DAY 5: Tuesday September 20, 2022
What a fabulous time we had in Munich! It’s Tuesday morning, September 20 and it is time to leave our home away from home, the beautiful Hotel Henry in Erding. We said our goodbyes to Martin and the hotel staff as well as our dear friends Tom and Kathy Vogt whom we had the pleasure of spending the evening with. The bus had a built-in coffee station for the driver. We boarded our bus and our driver Daniel and Karen David had what came to be known as “Daniel Coffee” before we departed.
We began our 2-hour trip through the beautiful German countryside. About halfway, we stopped at a rest stop to get a little lunch. Germany boasts Europe’s best highway rest stops. They are definitely a step up from our US highway rest stops. You get everything including Schnapps, beer, wine and a fairly decent Schnitzel or Wurst.
We arrived in Nuremberg shortly after noon. After checking into our hotel, the first half of our group met in front of the hotel to begin our walking tour of Nuremberg. Claudia, our tour guide, has called Nuremberg her home for 20 years after having lived all around Germany, Taiwan, and the USA.
One of the most prominent features of Nuremberg is its city wall. The wall was built as a medieval defense system surrounding the old city. To the present day, the city wall has been almost completely preserved and still surrounds the old city even though it has been heavily restored and rebuilt. Along with the wall, the Nuremberg Castle, dating back to 1000, represented the power and importance of the Holy Roman Empire. Much of the castle was severely damaged during World War II. After the war, it was restored to its historical form. While touring the castle we were told that we would be meeting the Kaiser. Although we thought we would be meeting an actual person, the sight of a moving diorama along the wall of the room was equally as nice.
While touring the old city, we had the opportunity to see the Schöner Brunnen, a beautiful fountain near the city center. There is a fence surrounding the fountain. A ring attached to the fences is said to bring good luck to anyone who spins it. We all took our turn although some needed to be careful because another version is that spinning the ring increases fertility!
After our tour we did a little shopping which started in the Hauptmarkt. The Hauptmarkt is Nuremberg’s largest market square located in the city center. It is the location of Nuremberg’s many fairs and festivals including the famous Christkindl Markt. During the week, the Wochenmarkt takes place where you stock up on all kinds of produce and products from the local farmers. Our dear friend Madeline Ulrich was on the hunt for potato peelers and the Markt came through for her. Nuremberg is famous for its Lebkuchen producing it for more than 600 years. Lebkuchen Schmidt is a gingerbread shop located in the Hauptmarkt dating back to 1610.
After shopping, we stopped for a little lunch at a café. We were treated to a brief snow shower while sitting at our tables outside which made the experience even more magical.
After a day of touring and enjoying the city, we all gathered at Bratwurst-Röselein for dinner. Bratwurst-Röselein was founded in 1431 and is said to be the largest sausage restaurant in the world. The meal and drinks were outstanding and the company even better!
Before heading back to our hotel, we decided to make a stop at a festival going on in Nuremberg. As we entered the grounds, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but a rotating carousel bar serving Schnapps, wine and beer! We needed to go no further. We all stepped up and took our places and spent the rest of the evening revolving around and enjoying good drinks and good company without a care in the world.
As we made our way back to the Hotel, we talked and laughed and reminisced about the day and looked forward to the next day’s adventures. Bis morgen, Gutte Nacht.
By Joseph Reiter
“It was one of the greatest surprises Pat could have planned. He had convinced me he wouldn’t do it on vacation so I wasn’t suspecting anything would happen that day. When he told me he wanted to see a bridge built in the 1500s, I thought he just wanted to enjoy some more history. So, while we were reading the history of the bridge and enjoying the river and its beautiful surroundings, I was happily surprised when Pat grabbed my hand, dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was definitely a very romantic moment I will remember forever.”-Anna Martini
DAY 6: Wednesday, September 21, 2022
It was another beautiful morning in Nuremberg, and we had a busy day ahead of us! Our hotel, the B&B Hotel chosen by Stephen Killian, was beautiful and modern, and me and my roomies (Emma and Mikaela) were so excited that we had bunk beds in our adorable room. This hotel did not include breakfast, so many of us chose to take a stroll in the morning to find a quick and easy meal to start off our day on the right foot. Emma, Mikaela and I found an Aldi a few blocks away and chose to get a pastry and a drink. Our hotel also had vending machine coffee which was surprisingly good, quick and easy!
