And Three To Go has been gifted with another awesome guest post for the Monday Montage this week. Today Chamisa from Thrifty Travel Mama shows us her area of the world. Make sure to check out Thrifty Travel Mama as well, her posts on how they travel with their family on a budget around Europe are informative, fun, and honest. She is one of my favorite travel writers and I am really so excited to have Chamisa be our guest today!
Hi there, and welcome to Freiburg, Germany!
I want to first say a big THANK YOU to Jenny for the opportunity to guest post today for Monday Montage and show you where our family has lived for the past four years. We are American (non-military) expats, and we’re currently getting ready to move back to the good ol’ USA. As I write, I’m surrounded by piles and boxes and a whole bunch of very unsightly clutter. Instead of staring at that mess, let me take you on a little tour of some our very favorite Freiburg places.
Our apartment isn’t big or grand, but it sits at the edge of the best park in all of Freiburg, the Seepark. Here you will find an excellent slice of German society. No matter the weather, you can see young children, university students, retirees, foreigners, travelers, and even some (ahem) “naturalists.” Despite that last one, it’s a very family-friendly, green space. We love to visit the biergarten here in the summer, sled in the winter, enjoy the brilliant colors in the Japanese gardens during the fall, and grill a picnic dinner in the spring when the flowers bloom. It’s an amazing place, and we are proud to consider it our backyard.
Before we moved to Germany, we lived in Florida which has only two seasons: hot and hotter. We have fallen in love with the seasons here, and it’s such a privilege to enjoy our favorite parks in the snow during winter as well as a refreshing outdoor pool in the heat of summer (especially since we do not have air conditioning!).
When people visit Freiburg, they almost always start in the center of town. We have a gigantic cathedral called the Muenster with a tower that you can climb (we are a little obsessed with climbing in this family) for a nominal fee. From here, you can see the daily farmer’s market and much of the city. But, the absolute best place to get a sweeping view of Freiburg and the Black Forest is this twirly tower that is located on a nearby hill (and, it’s free!).
And while the Muenster might be the most famous church in Freiburg, it’s not our favorite. That coveted spot goes to the Herz-Jesu-Kirche near the train station. It’s gorgeous year-round (and especially at night!). A pedestrian bridge that crosses the train tracks leads straight to it, and that bridge is another fabulous place to watch the sun set. In the summer, large flohmarkts (flea markets) are held on the grounds in front of the church. It’s our favorite place to score bargains on second-hand items.
And speaking of sunsets, we might not have Thai beaches as backdrops, but we do have some amazing sunsets around here. We live on the sixth floor (seventh floor for the Americans), so we have a pretty decent view of the horizon. Here are a couple shots that are typical of how the sun bids us farewell each day.
I don’t know about you, but I love reading about all the delicious things Jenny and her family eat during their travels. We aren’t huge fans of German food, but we have discovered some family-friendly restaurants during our four years here. First and foremost, we are extremely lucky to have authentic and delicious Mexican food here! We have a taco truck that visits a local market two times per week. When we’re not devouring burritos, we are usually indulging in creamy Israeli hummus and soft pita bread, or juicy burgers and crispy potato wedges at derFreiBurger. Since my sons have lived in Germany more than in America, they are sausage lovers, and no visit to the city center would be complete without a gigantic Bratwurst mit Brötchen.
Back in our neighborhood, here are a few things I see every day: graffiti, trams, and groceries. Okay, maybe I don’t see groceries every day, but with a family of five that is 80% male and a small fridge, I feel like we live at the grocery store. Here’s the crazy way I get my goods home – loaded down in my Phil&Teds double stroller. The rain cover is something we use frequently here in the changing weather but something I never even knew existed when I lived in the US.
It’s true that we travel a LOT and see some amazing places on a regular basis. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there really is no place like home. For us, home is wherever our little family is and wherever our suitcase is currently unpacked.
Chamisa blogs about the marvels, miracles, and mishaps of a life spent traveling on the cheap with her husband and their three boys in tow at Thrifty Travel Mama.