We’ve officially been back to Michigan for five months…the same amount of time we lived in Germany. They say time flies when you’re having fun. Apparently time also flies when you’re living during a global pandemic. Not too long ago we were sipping glühwein at German Christmas markets and now we’re back home enjoying summer in Michigan.
Here are 8 things we miss about Wiesbaden:
1. The Charming Downtown Area
Wiesbaden is such a lovely city. It has a welcoming ambiance that made us feel at home almost instantly. One of our favorite parts of living abroad was taking the 20-minute walk downtown to stroll through the city, discover the local sights and sounds, and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Wiesbaden has the charm of a traditional German town with the liveliness of a larger city.
2. Traveling to New Places
Traveling has always been one of our favorite things to do. It was a surreal feeling to be able to hop on a train and travel almost anywhere in Europe. Our travels included spontaneous day trips to new cities as well as week-long adventures through multiple countries. We got to visit so many new places while living abroad…some that we had never even heard of before. Our favorite places included Ljubljana, Slovenia, Zagreb, Croatia, and Lucerne, Switzerland. We are so grateful we had the opportunity to explore so much of Europe before the border closed.
3. Christmas Markets
They weren’t kidding when they said “Christmas is the most wonderful time of year”… especially when you’re in Germany. Every city has a unique way of celebrating Christmas and each is memorable in its own way. We especially enjoyed kicking off the Christmas season at the Wiesbaden tree lighting ceremony on Erica’s birthday. We were able to bring a little piece of Christmas magic home with us by collecting glühwein mugs from each Christmas market. Not only did we get a tasteful treat, but we’ll get to reminisce on these amazing memories every time we take a sip out of these mugs.
4. Delicious and Affordable Wine and Beer
Sitting down at a restaurant in the States and ordering a $14 glass of wine can get expensive. Luckily wine and beer flow like water in Germany…and both are less expensive than sparkling water. Having the opportunity to try German Rieslings in the Rheingau region is something we wish everyone could experience. Ordering beer was always easy for Ryan because all he had to memorize was “Ein großes Bier, bitte” (translation: one large beer please). While it may be true that you should never go grocery shopping hungry, we think you should always go with a glass of wine in hand…having the option to enjoy a nice glass of wine while picking out fresh fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market makes the experience that much more enjoyable.
5. Our Favorite Restaurants and Cafes
Contrary to popular belief that it’s all sausages and schnitzel in Germany, the food options are endless in Wiesbaden and cover a range of cuisines. We got spoiled by having so many great restaurants and cafés within walking distance of our flat. It didn’t take long for us to find our favorite dining hot spots: Weihenstephaner for authentic German food, Erawan for Thai, KAVOS for Greek, and Café Latte Art for coffee and dessert. Whether you’re in a train station waiting for your connection or heading downtown for a light breakfast, the bakeries are always a great place to stop. With fresh pastries and delectable sandwiches, the glass displays are hard to pass up. One of our first meals in Wiesbaden was an all-you-can-eat brunch. I thought this was more of an American thing, but the German version did not disappoint. We can’t wait to eat and drink our way through Wiesbaden again sometime soon.
6. Walking Everywhere
Many of our plans in Wiesbaden depended on how long the walk would be. Grocery store (5 min)…. no problem, downtown (20 min)… don’t even break a sweat, favorite restaurant (30 min)…we’ll order dessert, train station (40 min)… maybe we’ll stay in Wiesbaden this weekend ;). Wiesbaden has accelerated our walking obsession and has even enticed Ryan to start doing 6am laps around the neighborhood every morning. People now seem confused when he walks past them with his earphones on and shouts GUTEN MORGEN!! Being able to walk everywhere made traveling such a great experience and kept us in shape after eating all those pastries from the bakery and beers from the beer hall.
7. Our Lovely Flat
We absolutely loved our flat. It was located in a quiet area and had all the comforts of home…although it did take some time to get used to the appliances and we didn’t realize we had a freezer until our last month in Wiesbaden. I spent a lot of time at the flat, especially while Ryan was at work so it was important to have a cozy place to call home. Ryan and I loved watching the sun rise and set from our balcony. We also loved cooking up new recipes in the kitchen and watching our favorite Netflix shows in the living room.
8. Hanging with Friends…New and Old
We met so many nice people while living in Wiesbaden….from Ryan’s coworkers and their friends to other expats we met at coffee shops. Moving to a foreign country without knowing many people was a little scary at first, but everyone gave us a warm welcome to Wiesbaden and made sure to include us in their events, holiday parties, and dinner reservations. Being the social people that we are, Ryan and I loved having a group of people to hang out with in Wiesbaden. Due to our quick exit from the country, we were not able to say a proper goodbye to our new friends, but we look forward to seeing everyone again someday soon.
Wiesbaden, Germany will always hold a special place in our hearts. We will definitely be back again one day…hopefully sooner rather than later! Let’s see what the next five months have in store for us.