German Exchange Trip 2015 DAY 7 to 9
A tired and weary Bertie Bear was dazed and confused. The long days and short nights along with heavy exercise are starting to have an effect on his ability to stay focused, his nephew has also come to stay with us which has led to even later nights as they reminisce all things bear! With this in mind Bertie did come to Austria with us but decided to stay at Lake Constance for a bit of what he’s used to.
The GANF crew deserve a medal for their bravery in the face of inclement weather! Josh, Josh, Nathan, Luke, Bradley, Marc, Mr Walker and Mr Ryan hiked 1064 Metres through clouds and very wet weather to get to the summit of Pfander. The hike started with thick clouds but at the half way point they rapidly lifted to reveal a beautiful vista over Austrian mountain ranges, into Switzerland and back to Germany. A very kind lady served us coffee whilst another took photos for us. Both of the Josh’s struggled at parts (in fact we all did) but were victorious and beat the steep, muscle burning inclines; certainly an achievement to be proud of!
Whilst we were battling up the mountain, Mrs Ellis and Mrs Mackinnons crew took a more leisurely approach to ascending Pfander by stepping onto the Pfanderbahn (a cable car for those needing energy at the top!). On arrival the group hastily retreated to the restaurant in order that hot chocolate and tea could remedy the cold and wet atmosphere. Once the clouds lifted the breath-taking view was photographed and admired followed by a relaxing walk around the animal park.
With the explorers re united they tackled the last part of Pfander and moved on up to the summit. A glimmer of hope inspired Chris to get to the top. Though he valued the views, it wasn’t those and though the bar and restaurant offered fine local delicacy they didn’t interest Chris. It was his all-time love and once best friend in the world; He found Wi-fi on a huge telecoms mast; unfortunately he did not possess the passcode or a device to support Wi-fi. So with more good old fashioned conversation he got over his loss and enjoyed the views.
Following the group descent on Pfanderbahn we slept the 50 minute journey back into Germany. A quick shower followed games and napping before heading into Weingarten for a restaurant meal with Burkhard and his wife. Traditional fayre was consumed by all and the boys even offered side entertainment by making their glasses sing. Then it was back to base and off to bed to prepare for a day at school and a visit to Ravensburg.
A fine start to a fine day. The morning chorus of ‘La Bamba’ permeates every inch of the corridor. The learners are ‘up and at em’ before the music finishes, a first for many, especially for a school day! Breakfast is somewhat lighter today with cereal, toast, fruit and yogurt. The weather forecast is a mixed bag but the learners are pumped for the day ahead as we are heading to Ravensburg after our morning lesson.
Before we manage to get to class our friends come to say hello following a weekend apart. They are keen to talk football and find it funny that we are exhausted after the hike up Pfander.
Following the presentation that Burkhards English class have prepared and presented we head for the bus station to travel the 4km to Ravensburg. The bus journey was very pleasant with Burkhard telling his usual jokes and his students keeping us company. Upon arrival we head to the Catholic Church of Ravensburg. The building is typically ornate with art work and decoration that is very elaborate showing various stories from the Bible. An interesting fact was shared with the group about the way Catholic churches are designed with the entrance at the main entrance to the West and the Altar to the East. We reflected for a moment and light a candle for those we love, before the group headed on into Ravensburg.
Burkhard led us through the beautiful and incredibly clean streets, we visited a 17th century apothecary, the place where peoples sentences were announced after going to court, the local market where the original measurement rod still exists (this was a length of metal that was a little longer that the forearm, used for measuring cloth), we climbed a very steep hill to capture the views of the Valley looking over to Weingarten, Ravensburg and Spieland and saw the enormous factory that manufactures Ravensburg board games.
Following a spot of twitching and some photo opportunities we headed back to the centre to climb yet another tower from which the views were yet again amazing (though the creaking, wooden staircase had a few of us trembling in our shoes). All of the excitement left us with a hunger so we headed to get food from a street café.
Whilst we were eating a superb band set up just 10 metres from us and they began playing UK chart songs on their guitars, drums and double bass! Jordan particularly enjoyed the music along with Samantha, their attention was virtually undivided the entire time!
Following lunch, we continued around Ravensburg visiting various shops for games and souvenirs. Our bus journey back began with a race as we ran to catch it! Upon arrival to Weingarten the majority of us either fell asleep or took to our beds as we were thoroughly exhausted.
An evening meal later, some puzzle time and games galore were followed by a bedtime that saw the group off to sleep within twenty minutes! A great success of a day.
The sun is high and the temperature is promising. The last day looks set to be one without a drop of rain!!! A flurry of activity fills the corridors as the group shower and begin the ‘pre-pack’ packing for the last day. With the final packs of cereal crunched and toast buttered we enjoy a fine breakfast before heading into a day of lessons with our German friends.
7R was the destination for some of the group as they enjoyed their final Anglo German lesson with their German classmates and Burkhard. Following yet another entertaining lesson, a day of football and sports offered team GANF the great opportunity to represent our dear old nation in the long anticipated England v Germany match. Though some say the England team was outnumbered the raw facts are that they lost 1:0 to Germany.
And now for something completely different. The rest of our brigade were busy making Pretzel roles and pizza for lunch with a fruit salad prepared by their German friends for dessert. The teamwork was brilliant, you would never have guessed that they had only known one another for less than a week. Culinary delights consumed and games played over lunch it was soon time for an afternoon of drama and all out fun!
The true development of confidence in all whom participated was inspiring. Jordan displayed a great amount of confidence and initiative as he was opting to get up and get involved in the drama class with his numerous moments of inspiration; meanwhile the England team were once again being whooped on the football pitch.
Our last supper was provided courtesy of McDonalds with a dessert from the famous ice cream parlour that has loyally served the GANF exchangers for many years. Though our favourite dairy maid was absent today we still took to having one last ice cream al fresco and reminisce. With a final trip to Kaufland to get those last minute gifts we head back to school and head to bed for our 6am wake up call!!!