After flying into Germany (from Finland) we spent our first evening in a cute little hotel just outside Munich and had dinner and drinks at Weihenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world. Greg and I have plans to make it back in 2040 for their 1000 year anniversary. Crazy! The next morning we set out into the Alps, stopping in Innsbruck, Austria for lunch and then making it on to Triesenberg, Liechtenstein for the night. The drive was gorgeous and Liechtenstein seemed both bigger and more nestled into the mountains than we had expected. Our hotel was near the top of a hill that couldn’t be accessed by cars in the winter and had bobsleds available instead to bring you back to the car park in the snow. The next morning we started our day at the Leichtenstein stamp museum (it’s seriously a thing and related to why Lichtenstein is an independent country) and then became international mini-golfers. Maybe the best course we’ve ever played, complete with a “driving hole” where a real golf swing was required to get the ball 30 meters or so across a green. From Liechtenstein we drove on to Italy. We were planning to stop in Milan before spending the night in Torino, but the traffic was terrible and we decided it wasn’t going to work out. Our hotel in Torino wasn’t in the best part of town so we settled for a nice meal at the Pizzeria across the street and decided to cut our losses for the day. The next morning we set out for Switzerland and the two days we planned to spend near the Matterhorn. I’ve learned on this trip that I’m really not a fan of driving along mountain roads, especially with steep cliffs, so was a bit nervous about this part of the drive. Super impressed by the Swiss, however, as every time we reached a steep or narrow part of the road there was a tunnel or avalanche shelter. Well done Switzerland, well done. The Matterhorn was great and totally worth the trip. We took the train from our hotel in Täsch to Zermatt, hung out there for awhile and then up to Gornergrat. It was a bit chilly for me (a few degrees lower than the arctic circle had been), but perfect for Greg and absolutely beautiful. From the Matterhorn we went on to Geneva (with an unfortunate detour back to Italy where I’d left our toiletry bag). It did mean we got to stop for the best gelato I’ve ever had. Greg’s experience with a rapidly melting cone and a beard was less than ideal (though hilarious for me). We had just a quick day in Geneva, but still enough time for me to geek out on a tour of the U.N., before heading to Zurich. Another brief evening, breakfast in the city center, and then back into Germany. We spent the next two days in Kaiserslautern staying with Greg’s friend Gunnar and his family. This was a total highlight of the trip so far. Gunnar, Sonja and their two daughters, Mina and Lotta were so much fun and such wonderful hosts. It was really nice to spend some time in an actual apartment (not just a hotel or hostel) and our visit was topped off by a morning with them at the pool followed by a delicious German lunch. We also took a quick morning trip to Frankfurt (only about an hour away) to meet up with someone I had worked with at Apple in Albany. Hayley happened to have just moved to Germany and was getting married on the day we could pass through so she invited us to the wedding. Besides being international mini-golfers we’ve decided this now means we can be called international wedding crashers too. It was a really sweet ceremony at the Frankfurt town hall and we had a good time meeting her other guests (including a good part of the Genius team from the local Apple store). Thanks Hayley for inviting us!!! From Kaiserslautern we made our way back to Munich for one last evening. Unfortunately the temperature had risen by about ten degrees since our first visit and staying in a hotel without a fan or AC (and with mosquitos swarming in through the open window) was rather unpleasant. It’s hard to complain about anything on this trip though and after at least a few hours of sleep we were off to Spain.