Thursday, June 9, 2011

London for 12 hours and then Germany baby!

Hello friends,
I got back to Chicago for a day and a half only to turn around and leave for Europe.  My Couchsurfing friend, Jule was back in Germany because her American visa expired.  She has one month of vacation before she goes back to work so she invited me to tour Germany and visit her country!  My other friend Valerie is doing a study abroad in Barcelona and Paris and also invited me to stay with her so if I can work out the itinerary, I will stay with her too!

I left Chicago and had a 12 hour layover in London so I decided to see the city for the day before my connecting flight to Berlin.

O'hare Airport security line

The tube in London

Picadilly Circus

My old company Jaeger that I used to work for brought a lot of memories of my retail days.

Jule's parents live in Frankfurt Oder ( 1 hour away from Berlin ) so they picked me up from the airport.  Most people do not know but there are two Frankfurt cities in Germany.  Frankfurt Oder is a small city in Germany which borders Poland.  It is located on the Oder river.  The Poland city of Slubice is only a 10 minute walk across the bridge.  The Oder River separates Poland and Germany.

Jule and her mom, Sabine and her dad, Udo!  

Love the sign

Reunited again at the Berlin Tegel Airport

Jule's parents' house in Frankfurt Oder

living room


Jule's dad is a builder!  He built this house himself in two years for his family!


Outside of Jule's parents' house

Aldi international food discount store chain which originated and started in Germany is one of those most successful companies in Germany.  Their philosophy was to create an affordable, cost cutting supermarket by cutting out the stockers, fancy displays, don't advertise and by not selling fresh produce.  Aldi's labor costs are only 4% of it's sales.

We went to visit Jule's grandmother and she made us a lovely lunch of steamed, hot buns and poured blueberries on top.  

grape juice

blueberries and sauce

Jule's adorable grandmother, Hertha

Jule and her oma (grandmother in German)

Oder River separating Poland from Germany

Border crossing into Slubice, Poland

Germany to the left of the river and Poland to the right

Universal sign for Poland

Slubice, Poland

Slubice, Poland (in western Poland )

We went to the market to buy some vegetables because it's cheaper than the German side

This was once the border crossing checkpoint between Germany and Poland.  Since the unification of the two countries into EU countried, the checkpoint no longer exists.  People just drive straight through between Germany and Poland.

Neo-gothic post office

local tram in Frankfurt, Oder

oldest street in Frankfurt, Oder

Ziegenwerder Bridge

The Gothic Town Hall

Jule's parents made us a traditional german dinner

Jule's dad

pork and chicken wienerschnitzel

We visited Jule's grandfather's grave

wienerschnitzel, potatoes and cauliflower in a butter sauce

Germany's famous sparkling wine


Prost! (Cheers in German)

eating on the patio

community cat, Powell goes from house to house to get fed

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