Before I even visited Germany, I had some very strong preconceived notions about Germany. For the most part, they were not very rational nor were they well-thought out. Thankfully, trips to Germany helped to dispel these incorrect thoughts.
Prior to my first visit to Germany, I hadn't traveled much outside of midwestern United States, much less internationally. My Dad took our family on a trip to Germany when I was twenty. I wasn't entirely sure to expect but I had some strange ideas about how Germans would be. I imagined that they would be mean and scary. After, there was the War and a language that, at least according to movies, seemed to be a combination of shouting and commands.
I can now admit that these were entirely ridiculous assumptions. I was being uniformed and overly dramatic. During our trip, people were pleasant to us. I didn't see anyone goose stepping. Mainly, we saw people going about their daily lives. We saw some beautiful sights, such as the Zugspitze, alpine towns, and churches. It wasn't so scary after all. Travel helps expand one's horizons.