After a filling breakfast buffet in Boppard, Germany at the same place we had dinner the night before, we were off to Ulm, Germany for lunch. I had not even heard of Ulm before we got here, so it was fun to visit a place I had no preconceived notions about, and I was surprised when we were sitting down in the main square for lunch at how it felt like I could have easily been in a historic city in the US if it weren’t for all of the people speaking German around me.
We grabbed lunch at a little place called Pano, where I learned that ‘brat’ just means “sandwich’, and does not necessarily mean that there will be meat on that sandwich. Apparently, I neglected to ask for the ‘wurst’, because I ordered the first brat I saw on the menu and it was just cheese, tomato, and pesto. To my surprise though, it was incredibly delicious, and I was happy I accidentally ordered it.
It’s an early start for a packed second day spending a little more time in the Netherlands before heading off to Germany, but I’m ready for it because I’ve finally had some solid sleep and feel fantastic!
So… I grossly underestimated the effect of jetlag. I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t sleep on the flight over to Amsterdam, but I’ve pulled all nighters and been able to make it through the next day with some energy pills and coffee. Not this time.
A noon flight out of Indy meant no getting up in the wee hours of the morning like I almost always have to do for flights (yay!), but it was the WORST FLIGHT OF MY LIFE! It was literally a one hour flight and it felt like five times that. The plane was tiny and there was horrific turbulence the entire time. To top it off, the guy sitting next to me was determined to make small talk with me, while I was clearly scared out of my mind and too distracted by the fact that this plane was about to go down to shoot the breeze with some random stranger.
Big news: I booked an 8-day tour of Europe on Expat Explore’s European Vistas tour! It was all kind of last minute, at least for an international trip anyway ― I booked the tour and my flight about a month in advance of the trip. Even without a lot of time for advance planning, I was lucky enough to score a round-trip plane ticket to Amsterdam for under $1k. The tour itself was also $1k, and I paid an additional $400 fee to have a hotel room to myself. The fee to Expat Explore included all accommodations, a majority of meals and transportation, which was a fantastic deal.
I bought a shiny new carryon suitcase, my bags have been packed for a week and I’m super-excited for the trip, but also am extremely nervous about going on the tour alone. Even though I’ll be meeting up and traveling around Europe with a group, it seems like the other tour group members I’ve talked to on the Tour Radar app about the trip are all traveling with at least one family member or friend, so fingers crossed I don’t end up third-wheeling it the entire trip. We’ll see.