So many times we send our children off on school trips and on their return when we ask ‘how did it go?’ the reply can be more than a little lacking in detail! As such you may be interested to read the thoughts and feelings of one of our German Exchange students on her recent visit to Germany…
Thursday 23rd June
We had to get up really early in the morning but apart from that the day was great! The journey took around 13 hours from Nottingham to Kerpen via the Channel Tunnel but we watched Skyfall and Toy Story to pass the time. When we arrived we went into our families and had tea then went to bed.
Friday 24th June
Today I woke up at 6:30, had breakfast and then went to school on the bus, which isn’t something I am used to. When we got to school I was very surprised at how different it was to West Bridgford. It has around 4 floors and has paintings all over the walls. The lesson I was in was politics and at first I tried to listen to what the teacher was saying but when they started doing a worksheet I did my English homework!! After that I went on the coach to Bonn where we went to the Haribo shop, a museum about German history and finally into Bonn where my friends and I played card games in the park as the weather was so nice .When I got back home Miriam (my German partner) and I made pizza and had a look around where she lives and played board games before going to bed.
Saturday 25th June
After a nice long sleep we had breakfast and then we were supposed going to go to and meet lots people and play football and volleyball but it was raining so instead Miriam and I went into Cologne and did some shopping and we had frozen yoghurt for lunch (which they have a lot of in Germany). When we came back, we watched TV and played UNO before the rest of Miriam’s family went to their friend’s and left me and Miriam to have tea and watch Harry Potter in German, eat sweets and then go to bed.
Sunday 26th June
First I helped make the breakfast, then I went to church. Parts of it were the same so I understood, but other bits I didn’t. Then we went to a medieval market. It was very interesting and for lunch I had a pancake. I also found out that there is a type of bread that they put on a stick and then bake. It was really nice. Afterwards, we went into Cologne, and despite the long traffic jams and the rain, we enjoyed ourselves a lot, especially after a large ice cream by the Rhein. When we got back, some friends came to watch the football as Germany were playing, but Miriam’s mum and I went outside to play Fast-ball which is a mixture between tennis and basketball. Emily (Miriam’s little sister) wanted to pick up the shuttlecock whenever we dropped it which turned it into a very amusing game. After that we had tea and talked before going to bed.
Monday 27th June
After waking up and having breakfast we took the bus to school. Our first lesson was biology and the second was German. Part way through German, we went to the hall and had a presentation/celebration of all the English speaking exchanges including one from Texas which was really fun, especially the Texan line dancing. As part of the celebration we ate lunch and played games. We were meant to have a Germany v England football match but, sadly, it was cancelled due to the rain, so instead, Miriam and I went to an ice cream café with one of her friends. When we got home we had tea and watched Harry Potter in German again (the voices are very different). Then to bed.
Tuesday 28th June
Today at school we had English and, as it was the end of the school year, we watched Sherlock Holmes and then we went on the coach to Dusseldorf with the Germans. When we arrived we had a city tour, learning about the history of the town and they told us how they wash the windows of the Radio Tower (they lower it into the river on April 1st!) We went on a boat trip along the River Rhein. I had lunch on a bench overlooking the river and then walked along the river and back. We all went bowling. After we got back we had tea, played games and watched Harry Potter in German yet again.
Wednesday 29th June
First we went to the bakery to get breakfast to eat in the Spanish lesson. Once that was over, the English group went to Cologne where first we had a tour of the city, and learned that when there is a concert you are not allowed to walk above the concert hall, which is underground, as it disturbs the concert. Then we had lunch by the river again, after which we went to the Sports Museum, which had lots of different sports to try, including boxing. We went to the famous chocolate shop and my friend bought some 99% chocolate which was disgusting. Once I got back we had tea, went to the Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral). At this time there was a service so we listened to the choir. I was surprised that we didn’t have to pay. Then we went to an ice cream café. We sat outside and talked about Brexit.
Thursday 30th June
Once again we took the bus to school. We had a chemistry test first. I was really looking forward to this day and I wasn’t disappointed. We went to Drachenfels and Königswinter. Drachenfels is a rocky outcrop which is a remnant of a volcano and we went up it by train. First we looked at the view across the Rhein which was amazing and then we went to the ruined castle, then to the not ruined castle. Then we went back down and into Königswinter, which is a little village at the bottom of the hill. It has a Sealife Centre and lots of ice cream cafes. Once again my friends and I played cards. When we got back, Miriam’s family and I went to play crazy golf, but it was closed so we went to get chips instead. When we got back home I packed my bags and then we had pancakes.
Friday 1st July
Once again an early start – we left at 5:50am as the coach was leaving at 6:30am. The journey was much the same as on the way there, although everyone was much more tired. We still had the energy to play cards. We got back to West Bridgford at about 6:45pm in the rain.
A big THANK YOU to Mrs Youdale, Mr Peacock, Mr Patterson, Miss Fletcher and Miss Matthewson, without whom we would not have been able to go on the exchange.