Sunday, July 3, 2011
Am I going home? Or am I leaving home? Where is home now? That's the question that will always remain unanswered.
Monday, June 27, 2011
This weekend was a rather busy weekend. I finished up my two week Praktikum on Friday. My friend Clara and I had been interning at a catering company. Between office work and sampling the food, we had an amazing time. After I was finished with Praktikum I met Sierra and we headed to Potsdam for a party. We ended up staying there until just before 5, then decided to head to McDonalds and go back to my house. Once we got to KW, we had to wait 2 hours before we could catch any means of transportation back to my house. Apparently the buses and trains to Zernsdorf dont run at 6 in the morning. So we waited and waited and waited. Once we finally got back to my house, we basically crashed for a few hours (we hadnt slept in over 24 hours) and then went to our next party. :) My friend Clara and I threw this party together. It was a birthday party for her and a mini going away party for me. It was AMAZING. I'm going to miss everyone here so badly.
This week looks pretty busy. Tomorrow is a little picnic thing with my school class, Tuesday I'm heading to a friends, Wednesday I'm going to Berlin to see the sights for what could possibly be the last time in a while, Thursday I'm having friends over, Friday has yet to be planned out, Saturday is a Rotary thing, and Sunday I have to pack. Monday I leave. The time has gone too fast. This year has seemed shorter than any other year I have lived through. But this year has been amazing. It was tough at first, a lot harder than I ever imagined, but it paid off in the end. I've made unforgettable memories, met unforgettable people, and have had the year of my life.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
A lot has happened since the last time i posted. A lot always happens in between my posts. I celebrated my 17th birthday here in Germany. It was one of the best birthdays I've had in a very long time. :) A few weekends ago, district 1940 had their district conference, or rather, our last orientation together before everyone starts to slowing fly home one by one. It was really kinda sad to know that we probably wont see each other for a very, very long time, if ever at all. And it was definitely the last time that we'd all be together as a group. Tears we shed, goodbyes were said, and memories were made. It's been an amazing year with these people, we have all gotten really close. I'm going to miss each and every one of them when I get back to Ohio...which is in less than a month. 26 days actually. I cant even imagine myself doing American things anymore, driving, shopping at Walmart, speaking english to people in public, paying in dollars. It's just weird to think that I ever did that and that I'll being doing it again in a month from now...I'm not ready to leave. 4 months ago I would have been totally up for leaving, but now I'm content, now I want to stay.
Other exciting news...I went to Heide Park, an amusement park somewhere relatively close to Hamburg, with my host family. They took me out of school for the day and we drove there and spent the day at the park. It was raining basically the entire day, and my host sister and I had decided to wear our short shorts....it was cold. But the weatherman had told us it was going to be a lovely 30 degrees (celsius) that day. He lied. We waited all day for the 30 degrees and they never came. But we had an amazing time anyway. :)
School is slowly winding up. This week is kind of my last week. Then next week I have 2 weeks of internship with a friend in Berlin, then the next week is (technically) the last week of school. Monday to Wednesday. But Tuesday and Wednesday my class is going camping or something like that. And Monday...who knows. It could be possible that we dont have to go Monday at all. But i'm kinda clueless when it comes to that. :) Yeah, and then the next Monday I'm going home. :( Have I said yet that I'm not ready to leave?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
But in case you're wondering what exactly we did, here you go, the generic version. :)
Day 1 Berlin-->Dresden
Individual travel to Berlin, welcome and briefing by the Rotary traveling companion. By bus we drive to Dresden, where we are in the afternoon take a city tour.
Dresden is an art metropolis in Europe. Although the city in the 2nd World War II was heavily damaged by the floods and 2004 floods, we can see the major monuments and the valuable art collections today. Almost everything was destroyed is rebuilt.
On our walk through Dresden, we see the famous Semper Opera, the baroque palace, the Zwinger and the Brühl Terrace. Visited, the Green Vault. This stretches the treasury of the former king admired Augustus the Strong, for example, there are the famous cherry stone, were carved in the 180 (!) Small faces.
We got there, made a bus tour through the city, and then had free time. I spent my time playing Taboo with a few others. Everyone else went to a shisha bar. That's not really my thing.
