We also went to 2 awesome stores, just down the street from Marienplatz, that have a great collection of beer steins (my dad calls it stein world). Within the first few hours of them being in Germany we’d already accomplished two items off their list. We then headed home and they enjoyed a nap in the car.
The next couple of days were a mixture of touristy/non touristy things to do. I wanted to try and show them a good variety of the area I live. Next on the list was ‘go to another country,’ so since I live on the east side of Germany we’re only 2 hours from Prague, so heading to the Czech Republic was our next stop. We explored the city all day, Prague Castle/Cathedral, Astronomical Clock, Old Town, and the St. Charles Bridge. Prague is a great city and definitely one that can be explored in one day. We enjoyed lunch and dinner there and then found an awesome chocolate store! We all got some amazing chocolate and once we stated eating it on the way home we wished we had got more!
One of our next stops was Rothenburg (ob der Tauber), Germany. If you haven’t been to this cute, picturesque, German town then you need to put it on your list of places to go! This is a very popular place so it can get a little crowded during the summer but be careful visiting during the colder months. Many of the stores often close for the winter season so you won’t get the full experience of all the shops. It’s best to go when it’s warmer outside. Rothenburg is where the original Käthe Wohlfahrt store is located and now they even have more than one! They also have a Christmas museum you can visit! Some of their items can be a little pricy but they are great quality! Most of your time spent in this town will be walking around enjoying the beautiful scenery and I'm sure enjoying some delicious food!
Next on our list was to see a castle. I asked my friends if they wanted to see a full, still intact castle or if castle ruins would get the job done. They didn’t care so I decided to take them to the Flossenbürg and Weissenstein castle ruins. While checking out the Flossenbürg castle ruins we also made a stop at the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp. This concentration camp is fairly small but has a wonderful (free) museum! It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area! We then headed a little farther north to the Weissenstein castle ruins. This castle has a fantastic view and if you love being outdoors it’s also a great place to go hiking! You have to drive through Friedenfels which is where the Friedenfelser brewery is located so you could always check that out as well!
We also explored right where I live. We went into Weiden to get ice cream and they loved it so much that we went 4 nights in a row! We also walked to the local restaurant right in my town to enjoy some delicious German food!
The best part about their visit was just spending time together. We grew up together so we know so much about each other. We have seen each other mature, go through breakups, get engaged, get married, get pregnant (just one of them) and everything else in between. The last time I saw both of them was at my wedding, almost 2 years ago so we definitely had a lot to catch up on! I am so thankful for great friends and that they were willing to save up money for a year to be able to fly here and see me. We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like but when we do get together we make the best of it!
Ashley and Ashley, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for coming to see me! I love you both and I’m so blessed to have amazing friends like you in my life!