Monday, May 17, 2010

3 Days of Work for 4 Days in Berlin!



Hallo!

One thing that I realized through out this week was that I never actually told everyone what exactly I’m doing over here. So I figured that I would start this entry off with a little description of what’s going on.

Ike Lahue, Bethany Creed, and myself all got assigned to work at the Wartburg Castle to help with some of the basic public relations work in the castle including: an article for The Lutheran Magazine about the Luther Decade, a video guide of the castle to be brought back to Wartburg, some minor translating, and a few English tours through out the castle. But as our last week of work is beginning I can only imagine it is going to a long, but fun, week. This week we have a interviews for the article lined up with the lord Mayor of Eisenach, the head of the castle and a few other tasks that need to be finished up.

But enough about work, we got off early this week because of the German holiday of Ascension (Christ’s trip to heaven.) So we decided to celebrate by going to Berlin. Once again we all rolled out bed early and caught the train out of Eisenach. So one stop and four hours later we made it. But I thought Munich was a busy place… clearly I had never been to Berlin. People were EVERYWHERE! And being a guy of bigger proportion, this makes fitting into small spaces with lots of people a rather difficult task. :) But I managed to make it and soon we made the trek to our hostel. It was a very nice place and not at all what I was expecting it to be. It had a loft-style room with 6 beds, a balcony, ect. The only downside, it was 2 bus stops and 30 minutes from the downtown area, which was ok… once I figured out was going on. Once we all got settled in, it was time to go to supper; this is where I experienced the glory of a “Berliner Wiesser,” a delicious concoction of raspberries and wheat beer. (I understand that sounds pretty gross, but it is very good.) Once again we met up with the Marberg trip for the weekend and they made it just in time for the Cabaret Show. This was… um.. We’ll say interesting. It was very good, don’t get me wrong, it had everything from trapeze artists to ice dancing to some other acts that could be interpreted a few different ways. The show finished up around 10 or so and with all of the traveling we decided to call it a night and save up some energy for the nights to come.

The second day brought sight seeing and museum walking. The first stop of the day was at the Pergamonmuseum. This is the home of many historical temples and monuments from Turkey. Next stop on the tour was the Brandenburg Gate, one of the biggest national symbols in Germany. Up next were the new Jewish Memorial, Kaiser Wilheom Gedachtnis, and finally the Sony Center. But after hours and hours of sight seeing we took a few hours to wonder around the city, only to top off the night with a front row seat to the Blue Man Group show. (Which was awesome!)

On the third day, we hoped on the bus to East Germany and went through the Charlie’s Checkpoint Museum. This was important because it was the checkpoint into the American section of Germany once the war was over. It was one of the most powerful museums that we went through. It showed me what everyone had to go through just survive the post-war. Next on the Berlin checklist was a trip to the famous Rihgstag building. Before the war, this building was the main government building, but got destroyed. After being rebuilt, it became one of the biggest attractions because of the obeservitory that was built on top of the building. This allowed people to get a full view of everything that the city has to offer; it was unbelievable. (Unfortunately my camera died so no pictures.) After that finished up, we had the rest of the night to go explore the nightlife that Berlin had to offer. We came to find out that the Berlin had a soccer match that night against none other then Munich. (Which we saw in Munich.) So the downtown area was out of control. The pubs were packed and full of chanting soccer hooligans, it was so much fun. (I uploaded the video so you could get a little taste of the EuropaCenter after the game.) It was a great way to close out the night.

On our final day in the city we went to the American church and Jewish Museum before leaving heading back to Eisenach. This church was not at all what I was expecting because of how up beat and modern the services were. One fact about the church that shocked me was that it is located in a very rough neighborhood of East Berlin, and yet so many different people from over 20 different nationalities were in attendance. And after walking through the museum it was time to leave Berlin behind us, and head back to Eisenach.

Well, that’s all I have for now, next weekend is open, but a few of us decided not to waste it and are planning a trip to Amsterdam!! So check back next week to see how we do on our own!

Auf Wiedersehen,

Justin

video

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oktoberfest in May!



Hello once again!

This week has been slightly better as I have begun to adapt to the way of the German, just in time to get thrown into a completely different part of the German culture, Munich. This past weekend we traveled to the south German state of Bavaria, where we stayed in Munich for 3 days. It was an awesome trip as we did everything that Munich had to offer, and then some!