Day 2 Dresden-->Prague
After breakfast we visit the Panometer in Dresden.
On monumental 105 meters length and 27 meters high - on a scale of 1:1 allows us the panorama painting in one of the most important eras of Dresden. We do not just Dresden during the day. Slowly obscured the view, turns into evening mood, eventually the Baroque Dresden to show on a summer night.
Then we head to Prague.
Once we got to Prague, we were given a little freetime until dinner. After dinner we took the train to the city and had freetime until midnight.
Day 3 Prague
Today a visit to Prague is on the agenda. The "Golden City" is certainly one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe and is one of the most glamorous cities with great history. It lies on the Vltava river over which spans the famous Charles Bridge. The Hradcany Castle and the Strahov Monastery rise above the city and give it a very special flair. A very unique experience is the bubbling with life Charles Bridge with its view of the "Golden" Prague and the Prague Castle.
In the evening we go to a black light theater.
We took a walking tour through the city, went to a black light theater at night (which was kinda really strange), and then had free time.
Day 4 Prague-->Vienna
The bus brings us through the Czech Republic and Austria to Vienna, the capital of Austria. Splendid churches, palaces, theaters, rich houses, the typical Viennese coffee houses and many parks - that's Vienna. Landmark of the city are the horse-drawn carriages, carriages', and go everywhere in the streets. It is a cheerful, vibrant world city that you will be amazed by fast!
We stopped along the way at this strange kiddy place. It was interesting... Once in Vienna we had some freetime until dinner (when we ate Wiener Schnitzel), then more freetime afterwards.
Day 5 Vienna
Today we get to know thoroughly the imperial city of Vienna. The city tour takes in the morning to the Museum Quarter, the colorful Hundertwasser House. We will show the State Opera and St. Stephen's Square with the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral, which stands in the middle of the city and is called by the Viennese "Steffl".
In the afternoon we visit the Schonbrunn Palace. Here lived the famous Empress "Sissi" and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed at the age of 6 years before the Empress.
In the evening we will attend a concert.
Yeah, that's basically all we did.
Day 6 Vienna-->Venice
Drive from Vienna over the Alps to Venice in Italy.
Venice is the "Queen of the Mediterranean" and is located on 118 closely spaced small islands connected by more than 400 bridges. It is the center of Venice just water channels, which go on boats and gondolas, no roads and no cars.
Really, really long drive. Once we got to Venice we all walked from the hotel to the beach and had ourselves a nice night. :)
Day 7 Venice
Today we look at the beautiful city of detail and take a boat trip on the main channel of Venice, the Grand Canal.
The impressions are unforgettable: both sides are many old palaces and churches, the narrowest point of the channel spans the famous white Rialto Bridge, the main square, the Piazza San Marco with its high bell tower, the Campanile, the magnificent Doge's Palace and the Basilica of San Marco. One attraction is the variety of birds that populate the place.
Took a boat to Venice, were given like 6 hours or something crazy long of freetime. Then took a water taxi through the city and made a walking tour back to the boat that had brought us. We went to the beach again at nighttime.
Day 8 Venice-->Rome
Still impressed by Venice, the trip continues to the south - to Rome, the capital of Italy and one of the most fascinating cities in the world with the Hollywood films like "Three Coins in a Fountain (Three Coins in the Fountain) famous Trevi Fountain, in we too want to throw a coin in order to assure us of the return to Rome.
Got to Rome after another long drive. Had freetime until 8:30, which is when we had dinner, and then were given more freetime afterwards.
Day 9 Rome
Today we are going together to visit the Vatican and St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's, the largest basilica in the world Christendom with their precious pieces of equipment, such as the Pietà by Michelangelo and the venerable Peter statue. Then we have the opportunity to visit the catacombs under St. Peter's (with the tomb of Pope John Paul II).
We will take a guided walk with a guide to do the famous sites of Rome.
Took a walking tour through Rome. Afterwards we were given freetime, which I used by finding and eating a cannoli :)), finding a cute little island, heading to the Colosseum, and wandering into the Vatican. We also found THEE COOLEST ICE CREAM MAN EVER.
