A More Peaceful 30th Birthday


Always remain as flexible as possible when on the road.

This is always my reply when people ask me for the golden nugget of travel advice. It is funny that when I end up in a situation where I can’t control the outcome, I fight it tooth and nail.

Good job, me.

No, we didn’t end up in Munich for Oktoberfest. Things just didn’t line up. Our couch had to go to a wedding, we couldn’t afford a last minute hotel/hostel, all Couchsurfing hosts had been full up for months, and no one could take us in. With the plague I was just recovering from, I wasn’t about to hop, skip, and jump into Munich for a day of drinking and leave that night to Italy. We may be adventurous but I’m not that crazy.


So we ended up in Freiburg, Germany. Not exactly on the list of “Must See Places” for many people but our dearest buds Ali and Andrew were residing there and after the many years of chatting to Ali, we had to make a stop!

Seeing as I was still incredibly sick and not able to walk around too long we spent our days relaxing due to the whirlwind 2 weeks of back to back trips, chaos and sickness.


We walked around the farmers market while I desperately tried to find cilantro for my homemade salsa (FYI, cilantro ceases to exist in the entirety of Europe).



Shaun made sure to visit a Bratwurst stall. He looked like a rabid dog the way he attacked the thing.


We spent a somewhat responsible evening drinking beer at a microbrew place that blew my socks off with their beer for my birthday. NOMNOMNOM! Nothing can make a birthday like having a few beers with friends.


More than anything we were excited to have a bit of relaxation and solitude.


Europe was already starting to kill us a bit with it’s breakneck pace.


16 Responses to “A More Peaceful 30th Birthday”

  1. David @ That Gay Backpacker November 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Nooooo, cilantro is sold everywhere here in the UK. Except we call it coriander.

    I like the look of that blonde beer in the middle. Yum.

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      I did see it in the UK – Tesco was full of it and I made salsa OFTEN.

  2. Josie November 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    I hope you ended up liking Freiburg, despite being sick. I love that city and your photos took me back. Thanks!
    Wishing you happy and safe travels always and all ways.

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      I did love Freiburg! It was super cute and I love how green it is (in both senses). <3

  3. Steve Whitty November 15, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    Belated birthday greetings. There is always another time for Oktoberfest. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Yes, cilantro is known as coriander in Europe. Indian food would not taste the same without it.

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Then Indian food restaurants outside the UK must get it on the black market or something! 😛

      Yes, we’ll shoot for Oktoberfest another time. Next time maybe we will have a REAL rental or something!

  4. Liz November 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Bummer you were sick…that’s lame! Even though Oktoberfest didn’t work out, Freiburg looks beautiful, and those bratwursts are making me seriously hungry! Would kill for a currywurst right now!

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:06 am #



  5. Julika November 16, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Freiburg looks adorable! Happy belated brithday!
    Oh, regarding cilantro in Europe – you will bascially find it on every single dish in Portugal 🙂 In Germany, however, it is absolutely unpopular!

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:07 am #

      That is so weird! Ali was telling me she had to source dried cilantro/coriander for some of her recipes.

  6. Arti November 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    The place looks beautiful!! Wonderful captures and Belated Birthday Wishes from India 🙂

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:07 am #

      Thank you Arti!

  7. Addison S. November 19, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Happy belated birthday. From the photos, it seems that Freiburg wasn’t such a bad place to be – the microbrewery beers certainly look like they’d have helped the celebrations. I read recently that this is one of the world’s greenest cities. Would you agree?

    • Erica November 22, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Freiburg was SUPER awesome!

      The really awesome thing is that they don’t have many cars. Everyone uses the tram to get around.

  8. Explorista September 25, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Just read this via your Twitter. Sometimes chill birthdays are the best! 🙂 Also, if you ever need cilantro, there is fresh stuff in my supermarket (which is, funnily enough, located in Europe).

    • Erica September 25, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      HAHA! Seriously? *sigh* Maybe it is just in Germany? I weep a little when I can’t have it.

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