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Nate Collins has a lot of professional experience with Germany. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, he moved to Stuttgart to work for a small family-owned company called PRO Blanket Bars, which serves the printing industry. Eventually, he helped the steel, aluminum and heatset blanket bar supplier open a North American distribution facility in Oak Creek under the name PRO USA Inc. Here he shares travel tips from his experience in the German city of Freiburg.
“I usually rode a city bus or the strassenbahn (streetcar). Freiburg is (also) very bike-friendly. I had use of an older model VW Golf. Although I did take it on the Autobahn a few times, the small engine couldn’t quite keep up to the Mercedes and Porsches that flew past me at 140 miles per hour.”
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“If you’re visiting Freiburg, you’re definitely going to want to head to the Kastaniengarten, a beer garden at the top of Schlossberg. Your reward for the long, steep walk up is a panoramic view of the city, the Münster Cathedral, and the surrounding hills of the black forest. If you’re ready to head back into the city, head to Schlappen in the Altstadt and share a 2-liter stiefel (boot) of beer with friends. Just be careful when you’re walking back outside, because legend has it, if you step into a Bächle, a series of small canals originally used to fight fires in the city, you’re destined to marry a Freiburger!”
“Every time I go back to Germany, there are a couple of things I need to eat before I can leave. I try to stop at a local bakery to pick up my fresh butterbrezel (buttered pretzel). There’s just something about those bakery-fresh German pretzels that can’t be replicated here. I also can’t leave without having a döner kebab. It’s a Germanified Turkish flatbread sandwich filled with a mind-numbingly delicious spit-rotating mystery meat. It is shaved from the spit with a machete and topped with onions, cabbage, feta, tomatoes and a secret sauce. Other recommendations are a proper half liter of Hefeweizen beer, Kaese Spaetzle (a cheesy egg noodle dish), and pretty much any wurst.”
“For me, the best way to travel is to get lost, get out of the city and wander. Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had were when I had no idea what the other person was saying.”