Students take two-week tour of Germany

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 4/21/99.

Germany Forty-seven high school students recently returned from a two-week cultural experience in Germany. < P> Members of the German class left on March 25 and returned on April 8 under the supervision of high school teacher Darrel Carstens.

After flying to Frankfurt, the group toured a medieval castle in Heidelberg (pictured above) the first day and stayed the first night in Wurzberg, known for its large cathedrals.

The next day the students headed for Ulm. "The most beautiful thing I saw was the view from the top of the Munster Church in Ulm," said Heather Fenske. "The view was absolutely breathtaking. It was worth climbing the 768 stairs to the top."

Around Ulm, the students spent six days living with a host family. Carstens said this opportunity to experience German culture was the heart of the trip.

"This was the best part of the trip," said Krysta Larson. "I learned a lot from them and it was the most interesting part of the whole trip."

"They wore the same clothes almost everyday, so that was unusual," she added.

"My family stay was an interesting cultural experience," said Camille Flanders. "I saw the crowded conditions the Germans live in and what the young people do for fun."

"I really enjoyed spending time with another family. They really do have different ways of life. It was a great experience," said Kari Frank.

"(My family) treated me like I belonged there," said Peggy Hartmann. "It was really, really hard to leave and I think I made a long distance friendship for life."

The group spent the second week touring. First they headed to the Austrian border for a couple days, then they came north to Munich, and they made a final stop in Rothenburg on their way back to Frankfurt.

On their way to Salzburg, Austria, they visited a replica of the Palace of Versailles. The replica was built by King Ludwig on an island. In Salzburg, they toured a salt mine, visited the city's fortress and various churches, and saw the house where Mozart was born and where the Sound of Music was filmed.

"The city of Salzburg was great," said Carrie Hemmesch. "We went to the salt mines and saw the Sound of Music house."

They left Salzburg after Easter morning services and drove through the Alps to Adolph Hitler's mountain home. "The most beautiful thing I saw when we drove up into the mountains and saw the Eagle's Nest," said Tracy Hoffman.

In Munich for two days, the group rode the subway to the 1972 Olympic village and stadium, they watched the Glochenspiel clock chime, and they attended a German festival in the evening. They also toured the summer palace of the Bavarian kings and the concentration camp at Dachau.

Mari Hoppe said the best things to see in Munich were the Olympic stadium and the Glochenspiel, which has moving parts that dance like a giant cuckoo clock. Amber Michaelis and Hoppe agreed that they enjoyed having free time to explore the city.

"I gained a lot of knowledge about Dachau," said Jesse Hennen. "They can tell you all they want in the classroom, but the real impact of it will never hit you 'til you see it first hand."

The group's last stop was in Rothenburg, a medieval city that is still encircled by its historic wall. In medieval times, the wall around the city provided for its defense. Besides touring the city itself, they visited a torture museum with 6,000 articles used in the Middle Ages.

"The city of Rothenburg was great," said Missy Winter. "We got to shop all day, and it was a pretty town."

"I think the trip was a once in a lifetime experience," said Ben Bork.

Laura Mages said she had an excellent time and that the trip was worth the money to go.

"I learned a lot about German food, their culture, and how different people react to a new culture," said Justin Mueller.

Reviews of the food was mixed. "The food was mostly good, but they ate a lot more and some of the meals were gross," said Rachel Gifford. "The ice cream, chocolate, and bread were excellent."

"I already miss the breakfast rolls," agreed Christina Utsch.

"The food was excellent because they seemed to have more variety than in America," said Krysta Larson. "All of the girls are so skinny and they eat like cows."

Heather Fenske had the added opportunity to see her uncle, Brad Fenske, and his wife, Angela, and their son, Daniel. He is stationed in Germany with the army. "It was great to see them and tour the city of Bamberg with them, which is where they live," said Heather.

"I really enjoyed getting to tour the country and meet new people," said Angie Lahr. "It was fun to hear them talk English as I'm sure it was fun for them to hear me try to speak German.

"I think the trip was very fun," said Jessica Louis. "I loved everything we did. It would be a very good experience for anyone."

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