Friday, June 18, 2010
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.
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.
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!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
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 ; 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.
Monday, June 14, 2010
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 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.. Every band rocked so hard! Though Greenday took the cake! Then we had to wake up very early
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!
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. :-\