As I have mentioned before, my husband is a professional hockey player, now playing here in Switzerland. We spend nine exciting months of each year in Europe, then three whirlwind months in Canada. As much as we adore our time overseas, it always requires some adjustment, spending holidays with people we’ve just met; new teammates and friends who become temporary family during special occasions. We also have had to learn to face life’s many ups and downs over Skype with mom, texts with friends, and via outlets like this blog. As an expat living in Germany and Switzerland however (some of the most popular destination countries in Europe), my husband and I have also been very fortunate to host many of our family and friends in our various overseas homes.
We have hosted friends looking to discover the European nightlife, parents coming to make sure we have a proper Christmas, cousins coming to celebrate New Years Eve on the slopes, and friends of friends backpacking through. Each visitor has been very different and each visit has been uniquely memorable.
(This post is totally focused on the SW of Germany… apologies to readers in other regions!)
Have guests coming? There is no reason to trek all the way to Neuschwanstein to see a castle; there is plenty to be seen within a two-hour drive of Stuttgart. Having spent a weekend enjoying some of the sights near my adopted hometown, I thought I’d share a few ideas for where to take your parents when they finally come for a visit. My apologies to readers not living in the lovely southwestern corner of this country, but perhaps this short list will serve as impetus to make a trip to Schwabenland? I have focused here on the region of the Swabian Alps, an ancient range locally known as the Schwäbische Alb (not, in German, to be confused with the alps, die Alpen, as they are two very different regions)
Burg Hohenzollern is a lovely castle perched on the top of a symmetric hill. The view of the castle while approaching already makes you excited to see the inside. Continue reading →