22 July 2012

Dann gab's Berlin.

Elske, Silas, and I took a trip to Berlin!

How did we get there? An 11 hour train ride, which began at 0:17!
 We saw every part of the day from a train.
 And then got right to work on seeing Berlin. There were some break dancers who put on a show right about the time we showed up at the Brandonburger Tor. I think they were waiting for us, and I thought wrestlers were jacked...Dang!
This is the Reichstag. We didn't actually get to go into the german government building, because you need to make reservations three days in advance. Some genius suggested we sneak in the back. We decided against it, given the fact that two of us were foreigners.
 By boat! That was awesome! The explanations of the sites were played in German and English, which is good, because my historic/ political German is not exactly as wonderful as it could be.
Did I mention we didn't sleep much on the train ride? So, we took a nap next to the canal. The boat we were on is in the background.
 This is a good image of how we felt when we finally journeyed to our  humble nighttime abode. It took at least a couple of hours, because we had a bad map and some bad directions, but at least our bellies were full! Funny story about where we stayed...we could see the little peninsula from the side of the river we were walking on, but we still had to walk two miles down the river to get to the other bridge to cross the river and walk back up the peninsula. That was just the end of the journey. We found a better way to get there the next day.
 Then we set up our tent! Well...I borrowed it from one of the kids. It was her Easter present. This thing is nice, but maaaaan did it get cold at night!
Right next to us, but not  in the picture is a restaurant. It was playing "Born in the U.S.A." I yelled out "Hey! This is my song!" Then we took a picture in front of the Siegessäule on our way to church.
This is the memorial for the Jews killed in the Holocaust.
In order for me to keep the Sabbath day holy, we went shopping at Aldi (discount supermarket) Saturday night, and picked up a very interesting variety of foods for a utensilless picnic in the Tiergarten. Apples, bread, beans, corn, kiwi, jogurt...use your immagination!
 Thank goodness (for all of our sakes) I was en tirely excluded from the navigation process.
 We took some more pictures in front of the Tor. Why not?
Berlin Wall.
 Elske, ich liebe dich!
 Go with your heart, because today is a beautiful day.
Berlin at night.
Lots of lights, but no people...
 Silas said "We have to see the Gate at night!" So we did, and it was well worth it.
 What goes on in a Berlin train station at 3:00AM? Well, a lot of waiting for the trains that aren't coming, or aren't going where they say they are.
German's are very particular abou their rubbish. There was paper rubbish, glass rubbish, packing rubbish, and normal household rubbish.
 We got our train tickets three minutes before the train was scheduled to depart. Can you say "RUN!!!" We made it!
Then we settled down for a seven hour trip of sleeping, eating ice cream, and correcting all of Vanilla Boat Crew's lyrics. Most of them didn't need much help. Silas is mad good at English. Sometimes I had to laugh at myself, because I couldn't remember if something was right or not. I need to get better at my own language.
Our Berlin trip consisted of three of the hottest days I experienced while in Germany. I think that added to the exhaustion, but we didn't care, becuase we were having the time of our lives.
I am so blessed to have found the friends I did in Germany. I will never forget the good times we had together, and I look forward to more when I come back.

11 June 2012

German Culture Time!

So, here's some of what I did in the last two weeks before returning to the U.S.

My Mormons treated me to a little German culture!
 I ate Bratwurst (my last this time around). I never thought I would be able to stomach a sausage, but I ate it all the time here.
 We went to the castle in Altena. I tried on chain mail, had a sword fight, laid in a little tiny bed, and saw a lot more cool stuff, but the pictures are currently missing from my computer...

This is the Koelnerdom, biggest, most famous church in Germany. It's intense. We climbed up to the top of the tower on the right. It was sick and very high up, and beautiful! I saw the largest bell I have ever seen. The picture below makes it look tiny. There were so many people speaking English there, and I couldn't figure out why everyone was ignoring me when I asked them to take our picuture. Then clever little Lea spoke to them in English. As my father so often points out "the simple things in life elude [me]."
The inside was not as impressive as I had expected (some of the smaller churches I saw this summer with my family were much more spectacular), but there's still not really anything to complain about. There are a ton of tiny little chapels on the side for the snobby rich people who decided they needed their own church within the church. Also, common people were not allowed in the Koelnerdom back in the day.