Our plan for the day was to meet for the bus and make our way to the Rally Grounds. The Walter family chose to opt out of this and took advantage of the Nuremberg card we all purchased. This card gave us access to the local train around the city as well as entrance to many of the interesting museums in the city. The rest of the crew boarded the bus to the historical rally grounds! We were again split into our two groups which we nicknamed the younger group and the more “seasoned” folks. The seasoned folks (Group A) had their Old City Walking Tour the previous day, and the younger folks, (Group B) had the Rally Grounds tour first and then the Old City Walking Tour afterwards.
The Rally Grounds were partially under renovation and many of the exhibits were being re constructed in order to preserve the history of Hitler and all the things that occurred there, without showing the propaganda and glamorizing all the things that happened. We had a lovely tour guide who walked us through the exhibits, teaching us about what happened and where. One thing I thought was particularly interesting was the marketing side of things back then. This exhibit wants to show us the “Instagram vs. Reality” in a way of what was shown on Nazi propaganda pictures in the 40s. They showed us what it really looked like. Photos of the rallies with trash lined streets, lines not perfectly perpendicular, and smoke in the skies. After we finished walking through the indoor portion of the museum, we were able to walk through the huge coliseum where Hitler used to speak. I believe it was said that this area is sometimes used for concerts and music festivals now. It was a crazy feeling to be standing in this gigantic brick structure. We felt so small at that moment. Next, we made our way to the actual grounds where the rallies were held. It was a large green area with metal bleachers and metal fences all the way around. There were men driving motorcycles as we walked through, and we noticed rugby matches are now held in this space. The city of Nuremberg is still struggling to use their spacious and historical land. They cannot erase the history and the things that occurred in their city. This rally ground tour was something that really made us think and I’d say we all learned something about the history of the rallies in Nuremberg.
After this, Group B took part in the Old City Walking Tour. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and sweet, and we definitely loved having her show us around the many historical places and learning little tidbits about each building and area. We were dying for a drink afterwards!!
Still celebrating Anna and Pat’s engagement, a few of us went to a corner restaurant and bar and had a drink (and a schnapps or two) to celebrate!
Next we walked a short distance to our dinner reservation at Tucher Mautkeller at 7pm! We made an effort to sit with different people at this restaurant and mix up the seating arrangements. We all love to spend time with each other and in my opinion that is something special! We all enjoyed wine, beer and the delicious food. At this restaurant a few of us ordered the fried chicken and potato salad as we were starting to get tired of pork and gravy! It was delicious. After dinner some made their way back to the hotel, but a lot of us found a fun Irish bar and took over an entire area in German Hungarian style. The end of the night even ended with Karen David requesting a few songs with the bartender. Can you guess what song she asked for?!
“Bella Ciao” with a second choice of “Schickeria.” What a great end to a fun day!
By Karina Fricker
DAY 7: Thursday, September 22, 2022
On our way out of Nuremberg, we took a quick detour to visit the city of Würzburg. We started by walking through the gardens at the Residenz, a palace that we immediately started joking would be Sasha and Chrissy’s new house. The gardens were gorgeous, but they paled in comparison to the interior of the Residenz. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but every room was so beautifully adorned that words fail to describe it. Of course, I had to buy a bottle of wine from the gift shop to commemorate the experience.
We walked from the Residenz into the Marktplatz, and some of us stopped for lunch at a restaurant while a few of us grabbed a quick bite from street vendors in the shadow of the Maria Chapel, a huge red and white gothic church that loomed over the square. We did battle with some pigeons, who were very bold in their quest to steal our fries, and walked toward the Alte Mainbrücke, a bridge in town dating back to the 15th century. There’s a small wine bar as you step on the bridge that serves local wine in a real glass (for a five Euro deposit), so naturally our group had to get a few glasses to enjoy the view of the Marienberg Fortress and the Main River. Before we knew it, it was time to head back and jump on the bus to continue our journey to Cochem.
By Kathleen Martini
DAY 8: Friday, September 23, 2022
Friday, September 23, 2022 was day number 8 of our “Adventures in Germany” and the scenery did not disappoint! A beautiful, brisk, sunny, Fall morning greeted us in Cochem! Along with the breathtaking views of Cochem came “hill walking boot camp” too; keeping us on our toes and full of fresh air.
The weather was perfect for a morning cruise on the Moselle. All those interested in viewing the sites from the river were to meet at the KD boat for a 10:30 am departure. As in typical German Hungarian fashion we met early at the bow of the boat and claimed the area for our group. As Christopher approached the boat the muscled men met him and carried him up to the same level as everyone else; and set him down front & center! Not only did we have excellent seats on the boat, but this also was the prime spot for photo opportunities! Wow, everyone was able to capture amazing views with family and friends in the group! A sampling of wine and beer was enjoyed by all. It was a fabulous morning viewing the castles, hills, and vineyards from the Moselle.
