Belated Update

Posted on September 19th, 2010 by

So, it seems that I have been too busy for a while to write again so I am making myself do it now before I make the excuse that I’m too tired again. I know a lot has happened since last time but I don’t honestly remember where I left off. (Isn’t that always the way?)

OK, so that was a while ago I guess. It’s funny because I again need to practice for a presentation, since there was no time for ours on Friday. Last week Tuesday we went to the RNF TV station in Mannheim (always Mannheim!!) but I’ll get to that in a bit. Last weekend we had a field trip for all AJY students to Kloster Bronnbach, with visits to Wertheim and Würzberg. We left early on Friday morning and took a whole bunch of trains to get to Kloster Bronnbach. Kloster Bronnbach is essentially the cloister there, the Gasthaus we stayed in, another Gasthaus we ate dinner at, plus the train stop. So it was pretty happening when we got there. Someone said that whenever AJY students stay there, they are the ONLY visitors in the “town” so I guess I feel pretty special about that. Anyways, that first day we took a tour of the cloister, which was pretty interesting. The tour was in German (of course) but I generally followed along. I think I was too tired to stay too focused though but don’t worry: I still took a million pictures. (it’s what I do) After that we took another train to Wertheim, which I really enjoyed. It was a town laid out similarly to Heidelberg, in that there were a lot of cute German shops and buildings and on the hill above was a castle, in ruins, but still really awesome to see. There were a few options for us, and we had the whole afternoon there. I went with Sarah and Annika to the Glass Museum, which was totally a wonderful idea. First we got to see this guy (he called himself “Herman the German”) in the process of blowing glass. He sat at a table with a giant flame-shooting device in front of him, which he controlled with a pedal on the floor, not unlike a sewing machine. He had all these globs of glass with a long tube of glass at one end and he would pick one and heat up the whole thing and then blow into it really quickly and the thing would balloon up. He could make different shapes by how he heated the object. Like he made this glass in front of us and he would heat just one spot and have Mike blow into it (it was his birthday the next week so he got to) and that would have a leg. Or stuff like that. It was super awesome.

Then we got to look around and there were a ton of ridiculously intricate glass pieces!! We saw him do different things, like how he put colored “strings” in to make a swirly color in this tiny wine glass he made, but I still had no idea how such teensy tiny designs could be made! Plus upstairs there were more fun things to see. I can’t remember the connection to glass but I recall a rolling marble maze game and magnifying glasses (well, that connection is clear) and traffic light models and those weird “thermometers” that have floating things in them. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

After that though, we three hiked up to the Schloss and it was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. Compared to other castles, the hike up was not too bad, so there already is a major plus. The castle was more in ruins than the one at Heidelberg but it was SUCH a beautiful day, it felt great to just explore everything. Where we went up, we went through this ravine thing and we said we felt like we were in The Princess Bride or Lord of the Rings or something. There were, of course, a million uneven stairs to climb (joy of my life) but there were also trees and grass up there. It was so peaceful, and we were so tired, we kind of fell asleep at the top. There were only two benches, and Annika stole mine when I got up to take legit pictures (you know, instead of sideways, from where I was lying) so I ended up reclining on the ground, which was perfectly comfortable, but oddly enough, left my jacket and jeans a mite dirty.

After that we essentially got gelato and then left that town. That night we ate at the local restaurant, which was, let us say, OK. We all got money for to buy ourselves a drink at dinner but I rather didn’t feel like it so I just got Leitungswasser (tap water, basically) which is kind of lame but also free so 5 Euro to me. The rooms we stayed in were really nice actually, but kind of interesting too. The building was old but the rooms were furnished in a very modern way and the door to the bathroom was naught but (frosted) glass!! Plus the shower stall was right behind the door so that was potentially (slash actually) awkward but I managed to shower when no one else was in the room. And I had a good night’s sleep with a luxuriously long enough comforter.

