heidelberg_castle_germanyDuring my first trip to Germany for business, I had my heart set on two things: beer and a cuckoo clock. All I got was a serious bout of indigestion. The must see attraction in Heidelberg, Germany, is “The Castle”. It is said that the great thinkers have all come to the castle to walk what is known as “The Philospher’s Walk”.

Considering myself a great thinker, I was a bit enchanted as I stood on the path. The walk across the old bridge gives an incredible view of the castle. Warning: it’s like the Brooklyn Bridge. If you walk over, you will want to take a taxi back. The architecture in Germany was amazing.

The food? Not so much.

In Search of Vegetables in Germany

At my first dinner, I ordered a salad to start. When the waiter arrived with a barely cooked sausage on top of a pile of shredded cheese I thought he had the wrong table. “Your salad”, he said to me. I quickly realized that Germany is not a place where the soil is conducive for growing vegetables – hence the 900 kinds of potato dishes at every meal. Therefore, I went a week with having only baby carrot and broccoli sprout that are generally used as garnish. I begged and got one of each. Meat and potatoes are the staple at dinner. Unlike the portions in most other European countries, Germany serves large portions that rival the excess of the US.

The steak, smothered in green pepper sauce was delicious…until about 3am when it no longer agreed with me. I spent the next four days throwing up and listening to the soundtrack of my stomach trying to digest the heavy cream based German food. I may have recovered sooner but I made the mistake of taking my vitamin with tap water the next morning.

Shopping in Germany

By the time I left the office at night, the village shops were closed. So, I went to Hauptstrasse where I could scout the usual luxury designers at European prices-which incidentally are currently higher than US due to the strength of the Euro. I really wanted to see the village shops but I was stuck with Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

Finally after six days, I took the train back to Frankfurt for one night before leaving Germany. It was there that I spotted my first Starbucks, McDonalds, and black person. Traveling for “Justus” was just me for most of my trip across Germany. I guess all of the African Americans that I heard are stationed in Germany must have been in Berlin or on a vegetable hunt when I was there.

Yes, there are plenty of things I can recap in my trip to Germany. Unfortunately, neither beer nor cuckoo clocks are included.