Sunday, May 4, 2014

Back from Bavaria

I am glad to be back in my “own” bed here on Sunday night on the 4th of May. The last five days have been jam packed with fun memories and awesome experiences. There is no way I could describe them all in detail in one blog post, but I will share what I can!

Right after school on Wednesday myself and four other student teachers traveled to Kempten to stay with a friend of one of our host families. We were very nervous about this meeting this man for the first time as he picked us up at the train station. However, he ended up being one of the most fun and interesting people we have met thus far. The next day, the plan was for him to drive us to Fussen to check into our hotel. Instead, we ended up touring Kempten, hiking with him through the Bavarian side of the Alps once in Fussen, seeing historic building and towns along the way, and traveling into Austria to Lake Plansee. It was such an unexpected and awesome day. This was unanimously our favorite day on our trip because of the places we were able to visit with our new friend that we would have never known to go. Later that night we went to a small local pub and enjoyed some of the local cuisine and actually had to share a table with another group of people; which was an experience in itself!

Friday we toured the castle Neuschwanstein and were able to see the main areas of the finished castle. We were able to learn about Ludwig II and the construction of the castle on the guided tour. We also toured the outside area on our own and another smaller castle in the area. After the tours, we got on our train and headed to Munich. After arriving in Munich, we checked into our hostel and went out to explore the city. We ate supper at an extremely popular restaurant called the Hofbrauhaus Munchen. This is a huge restaurant that is a popular tourist location due to its atmosphere and great food. This was by far our favorite restaurant we had eaten at during the whole trip. The authentic German music and food was a great experience for us to soak up some of the culture of the area.
Saturday we headed to FC Bayern Munchen football (soccer) stadium to get the guided tour. Being that we had three big sports fans in our group, we wanted to be able to see the stadium and learn a little bit more about it’s history. However, when we arrived the tour was all sold out. We did however get to see the field through the fences around the stadium and get some pictures of the inside. We then went to the fan mega shop in the stadium to get some gifts and souvenirs. We spent the rest of the afternoon going through smaller shops and touring “downtown” Munich. That night we went to the Hirschgarten, one of the oldest restaurants in the area.

Sunday, it was time to head home. Before we did though, we went to Dauchau Concentration Camp. Several of us had been to Sachsenhausen while in Berlin, but two of our group had never been to one before. It was definitely still not easy to see the sights and think about what all went on there. This particular day had been one in which the Jewish Nation was remembering the events of the Holocaust, and so a large group of Jewish people were singing songs and having a memorial service. We actually were able to hear a man named Max Mannheimer speak. He is a survivor of the Holocaust and one of the spokespeople for these events. This was a very neat surprise as we did not plan this at all. It truly made us think about the significance and the reality of the events that took place not only in Dachau, but all the concentration camps.

We left to catch our 7 hour train back to Werne, reminiscing on our favorite experiences of the week, playing cards, and of course napping. It was nice to finally be home after being gone for what felt like such a long time. I was glad to get to see my host family and have dinner with them. They loved hearing my stories about my experiences and seeing all the pictures I took. Now, it’s time to go to bed to start another week at AFG!

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