Saturday, May 10, 2014

Visiting Freiburg

Last weekend we traveled 3 hours by train to Freiburg. It is the largest city in the Black Forest, and is nestled next to France and Switzerland. It is absolutely beautiful and my favorite place in Germany to date. I would love to spend a whole weekend simply wandering the streets and popping into various shops. The outdoor market was great, and I came home with two small black and white bristled brushes, and wooden wine corks in addition to a few gifts. 

We also spent a good while in M√ľnster Cathedral and soaked in the beautiful view of the city and the Black Forest from the church tower. Off to the side of the sanctuary was even a little kids table set up with coloring pages—monks of course—for the littlest visitors. Seb wanted to color but I knew everyone was waiting for us. I said he could, but he needed to be very quick. He sat down, grabbed a blue crayon, and scribbled his little heart out until he was satisfied with his solid blue drawing. "Ich bin schon fertig!"* Holding his drawing proudly on display. Goodness I love that little blue-lovin'-monkey. For lunch our hosts treated us to some famous Freiburg Rotwurst. Bruno particularly enjoyed them, and Seb ate them with lots of ketchup, of course.

But the most wonderful aspect of our weekend was the time we spent with our host family. It was an unforgettable experience to share in the everyday with a German family. I felt positively welcome and at home with them, and I know Cody and the boys felt the same way. We have spent so much time in Germany, but spending time in German homes is a bit more difficult to manage when time to build relationships is limited and difficult because of the language barrier. We practiced the language a lot last weekend, though, and spoke German almost exclusively, soaking up sponge-fashion as much as we could. At least for me, I am constantly hearing phrases and picking up on expressions, but it often takes multiple times hearing something for it to actually stick and become a part of my vocabulary. It was great to be steeped in the language for a few days. Bruno fell head over heels in love with Jonny, and both boys are still feeling pretty excited by the fact that they got to spend a whole weekend under the same roof as a gray parrot. On Sunday we went to church with our friends and then afterwards went to a family birthday party! We were so humbled to be so warmly invited into such a special family gathering. I left with my heart full, and eager to visit again.

So yea, Freiburg. You're my very favorite.

*translation: "I'm already finished!"

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