The first few days and the last few days were mostly spent at home. Home is a rural area in Germany called the Eifel, about 40 minutes from both the Luxembourgian and Belgian border. By rural I mean factual country-ville – the type of rural at which you’re able to count the number of people on one hand. For the most part I grew up in a village that had the proud number of 400 inhabitants. When I was a teenager, our family moved to a neighboring village, which had 60 inhabitants (a pretty harsh cut in people, I find). Our entire village consists of one single street and also one bus stop. All the school and kindergarten children have to get their education in somehow…
While this might seem like a stark contrast to the 8-million-city of New York, I do have to say that I enjoyed being close to nature for those few days I spent at home. Our back garden is adjoining to our neighbor’s farm. They now have goats in addition to their collection of other farm animals. I really wish I could have snapped a picture of these lovely animals but every time I hurried inside to get my camera, the goats disappeared. I guess they had to be fed or go somewhere else.
It was pretty amazing to be surrounded by fresh air, green fields, and forests for an extended amount of time. I could never live in this area again, because there is truly nothing there. But the nature is phenomenal and the space it holds is liberating.
The culture of Eifel Germany seems to be pretty farm- and nature-oriented. Even though the newest technology is present and I’ve seen people competing when talking about their latest gadgets of the farm industry. There are a few “bigger” cities in the area. You might be familiar with the German beer “Bitburger”. It originates from the town Bitburg, about 20 mins driving distance from my village. All in all, it has about 14,000 citizens. Great marketing, since I’ve seen the beer in the US. There is usually a beerfest going on in the spring, which is sponsored by Bitburger. My timing was impeccable, as I was able to visit this beer fest on its very last weekend. It runs around 6 weeks so my friends got some tickets for the last weekend I spent home.
First we met at a few bars throughout the city though. There is this place called Die Turnhalle, which is probably the best spot in town to grab cocktails, drinks, and perhaps even food. Well, food you can grab anywhere else, too, such as in the Kebab place across the street. But they definitely have some variety here and they also show sports on their few medium-sized screens.
If you want a more intimate atmosphere, you should try Simi’s Lounge & Bar, literally 2 minutes walking distance away. They almost have the same stuff but different food options. I know, nightlife is a bit limited in the town of Bitburg. The next biggest city would be Trier, around 30 minutes from it. I didn’t get the chance to check it out this time, but recapped it in this post from previous visits.
I knew that I wanted to spice up my hair color while at home and I also knew I would get a more amazing deal in this small country town than anywhere else. So I got my highlights done at Hin & Hair Express. The way these express hair styling places work is that you are not allowed to make an appointment but literally have to wait till it’s your turn. Altogether, it took me 3 hours (I waited around for 1 1/2 hours). For ombre-style highlights in my hair tips I paid a whooping total of 24 Euro (equivalent to $26)! A pretty fantastic deal, I’d say!
So on my last weekend home, my friends and I went to the Bitburger Bierfest. I wasn’t really entertained by the music but a good amount of people had come out since the tent it was hosted in was pretty crowded. Since I was a driver that night, I was probably one of the few sober people at the fest. I got to observe lots of drunk people and form my opinion on them. I found that people from my home can be pretty rude and I didn’t appreciate the vibes I got from the drunken crowd. Guys were literally pushing us to the side so that they could get somewhere and didn’t even say “Excuse me”. There is a difference between being too drunk to care or simply having no manners and I found a lot of it had to do with the latter. Well, Eifel people are a species for themselves, so I will write a separate post on them.
Anyhow, I was happy to have seen my friends and family and would have enjoyed staying for another week maybe just to catch up on the amazing nature surrounding my village. I also enjoyed driving a car for the first time in two years again. No worries – it ended quite well. I miss running around those curvy country roads in a speedy car and the freedom of the German Autobahn.