Life here is so quiet. Matthias’ family does not have a television so we usually fill the hours talking, eating, and for me, trying to keep up my Japanese and German studies. Last night we went for a nice walk in the snow after listening to Matthias’ grandpa (Opa) tell long, fascinating stories about his incredible, dangerous journey across Europe after WWII ended – he was only 16 years old in 1945.

The other night we had a delightful night at Europa Park. We enjoyed a fantastic circus show, an ice skating show, rode on a few roller coasters, and enjoyed shopping at a Christmas market where I bought a bunch of handmade Christmas tree decorations made from wood.

I am not having much culture shock, only here and there. One thing I noticed is that if you turn on the radio, all the songs are in English. The only time you hear German is from the radio announcers – pretty funny!

in front of Europa Park

Europa Park was divided into little kingdoms – Russia, England, Italy, Spain, etc.

Our poor toes were frozen so we had a lovely foot bath after we got home.

Matthias’ mom Ute is a WONDERFUL cook. This is creamed mushrooms over tortellinis with a wonderful lettuce salad.

This was my favorite so far – red sauerkraut (rotkraut) with tender beef and gravy over knödel balls, which are something similar to matzo balls.

Well, that’s all for today. I will post more photos as the days go by. All in all, I am having a very restful, wonderful time in Germany thus far.