We started the trip early Friday morning with a four-hour train ride from Eisenach to Munich. As soon as we arrived in Munich we got checked into our hotel and kind of got settled in for a bit, but we were all itching to go explore the city, so that is exactly what we did. The first thing that Pastor Trachte did was to take us down to the Old Market place and the Marian Plates, this was the downtown area of the city and it was packed with so many people. We wondered around the downtown area of Munich until around 7 or so when we met up with the Marburg trip were we went to one of the many beer halls that Munich is known for. It was awesome; nothing beats good people, good food, (and since I AM in Germany,) good beer. We were greeted at the Augusteinerkeller by a group of traditional Germans. It was so fun provided that it works, I am going to upload the video so you can see it, it was really fun. And that meal pretty much wrapped up the first day in Munich.
The second day brought more traveling as we took a bus to an hour outside of the city to a few more Historical portions of the countryside. The first stop on the tour was the Linderhof Palace, this was King Ludwig the Second’s mountainside palace. As we approached the second stop, we started to get higher, and higher, into what they call the “Low Alps.” The sight was just indescribable. (Again… with any luck I’m planning on posting a few pictures.) The final stop on our tour was at the castle of Neuschwanstein. This castle was HUGE!! it is said to be the castle that the Disney logo is based off of. And I understand why, it looks exactly like it. As we made our way back to the city, we hustled up to make sure that we made our reservations at the famous Hofbrauhaus, another one of Munich’s famous beer halls. This time we walked in and had entertainment shows, as well as a buffet. (YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!) After 3 plates of amazing food and an undisclosed amount of delicious beer, it was finally time to call it a night.
The final day brought a beautiful day in the city, and a lot of celebration as Bavaria won the German National Soccer League just the night before. This was defiantly a sight to see, never in my life have I seen that many people crammed into a downtown area. I guess this just goes to show how dedicated the European Soccer fans can be. But after a great day in the sun, it was time to board the train and head back to Eisenach for a three-day workweek, as we will be taking off to Berlin on Thursday!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Justin
video

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Finally Made It!

Hello from Eisenach!! After almost a week of recovering from the jet-lag I am finally able sit down and write about our trip.

The six of us, (Bethany, Ike, Stephan, Brianna, Pastor Trachte, and myself) started our May Term journey in Chicago where we caught an 8 and a half hour over night plan to Frankfurt. It was ROUGH, but over all worth it.

From there we traveled to Rottenburg. There we toured the intercity that has been completely restored to look authentic. Here we experienced our first official bratwurst. (very good!!)

Hello from Eisenach!! After almost a week of recovering from the jet-lag I am finally able sit down and write about our trip.

The six of us, (Bethany, Ike, Stephan, Brianna, Pastor Trachte, and myself) started our May Term journey in Chicago where we caught an 8 and a half hour over night plan to Frankfurt. It was ROUGH, but over all worth it.

From there we traveled to Rottenburg. There we toured the intercity that has been completely restored to look authentic. Here we experienced our first official bratwurst. (very good!!)

The next stop on our trip was in Nuendettelsau. Here we stayed at a missionary for 2 days. Throughout those days we toured the city with Wartburg Seminary alum Horst Becker. He took us to all of the historical sites that the village had to offer, as well as, inviting us into his home for some good conversation where we all learned more about the German culture.

From Nuendettelsau, we continued our journey to Eisenach, with one stop in Nuremberg. This stop was very powerful as this city of almost 100,000 people was over 85% ruble after the war. We went and walked around the main intercity, it was just amazing how they were able to restore everything. One portion of the german culture that struck us all as odd was the fact that all german stores close down between 6 and 7P.M. during the week, and most close around 1 on Saturdays and don’t open at all on Sundays.

From there, it was simple hop, skip, and jump to Eisenach. I was so excited to finally make it here, then realize how hard the language barrier would be, i am struggling but its starting to get easier. :) on the first day, we met the Lord Mayor of the city as well as went on a tour of the city. the next day we started our internships, I'm at the Wartburg Castle and it is just awesome view of the city, and i suppose the work is fun too. :)

That is all I have for now, I am hoping to post a few pictures and some video as soon as I can get the time to edit it!


Auf Wiedersein,


Justin