Our schedule allowed us a little bit of time to explore before we would load the bus and depart for an afternoon in Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Upon arrival many of us toured the well-preserved Roman structure called the Porta Nigra and then took advantage of a sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus that stopped at many of the city’s important landmarks such as Karl Marx House, the Konstantin Basilica and the ancient Roman Amphitheater. This city was a must-see and did not disappoint! A casual stop for a beverage? Sure, why not! And what will you be having today? A Dry Riesling and yes, why not? Lasagna Eis! This creation featured soft vanilla ice cream folded over like lasagna noodles with fresh berries and homemade whipped topping! Oh, and the wine was fabulous too! I think the gang had fun watching me eat this as I was in heaven! (Kim Walter must have 10 pictures of my treat). Drinking, eating, shopping (and touring) off we went in many directions to get a feel of the town before we met for a group dinner at Bitburger Wirtshaus. This beer hall type restaurant is housed in a classical building built in 1825 with quite a bit of history. We enjoyed the warm décor and the classic German dishes along with the beverages and good conversation that was going strong.
We made our way to the bus and home to Cochem where some retired to their hotels and others went on to visit one of the quaint bars along the Moselle. Prost to another good day with friends! Sweet dreams to see what tomorrow’s adventures will bring.
By Janet Fricker Malofiy
DAY 9: Saturday, September 24, 2022
On our second day in Cochem, a group of us took a trip up the Sesselbahn to the Pinnerkreuz (observation deck), which gave us a stunning 360-degree birds-eye view of Cochem. The Sesselbahn is a chairlift that can take you both up and down the mountain, there is also a hiking trail that some of us decided to take on the way down.
The group of us bought our tickets and made our way two at a time onto the lift. A few minutes later, when we were reaching the end of our ride up the mountain, there was a photo station that snapped our pictures right before we got off.
Right off the lift there was an area that you could sit and take in one of the viewpoints that looked out towards the river away from the castle. Many of us ventured out on one of the trails that took us to the big cross positioned at one of the peaks where the trees cleared which left us with amazing views of the town below, the Imperial Castle, and the Mosel river running past us.
We all took turns taking in the panoramic views from the cross. We left our mark as John Reiter and Sasha placed one of our U.G.H. stickers on the cross to accompany the other various stickers there.
Some of the group walked over to the small Cafe that was on the other side of the chairlift for a quick beverage before heading back down the Sesselbahn.
My dad and I decided we were going to take the trail on the way down and shortly followed some others from our group down the mountain (Ray, Marie, Adam, Kathleen, Paul, Anna, & Pat). This trail is a small part of the Moselsteig Trail, and is not only one of the longest, but also one of the most diverse quality long-distance hiking trails in Germany! The Moselsteig runs along the entire German side of the Moselle River (365 Kilometers). The short hike down from the observation deck will take you about 30 minutes, so we were doing the smallest fraction of the trail, but I still thought it was pretty cool to read about the full trail. I think my dad was going for a record time descending, or maybe he was trying to beat those who were on the lift above us down, since we made it down in 15 minutes (I was practically running the last stretch).
After a quick lunch and an outfit change, the whole group reunited to board the bus again to head to Kröv for the rest of the afternoon for a Village and Wein Tour and then to attend the Weinlesefest.
By Emma Walter
After a fun morning/afternoon exploring Cochem, all of our travelers made their way back to the hotels to get ready for the Wein Tour and Weinlesefest. This was in the city of Kröv, which was a short bus ride away. We all put on our new Tracht purchases, and really, we looked like an Angermaier Trachten catalog.
We met our tour guide named Otto and he walked us up the vineyards of Kröv. It was beautiful, but steep, and once we made it to the top we were stunned with the views of the vines stretching up and down the hills. Otto pointed out the grapes growing around us. Then Otto and his assistant poured us each a glass- or two! of Riesling. We finished up and made our back down the mountain.
When we got into the Weinlesefest itself, we were met with fun, upbeat music, lots and lots of local people, and delicious wines!! In normal German Hungarian fashion, we took over the dance floor. It was a great evening, one I will always remember!!
