Monday, June 12, 2006



Friday, June 02, 2006


Where I Live

I haven't been able to keep up with pictures and explanations of all the places I've been, but I thought you might at least want to see the house I live in. It's a very typical house for Germany. It looks very small from the outside, but they make efficient use of the space inside.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Festung Königstein

After climbing the Saechsiche Schweiz we visited the Festung Königstein Castle. From the train stop we road to the castle in this double decker bus.

Here is the outside of the castle:

More later...I've gotta get some rest!

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Saechsische Schweiz

The Saechsische Schweiz is an area in Germany that strongly resembles the Swiss Alps. We climbed to the top of this mountain.

No, I didn't swing from ropes and work hard. There were nice trails throughout.

Here we made it to the top:

You could find an incredible view from every angle:

And from the valley below:

Here's a group photo of most of my fellow travelers:

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Wanderers Nachtlied

Going to school here in Baernsdorf is like taking a trip back in time. After getting ready each morning I ride my bike to school. It's great if you pass by someone from the village that you know because they'll always wave at you, with a merry, "Halo!" Also, for the first time ever in college I have to memorize poetry. Typing it up will help me to memorize it, so here it is:

Wanderers Nachtlied
Ueber allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh;
In allen Wipfeln
Spuerest Du
Kaum einen Hauch:
Die Voeglein schweigen
im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



After we met everyone at the airport in Dresden we were off on a tour of the city with Marina. The city is referred to in two different sections. There is the Neustadt (new city) and the Altstadt (old city). We spend most of our time in the Neustadt. There is a lot of art and history in the city. Here is the outside of one of the buildings:

Here is a view of the street:

I was astonished to see cars and trains use the same streets. Check it out:

Most German's drive either very small cars or large Mercedes and BMW's. Wagons are also really popular here. The del Sol wouldn't feel small at all compared to this little "Smart" car. They're manufactured by Mercedes and you see them all over the city. They crack me up :) The other thing that's manufactured by Mercedes is cement trucks. Yeah, I've gotta try to get a picture for Dean and Gary.

Here are a few more shots of the city:

And here are shots of my fellow travelers. There's also a larger group of KSU students from another program that sometimes join us. I'll give you more descriptive details of each person later.

Here are the Deutsch Polizei (German Policeman). They remind me a lot of park rangers in their green uniforms. I guess they don't have as much work to do as the police in the US, given that you can walk around, ride a train, or do anything with an open container of alcohol. These seem to be on foot patrol, but most of them ride around in anything from a BMW Wagon to a VW Bus.

Thursday, May 18, 2006



Ilona, the lady who picked me up, took me to this hotel:

It was a particularly nice hotel, as you can see from these shots of the inside:

I started out with a nap from approximately 11am to 1pm German time. I then got up and began to explore Moritzburg, the village where I was left. Yes, I was all alone in a completely different country. Most of the other people would not arrive until tomorrow. The first picture that I snapped was of this plaque on a building.

Ilona, had said something about it. I pretended to understand, but really I didn't. So I must research this to see what the significance of it is. The only thing that I recognize is "wirtschaft", which is German for economics. What seems to be the main attraction in this historic town is this castle:

I went inside, although I didn't spend much time there. Since I didn't know the significance of it, the inside didn't really capture my interest. However, here are a few photos:

It really was a beautiful day. Following is a picture of the water outside of the castle:

It is a quaint village. It even had horse rides, which reminds me of Sugarcreek and the surrounding area:

The city does look very European though. You can see here that it's complete with cobblestones and everything:

I was becoming quite hungry by now, so I sought a restaurant with a bar. This is what I found:

I sat down at the bar and was greeted in German. I can handle the greeting, but when she began to ask for my order I was a bit lost. She realized that I spoke English and luckily she could speak the language too, so I was relieved. I asked about the special which was written on the board, and she explained that it was "nachspeise", which is dessert. I asked what was a typical meal and she suggested fish. I thought that sounded good. I was also relieved that I could order a beer, and the didn't ask me what kind. They just provided a light beer that was really good in taste.