I got a ride in this little bug. There are only five of these uniquely painted vehicles in Germany. They are very proud of it.
Lea also took me to school with her. She goes to school to learn about her career. It's pretty interesting, but I couldn't understand most of the machine vocabulary.

Thank You Familie Langner!


29 May 2012

Zum Schluss

It's almost time to go back to New England. I can't believe it. It's absolutely insane! I'm filling every moment with the things and the people I'm not ready to leave, so there's no time to write about it right now.

To my friends at home: I will see you soon.

To my friends in Germany: I will miss you so much, but I will see you again.

To my wide open future: Here I come!

18 May 2012

"I want to ride my bicycle" -Queen

The biking paths in Germany are ten thousand times better than the roads! They are also better marked. In case you didn't know, I love biking, so I am so grateful that I met someone short to lend me a bike. It's absolutely beautiful. No. It's handsome. I dig it, and it has amazing shocks!

The woods in Germany are full of awesome things!

Like a cave
 and a little stage with wooden characters. There was an explanation plaque, and it said that you can go there to practice for your big role in the cave (There is a giant cave-not the one above- where plays and concerts are held. It's epic, but extremely cold.) or just quaintly live out your passion for acting. Wie suss!

 You also run into the occasional American photographing herself while riding a bike...she's weird, but we like her anyways. I like to get my hands...and face...dirty! Riding through mud is fun. There was a lot more schmutz when I was done.
 There are also cool old farm houses!

And somewhere along the way I managed to find serenity, a piece of paradise amongst the demands that seem to come flying out of nowhere.

When in doubt, ride it out!


15 May 2012


Dirk barfs (brecht) here inside!

German automobiles tend to be ugly...The tractor trailer trucks remind me of pug dogs here. I'd have to say ours in the U.S... are slightly more manly looking...

Actually, I find that most of our cars are better looking. A lot of the cars have this hideous boxed, but rounded look to them. It's incredibly unattractive. But, a car is a car, and if it gets you places it's good.

I hope all is well!


13 May 2012

Vanilla Boat Crew

This week I went to a concert to see my friends play. There are seven people in the band, and six of them are siblings. It's pretty sick, and they're awesome!
They played in a circus tent! I took this picture before we decided to stand directly in front of them.
Anna (cello), Vanja (drums), Parosch (trumpet), Silas (guitar/vocals), Sebastian (guitar), Joy (bass)
Silas sings and plays guitar mostly, but he also plays everything else...except trumpet.
This is Anna. The fact that she took her shoes off makes me like her even more than I already did. You can really tell she loves music when she plays.
 Mosche plays keyboard like a boss!
Of course no evening would be complete without my favorite Dutch girl! I take her everywhere, and she totally amps up the fun. I LOVE HER!
And this guy. He's the one that helped me complete the song I wrote Sissie. He's mad good at guitar!

Basically, my life rocks and that's the way I like it.


07 May 2012

Deutschland ist mein Schatz

Here are a few reasons I love Germany. It's mostly unexplainable. I have no idea why I love it so much, but these things make it pretty dang awesome!

Dandelions are my favorite flower, and the color of Germany in spring is dandelion yellow...also canola yellow, but dandelion's nicer.

Canola (rape seed) field. There are so many, and it stinks that I took this on a cloudy day, because when the sun is shining, the whole field is flourescent yellow. From far away, you can't see any green, and it's just a bright patch of land. It's awesome.

This is not a reason I love Germany, but there's a funny story that goes with it. It's called brennessel. It means something that burns. When I went to pet the sheep, I couldn't explain why one of my feet was itching and stinging and burning. At the time I had somehow hurt it, and figured I must have done something to a nerve. Eventually the burning and redness went away. It wasn't until I stepped on one of these two weeks later that I finally realized it was the plant that did it. I asked my friend what it was called, because I remembered the field was full of them. It's rather unpleasant. So, if you ever go barefoot in Germany, watch out for the brennessel.

Random thought:

Ponies may be the most rediculous animal I've ever seen. It's like someone said "I want  a horse, but I want its body to be compressed horizontally and only slightly vertically. Yes, that's good. Now cut off its legs at the knees. Good...ah, yes make it walk funny too please." When he was asked what about the head? he said "No, don't do anythin with the head. Can it still walk with such a big head? Good, then leave it rediculously large. No, on second thought, squish it horizontally just a littel bit. Such a beautiful head doesn't go with the wacked-out body."