It’s been too long since I updated! Saturday night we had another sleepover with Celine and Amy. We were planning to do “action painting” (like splatter painting, but cooler) in the morning, but it was pouring rain so we didn’t get to. Most of Sunday ended up being pretty lazy, until we went to Sarah’s grandparents’ apartment for a delicious dinner. There was so much food that we had a whole pasta dish left untouched that we got to take home!
Monday we went to school again, and then afterwards everyone went to play “Swin-Golf” which ended up being like regular golf, but with a strange multi-range club and bigger foam golf balls. Some of the groups finished pretty early, but ours was pretty slow because most of us were pretty terrible and we ended up not actually being able to finish. Why, you ask? Well, in the spirit of true summer the gorgeous sunshiny day decided to pour rain and hail on us for about ten minutes. In the time it took to run back to shelter, we were all soaked. I think it was probably about 300 meters. Later that night most of us met up at “Das Cafe” and then walked to Fabian’s house for a bonfire. It was really nice to finally spend time as a huge group.
Tuesday we went to school again, but we only had four periods so we took the train to Nuremberg to do some shopping! Afterwards we had some delicious spätzle and then met some people at a restaurant in Fürth. Our ride was coming about half an hour after everyone else left, so Amy, Celine, Sarah, and I stood around on the sidewalk singing random songs and laughing as we imagined people thinking we were drunk…
Wednesday was the last day trip for all of the Americans. We went to Rothenburg! In the Criminal Museum Brad and I fell way behind everyone else, so they all left us to wander around the city in the pouring rain. We had a lovely adventure trying to stay as dry as possible, exploring the city wall, and talking until we met up with the rest of the guys and the rain died down. Then we went to a couple of stores, a random museum, and up the White Tower. The White Tower is pretty much the tallest building in the city and you have to climb up endless skinny rickety stairs to get to the observation tower, but the view is absolutely amazing. When we got back Amy and Celine came over to have another pancake (aka crepe) dinner. SO good.
Thursday was a day full of way too many lasts. The last day of school, the last class in Germany, the last break, the last time I saw a ton of people. The last lunch and dinner in Germany, and the last time all of us hung out as a group. It was a pretty unreal day all around. The farewell dinner didn’t feel like a farewell (so much so that I actually typed “welcome dinner” the first time) and none of us could seriously imagine leaving the next day. Throughout the bonfire at Janina’s house afterward the same denial persisted. It was an excellent last night in a wonderful country.
Friday morning was still unreal. My stuff was all packed, we had our last breakfast together, Sarah gave me some presents, and then we left for the train station. As Sarah and her dad discussed her plans for the day, I glued my eyes out the window and soaked in every last detail. I almost cried a couple times. I left my stuff in the car while we went to say goodbye to everyone else, which just felt wrong. We only had twenty minutes or so to say goodbye, and it went by so quickly. As soon as the train pulled up, the rest of the Americans were herded on and I completely broke down. It’s hard to watch a group of people go through what you’re going to do in a few short minutes. I went around and hugged every German one more time and then went to get some food for my trip and figure out when and where I had to switch trains. I was too much of a mess to do anything, so Sarah, her dad, and Celine were a huge help. I don’t know what I would have done without them there. Watching them on the platform as the train pulled out was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve had to do in a while. I only stopped crying about half an hour into the train ride, and even then I teared up at random intervals. I’m not really sure how I survived that whole trip feeling so alone. It was an adventure though! I was terrified the whole time, and ended up misreading my ticket and not making a connection. Fortunately the people at the ticket office spoke perfect English and were able to sort my mess out easily. Ten minutes from when we were supposed to get to our destination, the train stopped. All announcements made were in French and repeated in German which didn’t help as much as I like to think it should have. Finally, after a solid hour of waiting the train started moving again and within ten minutes I was finally done with my epic train journey. I nearly danced with joy. Craig, my dad’s cousin, met me at the station in Morges, Switzerland and we somehow managed to fit my giant suitcase into a smart car (which wasn’t what the original plan was, but that’s a whole other story) and I arrived at his house. The first thing I did when I saw my dad was hug him, and the second thing I did was show off my new Bench jacket (yay!). When my brother got out he nearly tackled me to the ground, but Thomas got all silly and wouldn’t hug me. Regardless, it was nice, albeit a little strange, to see blood family again.
Today we all woke up at our own pace (which is where I win for being adjusted to the timezone already!) and then went our for a nice walk along the lake and had crepes for lunch. Don’t tell, but the homemade ones in Germany might have been a bit better! Then I went shopping with Craig’s wife, Monica, and their two daughters, Ella and Olivia. They two of them have the most adorable South African (ish) accents. It’s really bizarre having to adjust to non-German accents.
My conclusion: the past week went by way too quickly, and I know that just as I begin to get comfortable here we’re going to pick up and head off to South Africa (Sunday evening!) and it’ll be a whole new adventure. I will go back to Germany. I loved it too much not to.
After Linderhof we drove back to the youth hostel in Munich and went to the “disko” in the basement. That mostly consisted of random dancing and fist pumping and whispering to each other how weird and different it was. Oh, and laughing at the drunk people…
That dirndl is SO CUTE on you! Holy cow! :)
I remember the river surfers from the trip your dad and I took in 1986. I'm glad they're still there. Did you go into the Englischer Garten at all?
Thanks! I think we went there, but I’m not sure… it’s by the river, yes?
So I had an extra battery, but I managed to leave it at Sarah’s house during this trip so when I realized that the battery was running low I had to be pretty conservative with my picture-taking. After the ice caves, we went to the Sommerrodelbahn (which I most definitely spelled wrong), which is basically this roller coaster/sled thing that they’ve put down a ski slope. I can’t really describe it much better than that without pictures, so use your imagination! Then we hurried over to the salt mine tour, which was also extremely fun although fairly strange in some parts. That night the dinner was also notable because it took over two hours for the whole meal, including an hour-long wait for the food. Ridiculousness! We stayed in the same youth hostel as the night before.
Friday: School (with a trip for ice cream in the middle of the day!), a birthday party for one of Sarah’s relatives, and lots of movies with a sleepover at Celine’s house.
Saturday: A ridiculous amount of food for breakfast, a nice lazy day at the beach (sun!), and way too much Chinese food.
Today we went to the Keltergarten, which is basically a place where you climb between lots of trees with little obstacle things. Super scary, but amazingly fun. I don’t have any pictures of us actually climbing, but my hands are beat up enough to prove that we did. Afterwards we went back to Celine’s house and made pancakes for dinner. They’re more like crepes though, and we had them with stuff like pesto, tomatos, and mozzarella, nutella, or salsa. Delicious! Now I’m just doing my best to avoid my response log that’s due tomorrow…
Starting tomorrow we’re going on our little other trip to Munich and Salzburg and all that, and I’m not bringing my laptop with me so I’ll be sure to do a huge post when I get back.