Not content with my holiday to Morocco, last weekend Shannon and I headed off to the continent for four days in Germany, in the lovely university town of Tuebingen (where my little sister lives and studies). Now, Germany is always best known for it's beer and pretzels, ja?, but my three favourite things when I go to Germany undoubtedly deserve some kind of recognition: spaeztle, maultaschen and radler. Spaetzle and maultaschen (which literally translates to 'mouthbags'!) are delicious Schwabian German delicacies. Spaeztle are thick doughy noodles kind of like a cross between dumplings and noodles; and maultaschen are kind of like ravioli - little spiced parcels of meat wrapped in pastry. Both are delish. Radler is of course the superior German version of the dreaded 'shandy' but somehow when you drink it in Germany (and everyone does) you do not feel any of the grandma-wussy connotations you would if you shamelessly ordered a shandy at an Australian bar.
The other thing people don't expect about Germany is that the high turkish population means there are heaps of turkish bars where you can smoke the shisha with flavoured tobacco. So along with the things Ilove about Germany - indulging in castle tours (see above, a castle we visited called Hohenzollern), fabulous beer, catching up with friends, practizing my German with the friendly locals - there was a fair amount of spaetzle, maultaschen and shisha! The perfect weekend.
(For anyone interested in jetting over from London, Germanwings fly cheaply into Stuttgart from Stansted - along with the usual suspects Ryanair and Easyjet)
Shannon, Pru and the shisha pipe: