Things you hear when you tell people you’re moving to Edinburgh

Not Scotland“Scotland? Cool! Have you seen that movie Waking Ned Devine?”
(Actually, that’s Irish.)

“But it’s so cold there!”
(Winters are a lot milder in Edinburgh than in Munich. We see that as a downside – we like snow.)

“Why would you want to do that?”
(This one comes mainly from Scottish people who live outside of Scotland.)

“Are you going to learn that kind of dancing where they only move their legs?”
(That’s Irish, too.)

“Do you like whisky?”
(Yes, very much. Can’t wait to visit Islay.)

“Have you found a place to live yet?” Continue reading

Germany has lakes and mountains, too

On Sunday we headed out of Munich with some friends to do a little hiking. The drive there took us past some beautiful scenery including green pastures and clear, aqua-colored lakes. It was not long until snow-capped peaks could be seen in the distance. It was almost as if we were back in Switzerland. The most notable difference was perhaps that along the hiking trails here you greet others with “Servus” or “Gruß Gott” rather than “Grüetzi”.

We started at the bottom of the Herzogstand and hiked for 2.5 hours up. We were rewarded with sweeping views of the Walchensee and a whole lot of mountains. At the top we dined at a mountain hut restaurant. The local food offerings varied a tiny bit from that which you would find in a Swiss mountain hut. From the vegetarian perspective, I got to eat Käsespätzle with onions rather than Rösti. And the salad did not come swimming in a foot-deep pool of dressing. And naturally, the beer was much better. I’m sure the non-vegetarian offerings were somewhat different too… at least I can say that I’d never before seen this gelatinized meat monstrosity that our German friend proudly ordered:

After lunch we rode the gondola back down to the parking lot.

Definitive proof of Bavaria’s culinary dominance over Zurich

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… the cheesy pretzel.

First, Zurich’s version:

A dry, almost stale pretzel which has been sliced opened, buttered, and filled with a couple of cold slices of cheese (which, as you’ll notice, are nowhere near pretzel-shaped, leaving one with many bites that include only cheese or buttered cheese).

And now the Bavarian version:

A giant, fresh pretzel with… you’ll never believe this was possible… cheese MELTED ON TOP OF IT! All I can say is yum yum yum yum yum yum yum. I know what I’ll be living off of for the next year.

You might also notice that this Bavarian giant cheesy pretzel costs less than the regular-sized Swiss cheesy pretzel, proving that this amazing technology isn’t even cost-prohibitive. I’m considering offering a scholarship to some Swiss bakers to come up here and study the top-secret cheesy pretzel methods of the Bavarians. Any takers?

Posted from Munich.

Which country would you choose?

So our two possible destination cities are Limerick, Ireland, and Munich, Germany. We have made our choice, but it wasn’t easy. I’m interested in hearing what you guys would have chosen before I tell you what we decided.

Munich has a lot of obvious benefits, including…

  • Large, dynamic city with plenty of cultural activities and groovy neighborhoods (no, I’m not counting Oktoberfest as a cultural activity)
  • Decent public transport
  • Proximity to Alps for skiing and winter frolicking
  • People speak real German there (well, it’s closer to real German than what we hear now, anyway)
  • Pretzels, Weiβbier, oompa bands and Lederhosen
  • Beer gardens
  • 6 weeks starting vacation

But Limerick, although less glamorous, has some very tempting attributes, as well…

  • Cute little city centered around a lively walking district
  • Lower cost of living (meaning we could afford, among other things, a brand new apartment with a giant, American-sized kitchen. Goodbye, shoebox freezer!)
  • 24-hour shopping
  • Gorgeous nature nearby – especially ocean!
  • Cool, mild weather (remember – I’m not a fan of the sun or summer)
  • People speak English, and with adorable accents, to boot
  • The Irish are incredibly friendly, especially compared to the Germans
  • Cozy, smoke-free pubs serving delicious Irish ales
  • People named Seamus
  • Cheddar cheese!!

So which one would you choose? I have a feeling the responses will be a landslide, but let’s see if I’m right…

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