Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Can I just say something crazy?

Hello there.

We finally made it back to Iowa after waiting in the airport for 8 hours just to get back to Iowa. It was definitely worth it, minus our luggage not traveling with us. Therefore, I am still waiting for it to be delivered to my house. As I am patiently waiting here, I decided I should write my blog to pass the time and hopefully by the end of my post it is here.

When Professor Travis Bockenstedt asked me if I would be interested in going on a trip to Germany with an advanced class I was shocked. Considering I was a first-year student, I was honored to be asked and of course I said yes. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

As the year went on, we had a few classes to prepare for the trip and to get to know each other a little better. Thats when the friendships started to grow. I already knew a few people on the trip due to other classes, but the ones I did not know made the trip even better. 

The day to fly out came upon us on May 2nd. We passed around a pair of clothes to our luggage buddies (mine was Kelsey Bemus) and away we went to Cedar Rapids. We were all scared that we surpassed the weight limit with most of us being in the upper 40's, but we all made it and passed security. When we arrived in Berlin, we got our room assignments. I was grouped with Kelsey, Olivia Barnes, and Amanda Groff. I knew I would be fine with Kelsey, but the other two I had no idea who they were. As that week went on, we got to know each other a little better through many pillow talks. We also mastered the train system without our trusting advisors Travis and Penni Pier. Which Travis did get us lost as a whole group, but have no fear he always figured the way out. After a week long of museums, talking to native Germans, taking pictures, making videos, hitting the local bars, and visiting my exchange student, it was time to head to Bonn. 

The way to Bonn by plane was not to shabby. The students greeted us with free hugs at the airport and took us by train to our hotel. It was great seeing new faces, but we had no idea that the friendships we would make with these students would be as strong as it became. The students made a plan for us so we were never busy, but it was a great experience. We created a show called "Germerica" in which we showcased the stories that we worked on all week (hopefully the show will be posted, stay tuned to the comm arts page). The end of the week came way too fast. The students came to our hotel, and by train, took us to the train to send us off to Eisenach. That platform received a lot of tears, hugs, pictures, and good-byes. New friendships for both schools were formed and hopefully will never be broken.

So on this train, we had to get off and get onto another train in 11 minutes. This 11 minutes quickly switched to a 6 minute change due to running late. Well, luckily the platform that we needed was the same platform we cam in on, but there were two trains connected. Of course we got on the wrong one and with less than 5 minutes, we had to get out and run for what seemed to be forever to get to the right wagon. As we ran, most of us were picturing the Home Alone movie. Quite the race as bags, jackets, and water bottles flew to the ground. Luckily the person behind you usually picked it up and kept going. We finally made it to our seats after walking through the train with all our luggage. After the hour and a half ride, we made it to Eisenach with our taxis's waiting outside.

Why did we go to such a small village one might ask. Well to answer the question, it is the home of our very own Wartburg Castle. If you are a Wartburg Knight, I suggest you visit this castle. And of course try the Wartburg beer. The experience of touring the castle was amazing. The artwork throughout the castle was beautiful. Later that day (Saturday) the Wartburg choir joined us as the performed a concert in the castle. Being a production crew, we filmed it (stay tuned to the comm arts page for this video also). I have never heard our choir sing and to experience it at the castle made it even better. I even got to listen to one of my very first Wartburg friends sing. It was by far the best experience. Sunday was our day to relax and have a free day. Most everything is closed on a Sunday, but Simon Sager, Olivia, Michael Bowden, and I decided to go on an adventure in the village.

We walked around town trying to find the choir, that failed. Then we walked around to find the mountain that the castle was on, that failed. We did however, find a hill that a huge abandoned house was on. It was beautiful with a beautiful view. This journey also established us singing Frozen songs. We even made a dance to it. We got back to the hotel and did a photo shoot, which we think the staff of the hotel did not like us after this but we left the next day. I looked like a biker chick no joke. 

Monday came and it was time to go back to Berlin and start our journey home. While in Berlin for the second time, we had a packing party and divided all our souvenirs up so we were under the weight limit. Again, we were all close on weight even after we bought extra carry on bags. In this hotel, the same group of four were practicing our song. Olivia and I went back to our room, but the boys got a phone call. Yepp you guessed it, they got a noise complaint and of course said that they had little kids. Oh well, it was worth it.

So now here I am. Back to the real world, but with memories that will last a lifetime. Friendships were made that I never what to give up and stronger bonds with those I was already friends with. I would like to thank Travis and Penni for taking me on this adventure, and I can't wait to do it again. I am proud to be a guinea pig, I wouldn't want it any other way. Here is to the next three years of friendships and bonds with my professors and my friends that I made on this trip. Farewell Germany, until next time. OH and I am still waiting on my luggage.. :(

My first Wartburg friend Caleb Maughan.

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