German beer is awfully foamy though. While I was drinking I noticed through the small opening into the kitchen that the cook was pulling out a whole fish. I thought they just cleaned them right before cooking, but then my meal came and it was the whole fish including the eyeballs. Check it out:

It was very good though. Once I started to eat it, I was like why not? We eat chicken off of the bone. A fish is not much different. You just want to be careful not to eat the little stringy things that come off of the spine. All along I was talking to the waittress, or "kellner". She was teaching me the German words for everything, and I was teaching her English. When a waittress delivers a plate in German it is customary to say "Guten Appetite", which is just good appetite. She wondered how that is said in English, so I told her that it's "good appetite", but that it isn't common to use that phrase when delivering a meal in the USA. When I was finished with my main meal I wanted to get the dessert, which was on special. She explained all of the wording to me:

Thanks for all the guesses! "Orangenparfait" is the main dish. It is a frozen dish somewhat like ice cream with an orange flavor. "Mit" means with and so "Pommeranzenlibor" was the topping. The last part of the word (i.e. libor) means that it is alcoholic. So it was an orange flavored ice cream like desert topped with liquor. It was really pretty good. Check out the photo:

After my meal I was exhausted from the trip and decided to head back to bed. It was around 3pm German time. When I awoke at 7:30 I thought I had slept all night. So, I went out to get breakfast. This time I visited another restaurant close by:

I really couldn't make out anything on the menu, so I asked the bartender what was "typisch". She made a suggestion that I didn't understand, but I agreed. I was surprised when it came to see that it wasn't normal breakfast food, which turned out to be one of the tips making me realize that I had not slept all night. It really was still evening. I walked around town a bit more and saw some different places. Here is a car dealership:

A store:

There are a lot of small ice cream shops around cities in Germany. Here's a sign:

A church:

The sign outside the church:

Well, that's the end of my stay in Moritzburg. That evening another girl arrived and stayed at the same motel. Then in the morning a different German lady picked us up and took us to the airport where we met Marina, one of our teachers, and all of the other students. We were then off to the city, as you'll see in the next posting.


The Flight

My journey to Europe began at the Cleveland Airport. I was glad that I got there two hours in advance because it took longer to get through the international check in process. I got to Newark, NJ without a problem. Once I got off of the plane I went to find my next flight. I had to get another ticket since I wasn't flying with Continental. However, all of the ticketing counters that I saw were only for Continental. In fact, all of the flight information and everything was for Continental. At last I thought that I would have to check in with Continental, but it didn't work. Therefore, I asked a janitor where United Airlines was and he informed me that I would have to get onto the Airtrain and ride it to another terminal. I then figured it out, and went to the Lufthansa ticketing counter, which was exactly what I needed. There I found my gate, and proceeded to a Samuel Adams Brewhouse. I had dinner, got online, made a few phone calls, and had a few beers. I downloaded a driver for a guy on his way to Stockholm, Switzerland. The flight to Frankfurt went very very well. I was impressed that they served us two good meals. In fact, they even served beer and wine without charge. The excitement did not begin until I reached the Frankfurt airport. When I got off of the plane I heard my next flight being called for boarding already, but there was a huge swarm of people waiting to have their passport stamped. A few people offered to let me in front of them when they saw my boarding time. I then had to go through security again. I showed a guy in a red suit my boarding time and he escorted me to the beginning of the line immediately. I was through there in a jiffy, and then I began to sprint. I didn't take the time to put on my belt, or anything. It was like going through a maze to find the gate. I had to get into an absolutely jam packed elevator one time. All along my flip flops made a particularly unpleasant flapping noise so everyone looked as I ran by. Finally, I was sweaty and out of breath as I reached the gate. The lady behind the counter informed me that my plane was long gone. She set me up on another plane that had a boarding time of 8:15 (original boarding time was 6:45). I then went to the proper gate and waited. Given my hunger and thirst I bought a Coca-Cola and a soft pretzel (not hot) with dollars, however my change was in Euros. This was my first possession of European money! It was cool to have a $2 coin. The flight turned out to be short and uneventful. There were mostly business people on the flight, most of whom spoke German. Upon my arrival in Dresden I was concerned because I had no way of contacting Klaus Gommlich, and I knew he had been on a tight schedule to pick me up. I felt a bit lost, but I sat down and attempted to get online even though I knew my laptop's battery was practically dead. I got online, but I didn’t have time to email or anything before my battery died. Therefore, I got up and started to walk back inside when a lady came towards me with a "Mr. Yoder" sign. What a welcome sight! She did not speak any English, but she had a note from Klaus Gommlich explaining where I would be going. We loaded my two suitcases into her small European car, and we were off. We made some conversation although it was then that I realized really how little that I knew the language. When you're in a classroom getting a B same as many other people you think you must be pretty good with the language. However, when you're trying to hold a conversation, and you can't understand each other you realize the need for more practice.

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