I arrived in Gottingen, Germany by IC train (from Paris) 2 weeks ago. On the first leg of the route I was served a full meal and given free drinks which was great. The second leg of the trip I was served a tiny (or rather miniscule) bag of sweets and the tea/coffee was not complimentary. Quite a contrast between the two legs. The trains were on time and the connections on route were easy to follow. I found that the staff on both trains spoke English and were very helpful.
Some things I have observed about Germany so far:
1) The Germans are very friendly, though not many smile at you when you smile at them…my son explained that it was a cultural thing.
2) The Germans LOVE cakes etc and they are very cheap to buy, in fact food is a lot cheaper here than in France.
3) They use bikes here like the Dutch, sooooo many bikes around. Saying that, while walking you need to make sure you are walking on the correct side of the path (one side is for bikes, the other for pedestrians), otherwise you will get ran over.
4) Using buses is easy, and they run very frequently and on time.
5) You can’t buy large packets of ANYTHING 😳. Everything is sold in small packets, makes buying ingredients for baking frustrating, but hilarious to try to work out what is what ingredient in the shops ie baking powder lol. I must look very strange to the Germans, I walk around with my phone held up to items to use Google Translate to read what the labels say lol.
6) During the war, Germany and the UK agreed not to bomb university cities, that has meant that Gottingen still has lots of buildings from the 1500’s etc.
7) The Germans love to practice their English. Often I ask if they speak English and they say ‘ohhh only a little’, and then promptly hold a conversation with me in perfect English…wow I wish I knew German ‘only a little’.
All in all Germany has been a big surprise for me. It is a beautiful place with very warm and welcoming people in it.