The next day we traveled to Würzberg (more trains!) and took the longest, most excruciating tour of the Residenz (the palace thing there) EVER. Our group was combined with a group of old Germans and so when THEY said they couldn’t understand the tour guide because he talked so damn fast, it adds a bit of credibility to our story when we say “we had no idea what he was saying.” The place was pretty and all but all I kept thinking was how warm it was, and how this tapestried room is oddly identical to the last three tapestried rooms, and how tired I was and how bored and what on Earth does someone need a house this big for how would you ever clean it. But once we got to fresh air again I was happy. We spent the rest of our time there wandering. We hiked up to this castle, the name of which I have conveniently forgotten (there’re so many….you really shouldn’t blame me) (Marian….something?….maybe?) but it offered a nice view of the city. Also we got to sit on the edge of this really high wall and it was kind of relaxing to hang out there for a while.

So basically that was that trip. We eventually left and went home. Then we probably ate at the Mensa or something and I went to church the next day. We didn’t leave town that Sunday but we had a picnic type dinner by the river. On Tuesday we all had our IB’s again. Our ever-so-lucky Gruppe C got to go to Mannheim again! There’s nothing technically wrong with Mannheim, we’re just tired of always being the last ones done. Gruppe B left at like 11 and were done by 12:30 (we saw them going to lunch as we were leaving). Whilst we left HD at like 2 and got back at like 9. We saw the RNF TV station which is mainly local stuff. It would have been really interesting but we couldn’t really understand the guy who was talking, and also he talked for 3 hours. I felt like. I could see he was really trying to make it interesting for us, so I felt bad, but no one was really listening and also all they had was bubbly water or apple juice, both of which I hate. (not to be dramatic or anything) Actually at the time I wasn’t so crabby. We actually got to be on TV! We were in the audience for RNF-Life, a local news show. Why this show is benefitted by a live audience is rather beyond me but there it is. I got to clap and smile and be on TV. It was really funny actually, because Frau Said was so nervous about how she’d look on TV. She kept fussing with her hair and after some debating took off her scarf and hid it under her shirt. Also this news program had a cooking segment (cherry soup??) and a special talk guest who might have been talking about a hospital. I got women’s troubles/abortion vibes out of it but Haleigh got no such thing so in our presentation tomorrow we’re just going to skip over content.

So Thursday we took a day trip to France. This was all the AJY students again. I was glad to not have class but it felt like the weekend already so I really really didn’t want to go the next day. But whatever, France was cool. Well, most of it. We went into the area of Alsace-Lorraine (sp?) which is historically a bouncing ping-pong ball between belonging to France and belonging to Germany. So architectural similarities were definitely there. But everything was in French, like the signs and stuff so there was that element of class too. I don’t know any French but I wasn’t really there long enough to need it. We started off the day by visiting the concentration camp of Struthof. I can understand why it’s important to go to these things, and experience it at least once. It’s definitely not an experience that you’ll ever forget, but I had already been to Dachau three years ago and concentration camps are just terribly depressing and distressing places to go. I don’t believe anyone can go and not be affected but given that, I think I won’t write more on the subject. I was glad to leave is all.

We then went to Straßburg, or Strasbourg (depending on how German/French you are) and climbed up the church tower, much to my calves’ distress. You have to go up these ridiculously claustrophobically tight-winding spiral staircases to get up there and it takes SO long. I kept thinking that I shouldn’t be complaining because 3 years ago I went up the Ulmer Münster and that was 768 steps (this one was 330 I believe) (I’ve only mentioned this fact a couple of times since Thursday) but it was pretty bad. My legs were doing that fun vibrating thing when we got to the bottom so I’m gonna blame my blurry pictures on that. Oh also the inside of the church was really dark so pictures didn’t turn out anyways, which made me kind of hate the church as a whole. But not really, haha.

We had a little free time after that but not too much. We got drinks at a nearby (FRENCH!) cafe but I only got a Fanta. Lame. I should have gotten a Monaco, because apparently they are delicious and everyone got one but me. (and Haleigh, and people who didn’t order but still) If you don’t know what a Monaco is, it’s like a Radler but with grenadine.

And that was basically our trip to France! I probably forgot a lot actually. But I’ll remember when I read Sarah’s blog later and maybe tell you next time. I could talk about the weekend, which was fun, but we stayed in HD and then today we went to Worms and saw churches. So basically I just summed that up. Bye for now! Tschüß!!

 

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