As a German it has long puzzled me that only one nation in the world is considered so good that it is officially entitled ‘Great’, and that of all the nations to chose from it was Britain that got the unique accolade.
So on my recent return home for a four week break from Cambodia I decided to undertake an official, objective, and completely scientific analysis to determine if Great Britain is indeed great, and whether or not Germany may in fact be even better.
My first week back home was spent in Neuenrade, Germany, catching up with friends and family from my home town. Before I arrived I put in an order for certain German food I missed so much during my year away. My parents exceeded my expectations and I was presented with the goodness of pea soup, potato salad, homemade sausages, herring salad and potato roestis with apple sauce. The entire week I spent in Germany I was in fact eating my way through my mum’s larder and when I wasn’t doing that I went to the local restaurant with my friends to continue my feeding frenzy.
To stop my love handles from growing from all that eating I made the most of my home town’s gorgeous countryside and went hiking on most days. Only when you have been away from home for such a long time do you realise how beautiful your own town can be.
My second and third weeks back home were spent mostly in Bedford, England, which has been my adopted home since I left Germany in 2004.The first massive event to take place was the wedding of Chris’s cousin, Ben, to his beautiful Russian bride, Natalia. The wedding took place in the humble surroundings of Wrest Park, with it’s modest gardens and slightly claustrophobic manor house.
Of course all British houses and gardens look like this
The happy couple – what a sunset!
Bangers ‘n’ mash canapes – so frightfully British
The wedding was such an incredible day and a great chance to catch up with Chris’s family who, being Italian, all seemed to have better natural suntans than I’d managed to build up after a year in the tropics. Which was annoying.As well as the incredible wedding, other highlights of our UK stay included…
…a trip to the Peak District – phase one of our Everest Base Camp training schedule. Yep that’s right. Next year we are attempting this exciting 15 day trek to the base of the mighty Everest, where all expeditions for those people who are trying to climb Everest begin. We decided that we should probably improve our fitness a little more before then, so we figured that climbing the mighty Kinder Scout (636m) would be the perfect preparation to climb to Everest Base Camp (5364m). The peak district is a beauty spot and there were plenty of adventurers, campers and families on their motorhome holidays. Maybe something to think about doing in the future!
Unfortunately all of our Peak District pics were accidentally deleted by Chris ‘Bill Gates’ Lowe, so I am using this great shot from Paul M. Robinson to illutrate the beautiful English countryside
…a trip to London to celebrate Chris’s mum’s birthday and catch up with our friends from Her Majesty’s Civil Service, who as always were on very fine form.
The Old Bank of England pub in London. Nice!
…and lastly some time spent in mighty Bedfordshire, surely the best of all the UK’s Shires.
Chris helping his niece steal apples – he is the world’s worst uncle
The new Cheese Kitchen bistro deserves a special mention for serving us the best meal we have ever had in the UK (perhaps because it was cooked by a French chef!)
Which brings me back to my initial query, namely whether Great Britain is great, but Germany is even better. Well Britain does have a beautiful countryside, great weddings, and fantastic pubs. So it’s certainly deserves to be called ‘Very Good Britain’ at the very least. But is it better than Germany, the land of Currywurst, Goethe, and Franz Beckenbauer? The answer my friends is a very biased ‘nein’! :-)P.s. Week four or our break was spent in Singapore. But that’s a story for another day…..
Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.
We are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between us we are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. In 2011 we left the rat-race in London behind to work in international development and see the world.