Day 10 Rome
On our second day in Rome we will try to attend the morning on the Wednesday audience with the pope, with invitation. Then you go to the Capitol, from which we can enjoy from a nice view over ancient Rome. We visit the Roman Forum, which was the center of ancient Rome. The mansion, which met in the Roman Senate more than 1000 years has remained intact. The Colosseum, the most famous building of ancient Rome, was built by Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus inaugurated in 80 AD. It was the largest in the ancient world.
We got up early and went to the Vatican to see the Pope, then we went inside the Vatican and were given freetime until dinner. After dinner we boarded the bus for an overnight journey to Innsbruck.
Day 11 Innsbruck
We arrive in the morning here and Innsbruck have the opportunity to get to know the city better. In the afternoon we visit the Swarovski exhibition.
We went to Swarovski and then had freetime, which we spent shopping. :))
Day 12 Innsbruck-->Nesselwang
Today we visit the Linderhof Palace with the Venus Grotto.
Then we drive to our hotel after Nesselwang.
On our way to Nesselwang we stopped and visited Schloss Linderhof, then continued driving to Nesselwang. In Nesselwang, we all went to the pool across the street. :)
Day 13 Nesselwang
In the morning we visit the fairytale castle Neuschwanstein. Then we get to know the environment here and you can have your fun. In the late afternoon you have the opportunity to try out on the water park from our hotel.
We went to Neuschwanstein and afterwards next door to the giant mountain place. We took a lift to the top of the mountain and hung out there for a while. Then we went tobogganing. Then back to the hotel and had freetime.
Day 14 Nesselwang-->Munich
Very early on it's on to Munich. In the late morning we are seeing in Munich on a city tour by bus and on foot. We see the women's and St. Michael's Church, Charles Square, the Marienplatz with the Old and New Town Hall. For dinner, we go to the Hard Rock Cafe in the attractive city of Munich.
Made a bus tour through Munich. Went to the Olympic Park and the BMW place. Had some freetime before eating at Hard Rock Cafe.
Day 15 Munich-->Regensburg
Our journey continues today from Munich to Regensburg.
Here we visit the Valhalla.
Then we get to Regensburg for a guided tour to know you better.
Between the Danube and rain beautifully situated on an island is a few minutes to the center of the UNESCO-World Heritage Regensburg.
Visited Walhalla on the way to Regensburg. It's basically a newer version (~1500 or so, I think) of a Greek temple. Then drove the rest of the way to Regensburg. Made a 3 hour walking tour through the city. Then freetime before and after dinner.
Day 16 Regensburg-->Berlin
Today we drive to Berlin. We will arrive late afternoon. We say goodbye to our bus driver and are looking forward to our joint last day in Berlin.
Freetime all day. Went to the Reichstag, laid on the grass, and hung out.
Day 17 Berlin
Really long boat ride on the Spree. Afterwards walked to Brandenburg Gate and took a few pictures. Then freetime for the rest of the day.
Day 18 Berlin
Today our tour comes to an end. Individual departure from 10 clock.
Said our goodbyes and left.
Easter. It's a 3 day holiday here, like Christmas. I actually think every holiday here is a 3 day holiday. It seems like it at least. :) Friday we dyed eggs. Saturday all 4 of my host grandparents came and we grilled out. Sunday we got up early (9! :)) and went outside to hunt eggs, then we had breakfast, then in the late afternoon we had our big meal: lamb, potatoes, and green beans. At night, we played a few games, watched a little TV, and went to bed.
I'm on Spring Break right now, which is perfect because I think I'm STILL catching up on all the sleep I lost during Eurotour. :))
And that's all I've got to say right now. I'll post pictures in a separate post because it's easier.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Atop the Frauenkirche
MeissenI changed host families two weeks ago. I've got to say, I really, really like this family. :) I have a host mom, a host dad, a host sister, and a host dog. I love how active and family-like this family is. We sit after dinner and lunch and breakfast and just talk, and I like that. And we're always up to something. They seem excited to show me places I havent seen before, which is good, because I want to see as much as I can. And something I think is really cool: My first two families were East German, my new family is West German. So while they're very similar to my first two families, they're also a little different. I'm getting to see how the other half lives. :) On Monday, I'm leaving for EUROTOUR! Very exciting. Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Prague, Innsbruck, Rome, Venice, Neuschwanstein, Munich, and a few other places along the way. 18 days of traveling, then Easter. :) Which means I'm not going to school again until May. And by then I'll have only 2 months left here in Germany. This year has gone by too fast. So until after Eurotour. :)) Kaite
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I've been doing a lot of talking it feels like lately, which for the Kaite in America isnt a big deal, in fact, it'd be weird if she was actually ever quiet, but for the Kaite in Germany, talking is something she does too much of. It's not like she's silent, of course, she talks every now and then, but she doesnt ever really have anything to say. But since about Friday that's changed a little. And I'm pretty happy about that because, really, I love to talk.