By Karina Fricker
DAY 10: Sunday, September 25, 2022
Mid-morning the group gathered outside of our hotels waiting for the bus to take us to Dinkelsbuhl. We loaded the bus with all of our bags and new purchases! The trip was about three hours and included two stops. Once we arrived at Dinkelsbuhl we realized that the town was very small, and the bus could not enter through the archways. So, we unloaded and walked to our hotel. Now I realized it was a Sunday afternoon in a small quiet town and forty United German Hungarians were taking our suitcases to the hotel that was a ten-minute walk on cobblestone roads; you can imagine the many stares we were getting!
We arrived at our hotel, and it was beyond pretty! The building was bright pink and very fitting to the town! The group unpacked and settled into our rooms and then like we always do, we headed out for a drink! Some of us had a beer at a local bar inside while some sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air. After our drink we split up into smaller groups and explored the city!
Some of the younger kids walked around and looked at multiple archways, bridges, and other buildings in the city. It was very unique with the various colors that buildings are in Dinkelsbuhl. The buildings all varied from blue, pink, green, yellow, orange, and red! It was beautiful! Once we finished walking around the city we headed over to the restaurant for dinner, this was our last meal as a group!
The restaurant that we went to was part of the hotel but was just a block down the road. We basically had the whole place to ourselves! We had long tables in an open room that kept us all connected throughout the night. The decor of the restaurant had a contemporary feel, but old-world charm and the food and menu followed that very same theme! The service, drinks, and food was all beyond what we could have imagined! It was a hidden gem that we found and turned out to be one of the best meals and times we had all trips. Some might say it was the perfect ending to the perfect trip!
By Mikaela Malofiy
DAY 11: Monday, September 26, 2022
The dreaded Monday morning, the last day of our trip, had arrived. Breakfast was included in the hotel and was a nice spread of a classic German breakfast. We finished packing our last-minute items and passed around a suitcase scale to ensure our suitcases aren’t too heavy for the plane from all the items we bought! As suitcases were being stuffed onto the bus, I looked around at long faces- some from tiredness of the trip, some from the trip ending and some from hangovers.
The bus ride to the airport was depressing since we have been together for 12 days and now it was time to say our goodbyes. It wasn’t a U.G.H. bus ride however, if a bottle of Schnapps wasn’t being passed around from people trying to get rid of their last-minute booze, which we quickly tried to finish.
As we arrived at the airport, we got through security and passport control and headed to the various restaurants to eat before the plane ride. Many members from the trip purchased last minute gifts or chocolates at the airport to stuff into their carry on as well!
The plane ride was smooth. Lufthansa provided a pumpkin pasta dish for dinner and many shows and movies were watched on our way back to the US. Once we landed we had to wait on the plane for another hour as there was a fire emergency on another plane close to us so we couldn’t move until that was cleared away.
We finally got off the plane and we rushed to retrieve our baggage and there were many goodbyes as we collected our suitcases. It was late Monday night and at this point many just wanted to get home as quick as possible for work tomorrow and others still had another plane the next day to take in order to get home. We all went off on our separate ways and our trip came to an end. As I sit here and write this a flood of memories pour into my head of the trip. I still look back at pictures and smile or laugh because of memories that were made. It was truly an unforgettable one!
By Chrissy Martini
This trip to Germany was in the making for four years and when we got close to actually going, there were a lot of people keeping their fingers crossed that it would actually take place as planned. For some people in our group it was a first trip to Europe, Germany or Oktoberfest, for others it was the first time back since Covid changed our world in 2020, but for everyone it was a wonderful adventure!
On this visit we truly experienced all that Germany has to offer! Whether we were touring big cities or little towns, enjoying delicious food accompanied by refreshing beer and superb wine, listening to music while enjoying a Schnapps, touring historical landmarks, museums and churches or shopping till we dropped, we had a blast!
When we returned home, someone asked me if this trip was as good as the last group trip to Europe. But there is no answer to that, these trips, vacations, tours, adventures, whatever you call them, cannot be compared. Each time I travel to Germany with my German Hungarian family I create lasting memories and enhance the bonds we share. So, no trip is better than any other because all hold special memories and experiences and I hope it is not too long before we have our next adventure!
By Nichole Blank Deely
“To Munich, Erding, Trier, Würzburg, Cochem, Nuremberg, Kröv, and Dinkelsbühl we went,
With my family and friends, we sang, danced, laughed, partied, and SPENT!
Thank you all for them memories that I will always cherish and will always remain,
Until we see each other once more, “Bis bald auf wiedersehn”!”-By Joseph Reiter
Read Part I of this article: GH in Germany PART 1: Munich & 2022 Oktoberfest Parade