Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back Home :-)


Well, we made it back home after a long journey through four airports. The photo is us in Chicago O Hare. It's a little fuzzy, but I think that's how many of us felt at that point. Looks like this is the end of the travel blog. We had an awsome time, had many unforgettable experiences, and are forever changed for the better. This is the last posting, but I sure our post and pictures here will be viewed by many for long time to come.

Auf Wiedersehen!!!

Jason Herrman

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grundschule Visit




video

For our last day of school we spend a couple hours at a Grundschule with Ms. Seelmann and her 3rd grade class. We sang songs, played a little soccer, looked a the students' paintings of soccer players, and talked about the differences between US and German schools.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Abschiedsparty :-(



After we returned from Salzburg, we come back to the school for our Goodbye Party. I can't believe it's already time to go! These past three weeks have flown by so fast!

Everyone hung out and some played volleyball before the food was ready. The weather was sunny and warm, which was quite a relief from all the rain there's been in the last week. Finally the food was ready, and we had a lots and lots of Leberkase to eat, as well as plenty of pasta and vegetable salads to choose from. After eating, it was time for our skit! For the past week, we've been practicing a skit called 'Slappy Hooper'. It was written during the Great Depression. Andrew played the main role, Slappy, a sign painter who does too good of a job. Ryan played Michael, a fellow sign painter. Eileen played Ray Sunshine, one of Slappy's dissatsified clients. Zach played Baldwin Eagle, and I played Rose Red. Sophia, Anni and Peter were our narrators. I think everyone did a pretty good job!

Salzburg Visit




Today we took a guided tour of Salzburg. We also had a little shopping and looking around the city on our own. We had to make it a quick visit because we had to get back for the farewell-party.

Jason Herrman

ODU Factory Visit




We spent the day visiting a local factory. At the ODU factory they make many different things out of plastic, metal, and other materials. One of the interesting things about this company is that the produce almost all of their parts of their products in the same building. One of the interns, Barbara, gave us a tour of the entire factory. These interns will work and go to school for three years, before they graduate. In the afternoon the students where able to ask each other questions about school and work in the US and Germany.

Mr. Herrman

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Homeroom


So... yes the students are doing a little work as well while we a here. Each day we meet for an hour for "homeroom." We use this time to discuss any concerns, go over any upcoming events or outings, or prepare and practice our presentations.

Munich again!





I promised Renee that we would go back to Munich to do some shopping since it dumped rain the last time we where there. We spent a half-day shopping and eating... but mostly shopping. We walked around the Viktualienmarkt (a large outdoor market) where we had lunch and shopped a bit, before we went to do more shopping. There was also a televised event going on at Marienplatz. Apparently, Munich is among the finalists for the 2018 Winter Olympics. I got a great view from the second story of one of the department stores. After being to Munich six or seven times, I finally made it to the famous Hofbrauhaus. The food was pretty good too. Oh, and NO rain this time.

Jason Herrman

Monday, June 21, 2010

Eileen's Weekend





This Sunday my host family and I went to something quite like a church service. It was right around the corner from home to all we had to do was grab our umbrellas and go! When we got there, there was clusters of people all around. Soon after we arrive, everyone began singing around a man with a guitar which was followed by talking from the pastor. It was really interesting to listen to the service in German, and I doubt I could understand much of it, but the atmosphere was still very comfortable and very interesting.
After that, we had the church dinner. We started with dessert (my kind of meal!). There were so many sweets to choose from, I wasn't sure how to try everything! After that portion of the meal, Anni, Rosi, Marie, and I all went for a walk to get some exercise in before eating anymore and getting too full. :) The rest of the meal was just as delicious and had almost twice as many choices as the first course! But it was all very delicious food and the whole family had tons of fun together. :)

Eileen

Sonnwendfeier




Saturday, there was a bit of a bonfire party called "Sonnwendfeier." It was a fun, popular event with lots of people.Everyone was laughing and having a good time! Even though it was cold and wet outside, people were able to warm themselves by the gigantic bonfire or entertain themselves with friends and family inside the tent. Or, possibly, have a little too much fun with taking pictures! Our little group during this evening simply hung out together having a fun time talking and playing with our cameras. It was a nice, comfortable, evening at the Sonnwendfeier. :)

Eileen

Eileen's Weekend in Passau





This weekend we went to Passau! Passau is a smaller town about an hour or 2 drive from Mühldorf. It lies right beside the Inn river surrounded by trees, hills, and little communities. There was so much for us to do in Passau but we started with going to a grass skii slope to watch people jump. I could have never gone up the hill to do that, but just watching was enough fun. :)
After that, we walked around the city center of Passau until we reached downtown. There, we shopped and grabbed a bite to eat. Now, what did we eat exactly? McDonald's!! It was nice to try some familiar food again. :) Then, following our meal, we entered the Stadt Galerie (the city's mall). Inside there we shopped and just hung out together as a group.
Following our shopping trip, we visited the city's church which had the most amazing inside and dome you could imagine. There were detailed portraits and pictures on the wall everywhere, surrounded by intricate carvings of angels and other biblical beings. I couldn't take enough pictures!
After all of that, an end came to our fun trip to Passau. Let's hope we will get to see it again before we have to leave!

