What it's like travelling to Germany via VTL and getting lost in a red light district

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

With the opening of more Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL), many Singaporeans are fulfilling their wanderlust this year-end, just like Amiera Raushan.

Known for her bold #ootds, boasting clashes of colour, style and volume on Instagram (@lrnchfl), the digital marketer and photographer for creative agency Elementary Co. recently took off to Germany for a holiday.

In an interview with Her World, Amiera shared about flying in the new normal and her experiences in Germany.

Being able to go out without wearing a mask (except when indoors), and breathing in fresh cold, crisp air… we can only imagine what a dream it must be to travel and live life like we did pre-Covid.

While recounting her stories, Amiera also spilled about a traumatic incident in Amsterdam where she got lost and ended up in the middle of the Red Light District (yikes!).

To find out more about her Germany trip, read on.

What made you want to travel to Germany? How many days did you spend there?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

It’s been two years since we last travelled and the itch was too real! It was planned just a few weeks before the trip.

It was pretty spontaneous and was also my first time in Europe with my partner! We spent a total of eight days in Germany, and 24 hours in Amsterdam.

Did you have an itinerary planned out beforehand?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

We randomly stumbled across an amazing Airbnb that was overlooking the mountains in Sonthofen, Munich. There was no planned itinerary and we just explored whatever was around our accommodation.

We were surrounded by an abundance of nature and mountains, so we took advantage of the great outdoors. It was blissful and breathtaking.

What was it like travelling via VTL? What did you have to go through at the airport?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

It was a breeze, to be honest. Travelling via VTL requires no quarantine or SHN upon arrival back in Singapore, which makes it perfect for us!

The airport situation in both Singapore and Germany was a smooth process too. I mean, being fully vaccinated was the root of all this hassle-free travel.

How was your flight there? How did you feel travelling on the plane with all the restrictions?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

The flight felt like all the other flights I’ve taken pre-Covid. The only thing different was having to wear a mask during the whole flight — which is something we’ve been so used to anyway.

Having to sleep with the mask on works well for me since it was freezing cold on the plane! My cheeks were cold!

Which city/cities did you visit in Germany?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

We were in Munich for eight days. We chucked ourselves in a small town called Sonthofen.

It’s a two-hour drive from Munich airport where we were surrounded by mountains and the beautiful trees of Autumn. Perfect place to be.

What are some of the must-visit spots and must-do things in Munich?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

The Oberstdorf gondola ride to Nebelhorn was spot on as it was surrounded by lush greenery! I love being by the mountains.

It’s a great break from the hustle and bustle of the city life we’ve all come to know. This was spectacular for me.

Was it your first time in Germany? What were your modes of transportation?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

It was my first time indeed! We rented a car for the entire trip. I can’t drive so my partner did the driving while I snacked, slept and documented our surroundings.

What did you love most about being in Germany?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

The cold, crisp air. Being in Munich, especially. I think I wouldn’t enjoy Berlin as much because I am not a city girl at all! Put me anywhere in nature or near the sea, and I will be the happiest.

We were at Sonthofen. It is the most southerly town of Germany, located in the Oberallgäu region of the Bavarian Alps.

Sheeps and cows were everywhere. Even the smell of their poop made me happy. Hahahaha. It really was a break from the jungle of Singapore. I love being in small towns!

Were there any travel hiccups or memorable incidents?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

Jeez, this one. When I was in Amsterdam, I got lost in the streets while rushing to return our bikes at the end of the day. It was pouring heavily!

One time my dress got stuck in my boots and I had to pause for a second to pull it out. The next thing I know, I lost my partner in the midst of the crowd.

I continued cycling, thinking he’d be right in front waiting but then I realised there were two paths for me to proceed and of course, I went with the wrong one.

Of all places, I had to be lost in the middle of the Red Light District. Everyone around me was high on weed and staring at me ever so weirdly. I was terrified and my anxiety was at an all-time high.

Long story short, it took half an hour for me to realise I should have just cycled back to where I was from. I was certain my partner would have been there waiting for me, and true enough, he was.

It was traumatising. The rain, the crowd and not having any internet access was vexatious.

Did you have any worries or concerns during your trip?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

I was dreading to get my two PCRs! I hadn’t done one prior to the trip so I was nervous for that part.

I was also worried that I wouldn’t want to travel anymore after this trip due to how troublesome it may have been.

But hey, it all worked out so well that I am already planning for more overseas trips!

Any tips to share with those who are looking to travel to Germany?

Gloves!!! Especially if you can’t stand the cold. Heat tech too! Lots of moisturiser and warm packs.

How are the Covid restrictions like in Germany? Did you wear a mask the whole time?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

We don’t have to wear masks except when we’re indoors!

Any travel plans for 2022? Would you travel to Germany again or to any other country under the VTL soon?

PHOTO: Amiera Raushan

I am already planning to head to Melbourne this December for Christmas! And possibly New Zealand in May 2022!

ALSO READ: 'Hopefully I'll be able to return to Singapore': Travellers in Europe, Australia and beyond share their anxiety over Omicron

This article was first published in Her World Online.

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