My cell service provider is Google Fi. It works great in Germany! Not a single problem. I turned on “international calling” and was able to make calls to German numbers. I ended up using a lot of data due to poor wi fi in our hotels. But Fi has a max cap on the charge: 6 gigs for $60 and after that its free. But our final hotel had perfect wifi and we could stream programs from our home DVR! (# we’re living in the future!)
We could have made this trip about a week less. Winter days are short and while the Christmas markets are beautiful at night, there really isn’t that much to do. We’re not much for going to bars and clubs at night. Once we’d had dinner in a restaurant, we were done. Many of our favorite places were closed. Burg Eltz is our favorite castle in Germany (followed very closely by our home Burg Lichtenberg) and it was completely closed until April 2019. That was the case for the Rick Steves recommended Mosel village of Bielstein. Every single place was closed until April. We couldn’t even get lunch!
Several times I had the thought, “this is the last time I’ll see this place”. It was rather bittersweet. Given our ages and our future travel plans, we probably won’t repeat this trip. I missed the opportunity to visit my former work place as we couldn’t get through the military security.
Everywhere we saw huge windmills on tops of hills, solar panels on roofs as well as fields of solar collectors. It’s much more visible there than here in western WA.
Toward the end of the trip, even daytime temps were about freezing. It was just too cold to sketch outside. I’d brought a minimal sketch kit, I was satisfied with it, and didn’t feel the need for more. However, I’d say I was “coping” and I’ll probably go back to my usual large pack! I often bring extra items due to being an admin for Urban Sketchers.
Most German locations playing music played the most awful of “pop” American Christmas tunes. I need to listen to my collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art traditional Christmas Carols as an aural palette cleanser, so to speak!
One last thing. The Germans could be said to over-engineer things. I started a sketchbook page for “uni-taskers”, to use Alton Brown’s term. I thought I’d see more as I can think of some items from when I lived there but I didn’t encounter them again. The thing on the left is used to crack open the top of a soft boiled egg!