In May of 1997, my daughter Michelle and I were lucky enough to go on an elementary school sponsored trip to Koblenz which is Austin, Texas sister city in Germany. After several months of preparation with at least 20 other children at Michelle’s elementary school (Summitt Elementary), each child and one parent was on their way to Germany…for many the trip of a lifetime. I found my diary from 15 years ago and have decided to share!
I wrote some in German (I was trying to use my small but useful German vocabulary) so bear with me.
Koblenz, Germany Friday 30th, 1997
Today was our first FULL day of sightseeing in Germany. It started out fairly interesting at 8:00am at our Families Budkas house, the family that Michelle and I stayed with during our time in Koblenz. Michele and I took a “shower” in their toilette (bathroom). They don’t have “true” showers here. But at least we got clean. I did not feel well this morgen. I drank a beer at a Biergarten after 3 glasses of wine the night before. Bad idea!
At 9:30am we all met at the bahnof (train station) to take an hour trip to Koln (used to be Cologne).
I threw up on the train! God, thank god I found a WC (water closet which is technically a bathroom). I felt so bad. Michelle got schwindelig (dizzy) too. We got off the train in Koln and then went on the subway to the Koln zoo. Lots of great animals there. Michelle took lots of pictures while I dragged around. (Keep in mind Michelle was only in the 5th grade and was 11 years old). Finally Ms. Coy, the principal of Summit Elementary (Michelle’s principal in Austin), Renatta (our wonderful German guide who was with us months before our trip helping all of us prepare for Germany) and Ms. Lillie (assistant principal) got me some bread and coke and it so saved my day. We all then went to a cable car ride across and over the river to a huge park in Koln and had a picnic. It was so beautiful.
Michelle has shown to be quite the clown of the older children. Everybody all really seems to like her and she knows it! The parents like her too.
After the picnic we all walked down the path along the Rhine River in Koln and then caught a ferry-boat ride to the other side of the river and then took a tram ride to a Schoklade (Chocolate) Museum. That was sehr interessant. The chocolate was wunderbar! It made me think of chocolate in a whole new and different way. I went through the production line and saw truffles being made, chocolate bars and many other kinds. Sehr gut, Sehr gut.
We are at Fuhr Dam, a restaurant near the cathedral. At the cathedral before the dinner, Michelle, some of her friends, their parents and I walked up 500 (yes five hundred) stairs (circular) to the top of the cathedral. What a hike! I was exhausted and realized how terribly out of shape I am.
Coming down the circular steps Michelle got very dizzy and I thought she wouldn’t make it. She couldn’t eat hardly anything at dinner. We walked after dinner to try to find an apotheke (pharmacy) but they were closed. I wanted to give her Dramamine but no luck. The train trip was an hour back to Koblenz, but Michelle did somewhat okay.
Day 2 will be posted next week (4-15-12)