Eileen

Alison in Burghausen





This weekend, on Saturday, my host family and I went to the city of Burghausen! It is a beautiful city and is located right next to the Salzach River, on the border with Austria. Burghausen is famous for its castle, which, at over 1000 m long, is the longest in Europe. The view from the castle was splendid! The castle was built at the highest point in the city, and we could see the river and old town perfectly!

We walked around the whole castle for hours. The castle is a picture-perfect example of a Medevial European castle. There were gates and cobblestones and small squares everywhere! There is also a muesum filled with ancient tapestries and paintings. Most of these pieces of art were made from the 1500 to 1700s in Bavaria. There was even a giant mural depicting a battle that took place in Muhldorf! It's hard to believe that these cities have been around for almost a thousand years.

Bis bald!
Alison

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Zach's Weekend

20. Juni 2010



Today we went to a local pizza restaurant. Despite having to eat pizza with a fork and knife (which I still think is weird), I thought the food was very good. I might even say it was better than American pizza. After this meal we went to Florian’s grandparents’ house. I thought they were very nice people, but they spoke such a heavy Bayerisch that I could hardly understand anything they were saying. They had chickens! I don’t remember ever being at a house that raises chickens. I was amazed by the amount of firewood that they had stockpiled. Flo told me that he occasionally has to go to the nearby forest to get more firewood with his uncle. He was the next one to visit. They lived on a real farm. They had about 25 cows, 8 cats, 2 kittens, and a dog. Now that’s a farm! It was especially nice to meet them because his aunt actually spoke a little English. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera for this entire trip, but I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities for photography. That was my Sunday!

Andrew's weekend

This weekend was very fun as well as very long. Friday night was Laura Gabler´s birthday party so I stayed up very late attending that, she recieved some awesome birthday gifts. Saturday morning the whole family slept in and at around two we set off to Chiemsee a very big lake also known as the Bavarian Sea. On this lake our two islands Womans island and Males island, we went to see the famous palace on males island one of King Ludwig´s. It was very beautiful we got a tour of the inside in english so I could understand everything. We awoke early sunday morning for Peter`s soccer game, they won the match 9-1. After that we made a pretty long drive to Austria to a family barbeque at Peter´s father´s brother´s house. All the food was very delicous although it was very hard to understand them because they all had very heavy Bavarian accents aswell as spoke Bavarian.
Andrew S.

Niederböhmersdorf?





Yesterday was one of the best days I've ever had in Germany!!! Renee and I picked up our rental car and headed north. We didn't settle for the typical, small, European rental car. Oh no, no, no. We got a BMW 318i. Awesome! My knuckles are still white. Needless to say, I didn't mind yesterday's 600 km journey. And I'm quite looking forward to the drive home today. Hopefully there's no traffic. :-)
Oh! Niederboehmersdorf. This is the very small village that Renee's grandfather lived in before immigrating to the US in the late 1920's. Apparently two of Renee's relatives have visited this little village, but never actually made contact with anyone. Renee's uncle tried to visit in the 1960's when he was stationed in Germany, but because of the Cold War he was not allowed to visit. Niederboehmersdorf is in former Eastern Germany. I didn't really know what to expect. When we got to the village there was not much going on. No stores or restaurants, but it did look like there might have been some in the past. We parked and walked around a bit. I found a guy watering his garden and he told us there was an old woman with the last name Rietsch. We found the house and the mail box said "Rietsch." There was a young man outside named Patrick who was trimming the hedges. I explained who we were and why we were there. I retold what little bit of the story I knew and he said that his grandmother had told him this same story. We went inside and met 75 year-old Maria Rietsch. We talked for a while and looked through old photos. We exchanged addresses and Renee and I said we would write and send family photos from the US. We then headed to Nurnberg (again, very little traffic :-)), found our hotel room and headed to the city center to have dinner.
Our hotel room is very nice, clean, and roomy. I was able to take a proper shower this morning for the first time in two weeks. We just finished our breakfast and are headed out to check out the city.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Castle Neuschwanstein



Greetings from Deutschland!

Yesterday, that being Thursday, the 17th, we finally got to visit the grand Schloss Neushwanstein! It was simply astounding!

We began our 3-hour drive to Füssen at 6:45am, which is a little earlier than usual. We drove by the beautiful (and very, very green) German countryside, filled with patches of forest, wide rivers and wide cows and extremly fast and daring Autobahn drivers.

We were able to see Neushwanstein from quite a distance. Of course we stopped and took some 'I'm holding Neuschwanstein!' pictures.
After parking, we started our small hike to the castle, since it is located up in the mountains. But we hiked a bit further away, to a little (and somewhat rickety) bridge to get an amazing view of the castle. It was kinda nerve-wracking for those in our group who aren't as fond of heights. But again, the view was totally worth it. This is where the group picture below was taken.

Then we went back to the castle for our tour. In my opinion, the inside is just as stunning as the outside. Every inch was covered in fine and elaborate details. However, only a third of the rooms were finished before crazy King Ludwig II died. So the tour was rather short. But afterwards, we got all of our loved ones souvenirs and presents. Then it was back to the car for another 3 hours of driving.

Tschüs!
Alison