My American parents came to visit us for the first time since moving to Germany – what did they think? From munching on traditional German cuisine and hiking up mountains like locals, to driving on the Autobahn and learning new words, we captured it all. Want to know what they thought of their time in Deutschland? Check out our video for their first impressions!
First Visit to Germany – What Did We Do?
We moved to Germany from the USA more than two years ago, right in the middle of the COVID pandemic. It was difficult for anyone to come us as traveling was restricted and very difficult. Finally, more than two years later, Oma and Opa (or Jagee and Geeboo as we call them, more on that in the video!), came to visit us and see what our lives are like here! So what all did we do?
German (and Bavarian) Food
We made sure my parents got to try some German food. We started with the bread, of course! They LOVED it and especially liked the pretzels, even though in the USA they eat mostly gluten free.
We also took them to some local restaurants, though they opted to get things like salads and fish, as they weren’t too keen on eating heavy meat and potato meals. They normally eat very healthy and light at home, so they didn’t want to change their diets entirely and end up sick! Thankfully, the salads at most German restaurants we have been to, are really delicious and full of healthy vegetables.
Mineralwasser and Quark
One thing they really enjoyed was the sparkling water! We buy Mineralwasser, which is sparkling water that contains minerals. It helped them recover from jet lag. One dinner they really enjoyed was Racelette. Even though that’s technically a Swiss tradition, it’s very popular here in Germany at Christmas and New Year’s. My family LOVES cheese so this was the perfect meal to introduce to them!
One food my mom tried on her very first day was…quark! It is similar to cottage cheese in the USA, but it tastes like yogurt. It’s very thick and creamy. She loved it and ate it the entire time she was here.
Driving on the Autobahn
For their first visit to Germany, they HAD To drive on the Autobahn! It’s an American MUST in Germany :). My dad has long been looking forward to this and he rocked it! He drove my mom and I on our way to Salzburg. There is only one small stretch of the highway that has unlimited speeds, so he only got a tiny glimpse of it. Mostly what he had to get used to were the traffic circles and the manual transmission! It was quite an adventurous ride for all of us! More on that in the video.
German Supermarkets and Stores
My mom was excited to see how we live our daily lives, so we took her to all of our favorite stores where we regularly shop. Places like Edeka, DM, ALDI, Müller, and more! She’s a big fan of ALDI in the USA and found that the franchise is very similar between the countries. She enjoyed seeing the different foods and learning what they meant in English.
Cultural Differences They Noticed in the Stores
She noticed that the shelves were shorter in our supermarket than in her’s, and noticed how we had to buy shopping bags or bring our own. In many stores in the USA, plastic bags are provided for free and the employees bag the items for you. In Germany, you bag your items yourself and bring your own bags.
German Culture and Lifestyle
We walked them all over our village and showed them how we can walk to our local supermarket, Apothethke, school, kindergarten, music lesson, friends’ houses, and more! This is a huge lifestyle difference between Germany and the USA.
Easter is a huge holiday here, so it was fun for their first visit to Germany to take them to an Easter Monday parade! We went to the Georgiritt, which is a celebration in honour of the patron saint of our area, St. George. This was one of the highlights of our trip! They loved seeing the decorated horses and the Trachten (traditional costumes) of our local area.
German Landscape – Solar Panels and Mountains
Another highlight of their trip was an afternoon trip to Hochfelln, a mountain not far from our home. They took a cable car to the top and really enjoyed the view of the Chiemgau Alps on one side, and Chiemsee on the other. They noticed how there were no fences to keep people from sliding down the steep mountain sides! You would definitely see fences in the USA.
My dad also noticed how there are solar panels on the roofs of houses and buildings nearly everywhere! This isn’t a common sight across the USA.
Their First Trip to Germany was a Success!
We had a blast showing my parents what our lives look like here. They said they were happy to now have a mental picture when we talk about things we are doing here. They definitely plan to come back, and we will be able to show them even more! We are thinking a trip to Chiemsee to see Herrenchiemsee and possibly to Burghausen or another local castle.