Freundschaft und Ferien
Friday, June 22nd Leave from DFW. Saturday, June 23rdWir sind in Berlin angekommen! After we dropped our bags off at the hostel, due to the rain, we took a bus tour of the city. Since we were falling asleep on the bus, we decided to jump out at the Franzoesische Kirche and walk to Checkpoint Charlie. Along the way, the caffeine freaks among us insisted upon a stop.Since the Starbucks workers did not know how to spell their names, they wrote 'Marry' and 'Date'. A wonderful lesson in orthography, phonetics and pronunciation! :)Our walking tour was slightly side tracked by the sound of music, as a big parade wound through the streets of the Eastern side of the city. This was a cultural learning experience for all of us...In order to wind down after dinner this evening, we took a walking tour to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechnis-Kirche and strolled along the Kurfuerstendamm Strasse, Western Berlin's famous shopping avenue. After a quick stop at the Hard Rock Cafe, we stumbled upon a neighborhood playground just off of the Ku'damm. This was something one would never find in the states.Garrett was somewhat unsure...and rightly so! :)None of them were 'repelled' by this though!Then we headed back to the hostel to catch some Ys. (On a German kezboard the z and y are switched.) :) Sunday, June 24thToday we explored Charlottenburg Palace. We started with a quick walk around the palace gardens, stopping for pictures of the mousleum and a crypt from pre-Christian times. Then we viewed the palace.We headed over to 'der Alex' (the Alexanderplatz) on the Eastern side of the city to see the Weltzeituhr and to fit in some shopping.Today we will visit ...Pergamom Monday, June 25thWe started bright and early with a visit to the Reichstag. We had an introduction to the German parliamentary system, which was entirely in German, but many of the kids were able to follow. Some even knew answers that the German kids, who were also on the tour, did not! We were then received by Ekin Deligös, the representative of the Green Party, who is a former student of our partner school. She was an very gracious host and incredibly interesting and interested during our chat with her. (The parents and teachers of these kids should be proud. Ekin was very impressed with their understanding of serious issues and ability to express themselves.)After our chat, we headed up into the dome of the building, which is made of glass in order to represent the 'Transparent Government'. Here we are after our spiraling climb to the top.A short walk away we caught our first train back to hostel, grabbed our luggage and hopped back on the train to wait at the Hauptbahnhof for our next adventure.This afternoon we took a train to Dresden, also known as Florence on the Elbe River. After a very brisk walk to our hostel...and a chance for everyone to shower and rest, we had dinner at a nearby tavern. It seems that the discription on the hostel left out the fact that it was located in the 'quirky' part of town. This just added to the ambience. After dinner we swung by the Martin-Luther-Platz, to take pictures of a church where he once preached. Tuesday, June 26th
Our trip back to the Hauptbahnhof from our hostel was much easier than yesterday's journey. We had our first ride on a street car. We also got to try out the lockers at the Hauptbahnhof in Dresden this morning. Then we hopped back onto the street car and headed to the Zwinger.
In the afternoon we caught the train again for our trip to meet our exchange partners in Weissenhorn. From the windows of the train we could see the Wartburg Castle, where Luther hid out and wrote the first German translation of the bible.
Wednesday, June 27th Our 1st day of school at the Nikolaus-Kopernikus-Gymnasium in Weissenhorn. 28. Juni Weissenhorn 29. Juni Abifeier30. Juni1. Juli (Freetime with our host families) 2. Juli Ulmer Münster 3. JuliNördlingen, der Krater, die Römer und die SteinzeitToday we took a trip through millions of years of history. We took a bus to the medieval town of Nördlingen, which is a mere 1100ish years old and lies in the bottom of where a giant meteor hit the earth between 14.3 million–14.5 million years ago. We hiked out to the rim of the crater and chipped our own pieces of crater out of the rock to keep as souvenirs. We then went to an ancient site nearby, where cavemen used to live! We also visited the site of a roman fort and walked amoung the ruins. 4. JuliRoggenburg and Polka lessons 5. Juli Neuschwanstein und Füßen 6. Juli München7. Juli8. JuliAbiball (Freetime with our host families)Some of us attended NKG's version of the prom. This was a new experience, as the entire family attends. We had a wonderful dinner, listened to the live band and enjoyed the student and teacher 'roasts'. 9. JuliRothenburg ob der TauberWhat a beautiful medieval city! Everything you would have expected to find in the middle ages: city wall, town hall, market square, church, fountains, narrow cobble stone streets...and even a dungeon for the criminals! 10. Juli 11. Juli Dachau Concentration Camp 12. Juli 13. JuliNKG-Sporttag14. Juli15. JuliAltstadtfest (Freetime with our host families)Each of us went with our host families to the town square to celebrate the 847th birthday of Weissenhorn. There was live music and traditional food. Long tables with benches filled the entire main street through town, as well as several side streets--everyone in the area comes to this! 16. Juli 17. Juli Abschiedsfeier (Farewell Party) Wednesday, July 18th Leave Weissenhorn to spend the night in Frankfurt. Light sightseeing in Frankfurt Thursday, July 19th Fly back to DFW with memories and friendships to last a lifetime!