How about I give a very brief overview and skip right to the pictures. So I arrived via train to Germany where my cousin picked me up to drive me to Ravensburg. The train ride was wonderful with the most incredible beautiful scenery of mountains and lakes! This train ride was nothing like the Ukrainian trains on my mission--so much more luxurious!
The point of this trip was 1) to visit Oma and 2) to experience Rutenfest, the annual festival of my mother's hometown Ravensburg. Ravensburg is an old medieval town that still has the original towers and part of the city wall. The town itself is quite charming and everything a German town should be. Rutenfest is a festival honoring the cities history and culture. There were tons of music, parades, events, and food to celebrate. The Fahnfare is the iconic part of Rutenfest with trumpets and flags, which you hear all weekend long. The weekend itself was a blast, but the best part was spending time with Oma and hearing her stories.
Downtown Ravensburg waiting for the Rutenfest opening ceremonies
Watching the parade with Tante Lizzy and Wally
The "Beer Garden"
My "cousins" Jessica (and baby Gabriella) and Sabrina
There you go....my rundown of Europe 2011! This trip was challenging with language barriers, family obligations, and more, but I am incredibly grateful I had the opportunity to go. Thanks USAID!