Things I did last week:
- Tour of Willich
- Motorcycle ride to the Netherlands
- Soccer practice(s)
- Shopping with friends:)
- Watched Borussia Mönchengladbach crush Ingolstadt
- Visited Ordensburg Vogelsang
- Took a 12km hike
If you've read my previous posts you've already heard about my time at Phantasialand and in the Netherlands so I'm gonna focus on my weekend which starts at #6.
Saturday's crazy plans started at 14:30 when Rafael, Raquel, Eva, and Juan showed up at my house with their host dads ready to head to Mönchengladbach. We drove about half an hour, parked, and walked another 20 minutes to the stadium. The crowds were crazy. It reminded me a lot of Timbers games back home. All the fans in shirts supporting certain players and wearing scarves with Borussia across the front.
Borussia Mönchengladbach (the team we were rooting for) won the game which was awesome. As soon as the game ended we drove home and Thomas (h-dad) and I immediately changed into Oktoberfest outfits. Unfortunately I didn't get many good pictures of me in my dirndl but here's one.
Oktoberfest was really fun. I was there with my soccer team but ended up going back and forth between school friends and soccer girls the whole night. Everyone was having a blast which definitely had something to do with the alcohol but it was Oktoberfest so no hate. There were probably a hundred tables in the tent and everyone was either sitting or standing on them yelling a conversation or dancing while holding their giant glasses of beer. It was definitely a German experience and I really enjoyed it.
The next morning I had to get up early (unfortunately) and drive to Ordensburg Vogelsang. Ordensburg Vogelsang used to be a a Socialist educational center for young men between 1936-1939. The purpose of the school was to educate young men about national socialism so that in the future they could be placed in government positions representing the Nazis. We got a long tour of the estate which was huge. The school was built in the hills in a part of Germany where not many people lived. The few people that did live there built the school in about 2 years. The final touches were never placed on the school but it's still spectacular in that "this is terrible but really cool at the same time" kind of way. It was built high in the hills and made to look like a castle to put in place the idea that the Socialists were above everyone else. The men who went there stayed for one year learning to be exactly the same "one man" not individuals and how to be future leaders. They had 5 hours of sports classes a day and were told that "failure is not an option." There were many nude male statues at the school to show what the perfect man was expected to look like and the men that lived there aspired to fit that model. All in all the message of the school was "you are the elite, here's how you act like it."
After the tour we left Vogelsang and went to a lake that was also part of Eifel National Park. We took a big touristy boat across the lake which took about 15 minutes then got off and got some lunch at a little cafe. There were lots of fancy little cars driving by on the one lane road in front of the cafe and looking around there were tiny houses on the hills around us. It seems weird to me to permanently live in a National Park so I don't know what the deal with the houses is. Maybe summer homes? Anyways, they were incredibly cute and seemed like the perfect place to spend your summer.
There were some actual houses but there were also a lot of old trailers that looked like they permanently lived in the hills because they had small houses attached to them. People literally built house extensions around their trailers! I thought that was super cute.
The purpose of the boat trip was to get us to the opposite side of the lake where we planned to walk back. The walk was 12km (about 7.5 miles). It was mainly shady on concrete/dirt roads surrounded by trees and of course the lake which we were making our way around. The hike felt long after so little sleep the night before but I still enjoyed it. Plus I had my Haribo gummy bears to pull me through. The gummy bears pulled me through the 12km but as soon as I got home I crashed and didn't wake up until nine the next morning (school started at 11:15, lucky me).
Long week completed now onto the next...
Oh, and I love, love, love the pictures!! Helps so much to see and your friend/families smiling faces and all the fun places you get to visit!!
Wow, I am tired just hearing all that you did! Seems like you are getting a great mix of culture, history, countryside, exercise and maybe not quite enough shut eye!! Love you, Kaeleigh!