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

Munich




Rain. Rain. Rain. And more Rain. That was our day in Munich on Wednesday. Our tour guide was a real trooper. He smiled and told us all about Munich on the 3 hour tour. "A 3 hour tour..." (Any Gilligan Island fans?) :-) This unfortunately left no time for shopping, but we did get to see a lot of the city.

Mr. Herrman

School Days




Everyday life here as an American exchange student is just as action-packed as the rest of our days, haha! We attend classes, eat, and take breaks with our host students and walk around just as if it were our own school back home. Only here everything is, well, in German! But, what makes our days so busy is all the work we have to do listening and speaking in German. It does get difficult not understanding whats going on or what people are saying, but I believe that the more we listen to it, the easier it becomes.
Along with a typical school day here at the Ruperti-Gymnasium, is the after school activities! Especially on Tuesdays, a lot of the students have sports practice or other things to attend to. Today after school, my host student Anni and I attended her music lesson which was followed by her soccer practice and a fun spaghetti dinner with her team! Everyday there is always something that they have planned for us here, and whether it is after school, before school, on the weekends, or even during school, it is always something fun to look forward to!

Eileen

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Class Presentations



Today we showed our powerpoint presentations to the students of Ruperti Gymnasium. Some were older than others, but as a whole they seemed to have a positive reaction to all of our presentations. Andrew and I presented the British vs American English and the US Music. The music genre of hardcore was apparently not very common in Germany . Both of us don’t care for country, so for all those country fans reading this: sorry we gave it a bad review. Alison and Eileen presented the parks and landscape of Colorado and the US , Ryan and Eileen showed the Entertainment Venues of Colorado , Eileen had the cartoons in America , and Andrew had food. There were some unknown technical difficulties, so Andrew was forced to present the food on three separate occasions. I was surprised to learn that they didn’t have Ovaltine in Germany . The cartoons seemed to be the most popular because of the short clip of Tom and Jerry; one of the German students actually said “no” when the clip came to the end. I thought the difference between British and American was a little hard to describe because most of the German English-speakers had something very close to a British accent. Overall, all of the presentations went very well and were very graciously received.

Zach

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend

This weekend was amazing! Friday night was the Greenday concert which I attended with Peter, Laura and Phillip. They played along with a German band The Donots as well as the very old Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Every band rocked so hard! Though Greenday took the cake! Then we had to wake up very early Saturday morning to catch a train to Kassel where Peter's Grandpa waited for our arrival and took us on a self hosted tour through the town. There were so many sights and landmarks to see it was rather astonishing. My favorite sight by far was Hercules! After the tour we got to business with Peter's Grandma Magda's birthday celebration. There were a lot of people which I didn't know there but they all greeted me with smiles and handshakes. The food there was all very high quality Bavarian cuisine which was delicious! After we all ate and had cake and desert it was time for the singing which everyone came together and delighted Magda's ears with, although I didn't quite understand the songs they all had good melody and put a huge smile on her face. Sunday was the day for sleeping in and resting, though Sunday night we attended church and saw Florian in his fancy alter boy attire. After church was the big public viewing which was very fun, everyone enjoyed themselves as we watched the Germany soccer team kill the opposing Australian team 4 to 0.

Andrew S.

Mettenheim Alleelauf 5K - Sunday Morning



This weekend, on Sunday, we were lucky enough to be able to run a race, called the Mettenheim Alleelauf. It took place in (and around) the town of Mettenheim. For being as small of a town as it was, it was a pretty big race! There were quite a few people running it, many of whom seemed like pretty good runners, so I was a little nervous about how I was going to do! I ended up not doing too badly, considering I haven't run in 4 or so weeks! My official time ended up being 25:49, and I placed 3rd in my age group, which earned me a trophy! After the race, we went back into Mettenheim and ate. I had the opportunity to try some Leberkäs, which translates word for word into liver cheese (which isn't even close!) and as a single word into meatloaf... (which is closer to the correct description, but it's definitely not even close to American meatloaf!) It turns out, it's most like a hot dog brick, but with much higher quality meat! Despite how it sounds, It was really good!

The World Cup



Yesterday Germany pounded the Australian team in a 4 to 0 victory. Every student watched the game last night somewhere. Johanna, Stefan, Renee and myself were invited to a World Championship Soccer BBQ at Stefan Wolf's home. There were about 30 of us us watching the game on a large screen in the garage. The game didn't end until about 11:30 so many of the students looked a little tired on this rainy Monday morning. The USA v. England match was on Saturday, which ended in a tie. :-\

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tour of the City





Today, after going to school, we got to see downtown Mühldorf. But first, we had Döner for lunch! It was sehr lecker! Very delicious! It is somewhat like a hamburger, except with shredded meat and different sauces. After a hearty lunch, we set off to Mühldorf, but not without a mission! Each American student and their German partner was given 2€, and whoever could buy the biggest item with these 2€ would win a prize. But being the clever young scholars that we are, we teamed up and got yellow trash bags for free. Then we flew about two dozen trash bags up like balloons. It was pretty big! We got a lot of stares, but it was pretty cool!

Then our tour actually began. We started off in the Rathaus, the city hall. It is a beautiful building with elaborate Italian Renaissance woodwork inside.We got to meet the Bugermeister, the mayor. He was very nice to us and gave everyone books and pins. He also gave a beer stein and official Mühldorf umbrella to Herr Herrman. Next on our tour list was the jail cell of poor Maria Pauer, who was imprisoned there after being accused of a witch. She stayed in that tiny, pitch-black cellar (we got to go inside) for a very long time until being shipped off to her doom in Salzburg.

Finally, we visited the Tower. It was so cool inside, a relief from the hot afternoon! It is also quite historic, being almost 800 years old. We got to climb all the way to the top. What a spectacular view! We could see all of the main square and streets! After taking lots and lots of pictures, our tour ended.

Bis bald, Alison