A phenomenal weekend together as a full Edison- Hamburg exchange group is now completed and in the books as a great success!
It started off on Saturday morning when we all met at the Harburg Bahnhof to catch the train to Lubeck. It was one of those mornings where you can just tell it is going to be a scorcher of a day. It didn’t help matters any that the train to Lubeck was packed tighter than a sardine can. Most were standing in close proximity to others for the roughly one hour journey. It was not the most comfortable of rides to say the least!
Lubeck is a medieval city with many narrow cobblestone alleys, towering church steeples and an incredible number of original buildings. It is a city rich with a history that you can really feel as you take in all that it has to offer. It is also a very modern city with plenty of shopping and pedestrian friendly avenues.
Lubeck has been famous for centuries for one very sweet creation; marzipan. Marzipan is a treat created from ground almonds and sugar. Lubeck is proud to boast that it has been the epicenter of
global supply since the middle ages. They have a museum dedicated to marzipan and all that can be accomplished with it. In this museum are examples of crafts that can be created and molded with marzipan, including life size human figures!
Once we arrived in Lubeck, we headed straight for the hostel. There, we discarded our bags and immediately headed back out into the still building heat of the day. Our scavenger hunt began from the medieval city gates and took mixed German and American groups for a competitive tour around the city. Interestingly, most of the group’s first stop was not one that was actually part of the hunt. The smart groups were caught stopping for ice cream or something cold to drink!
The scavenger hunt lasted about 3 hours. Most teams were successful in this venture and will be rewarded handsomely at the Amazing Race Hamburg. Now that the scavenger hunt was complete, it was time for what most had been waiting all week for; Germany versus Argentina for a spot in the world cup semifinals. Our group took over the multipurpose room of the hostel in order to watch the match. The majority were of
course pulling for Germany, but there were a couple loyal Argentine faithful with us. There was lots of friendly banter throughout the spirited contest. The final result was Germany 4, Argentina 0. At every goal, the hostel erupted with cheers and high fives. The atmosphere was brilliant! Of course the victory let loose a literal party in the streets of Lubeck as fans rushed to celebrate the shocking blowout. It was something that you just don’t see in the States. The streets were literally shut down to cars to allow for a safe celebration. It was really cool to see!
After a couple of hours to take in the sights, sounds and even smells of the celebration and grab some dinner, it was back to the hostel for the second game, and of course the dance. Some decided to watch the Spain match before the music started and others took time for a quick nap. Our own soccer game broke out in a cobblestone alley next to the hostel. This game was great fun and went on for hours!
The dance seemed to be a blast for all involved. Even Ms. Herder stepped out and rocked the dance
After the music stopped, all of the American students and some of the German partners took a walk back to the starting point of the scavenger hunt, the medieval city gates. We hung out in the park for a couple of hours before heading back to the hostel for the night.
Once back, it was anything but lights out! Movies played in one room while raucous laughing and conversation dominated the rest of the hostel. It was an absolute blast! It all began to die down around 2am when Ms. Herder proclaimed lights out (mostly for her own benefit). It was quickly apparent that it had been a very full day by how fast everyone was out cold for the night.
Sunday morning brought with it an early wake-up call considering how late the previous night had been. We had all finished breakfast, packed, cleaned and were out the door by 9:30. A short walk to the train station, and we were off to the Baltic Sea!
Early cloud cover and a light breeze helped to keep the temperature in the 80’s on Sunday. It was perfect beach weather!
Some of the kids hit
the water almost immediately while some of us went in search of a replacement soccer ball for the one that was destroyed in the street soccer match the night before. Success in this venture delivered a great game of beach soccer!
It was a phenomenal 5 hours at the beach! Spending time in the water, strolling the boardwalk, falling asleep reading a book, or even being buried in the sand by friends; it was a great day!
We departed the beach at 4 and headed back to the train station. Several didn’t make it very far into the ride home before falling asleep on the train. I’m sure everyone will sleep well tonight!
This weekend was another example of how great this exchange, and in particular, this group of kids is. It’s amazing to see kids buy in to what is being asked of them the way these students have! They were really into everything that we did. It’s also brilliant to see these kids pick each other up if someone is struggling. American or German, it doesn’t matter. They truly care about each other and it shows. That has been very fun to see!
are changing gears tomorrow. We’re going to be visiting Neuengamme Concentration Camp. It is going to be some pretty heavy stuff. I believe that our group will take a lot away from this visit and will really benefit from the experience. I’ll post tomorrow about the visit.
Happy 4th of July!!!
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