The weekend was okay. I went to Berlin Saturday and hung out with a whole bunch of exchangers, we basically did nothing the whole day. Seriously. We went to Hauptbahnhof (the biggest train station in...I think all of Europe actually) and were like just walking around and running away from each other and trying not to get separated from the group and yeah. And then we went somewhere else and did some more nothing. And then Sierra came home with me and spent the night. The next day we baked chocolate chip cookies that her mom sent her. YUMMY. It'd been too long since I'd had chocolate chip cookies. Not even kidding. :)
Life here's been pretty good. I like it. I really do. And the weather's getting nicer. It's sunny all day and like 40 degrees outside. I cant wait to see springtime in Germany. :)
Thursday, February 17, 2011
To update you all on the highlights of the last two months:
-I went to a creepy club with some friends (and it just so happened to be goth night......that explains the creepiness) That day we also went to Ikea and just chilled and ate our Ikea cookies and some flower juice boxes (well, we drank the juice, not ate it. :)) It was a very fun night.
-My host grandparents came for the weekend. My host family had given them tickets for a dinner theater, a "krimi dinner." The theme was wedding in black and the dinner was set in the 60s, and they were expected to dress the part. Their costumes were freaking fantastic, I must say. And we took so many pictures of them, in front of the fireplace, in front of the house, it totally reminded me of homecoming. :) And they got 2nd place for their costumes. Pretty good.
-I went to the Long Night of Museums. Quite cool. It would have been cooler though if it wasnt so cold outside. Buuuut, we did manage to learn some Italian from Julian, our favorite Italian. :) And I exercised my ability to do amazing Italian hand gestures (which he wasnt too enthused about) So now I can swear very nicely in a lovely language. :) And my gestures are PERFECT. :)) After that I spent the night at Sierra's then she came home with me the next day and slept over at my house for 2 nights. Talk about a marathon sleepover. :)
-2 weekends ago my host family and I went to Thueringen, a state somewhere south of Brandenburg to visit some friends of theirs. And on the way back we stopped at Buchenwald, a concentration camp in Weimar. It was just...there are no words. It was a weird feeling knowing that I could possibly be standing where someone took there last breath. That if I had been there only about 70 years or so ago, the circumstances would have been completely different, completely horrifying. But it was also hard to imagine at the same time. Because there wasnt very much left of the camp. And it's hard to really, honestly imagine human being ever being that cruel. Ever.
-Last weekend was our 3rd exchange student orientation. It's crazy to think that my exchange is already more than half over. I'm now and oldie. And the 2011-2012 exchangers are already starting to arrive (well, the ones from the southern hemisphere)
-Which brings me to my latest news. News as of 2 or 3 hours ago: I'm officially coming home on July 4. I know I'm flying with at least 2 other exchangers, we'll see who else ends up coming along. Honestly, I'm not quite sure about how I feel about coming home. I'm excited to come home and see my family and sleep in my bed (or in the guest bedroom :)), but at the same time, I want to see what else will come of this year. And I'll always wonder what would happen if I stay just a few weeks longer. And I like it here, I dont know, it's a strange feeling, thinking about going home.
But for those of you who are curious and/or anxious, here's my itinerary:
July 4, 2011
And the jet lag this time is going to be killer. At least on the way here I had an overnight flight, so I could at least try to sleep a little. But this is all daytime travel thanks to the time difference. Here's hoping my family entertains me enough to keep me awake that night until at least 9. :) I'm sure they will. :)
So that's it. Here's some pictures. :)
Exchangers!Beary finally got his picture with the Brandenburg Gate on the Long Night of Museums. Yes, he went to the Long Night of Museums. Be jealous. :)