We arrived in
I was warned that my legs would be smoking by the top. Even Casey couldn’t run all the way there (although he will probably give some bogus excuse like he was getting blocked by people in front of him), but I found that it was more of an issues with my balky knees hating stairs and my own stupidity of not taking off my windbreaker, which is both totally waterproof and non-breathable (for extra warmth), all of which combined to me being flushed and perspiring like I had run a 5k and my kneed practically screaming for me to stop the torture. But they don’t understand that if you come to
The view from the top was amazing, and since there was limited windows on the way up, you really couldn’t grasp how high you were climbing until you reached the top platform. From there, there was still a steeple above, I am guessing about fifty additional feet, but to get up to that level, you needed to climb a thin ladder on the outside of the steeple, which obviously was only there for maintenance, and despite Jan’s enthusiasm to scale the steeple wall and get to a window so he could climb the latter, I thought that it was probably in our best interest to see the sights from the suggested platforms and viewpoints, all of which were INSIDE the tower.
On the way down, Sandman and I stopped to look at the ridiculously large bell. I had Sandman stand in front of it just so people could get a scale of how huge this thing was. If it decided to ring while we were there, I think I would have bled from the ears, literally. Walking around the platform, I decided that the bell’s maintenance it must be manned by small children or gnomes. I could barely clear the walls walking straight forward and Sandman had fun snapping a picture of me wedged between the walls.
When we made it to the bottom, I shed my coat and tried to cool off in front of the cathedral. It was cool, even in the sun, and when I took off my wind breaker, I was literally steaming. After cooling off and taking some pictures of the surrounding court yard, we started the fairly long walk to the Lindt Chocolate Factory and Museum. Being that Lindt chocolate is a favorite of my wife, who was very jealous tonight to hear that we went; I shot lots of small video clips of the factory machines. It reminded me of the Crispy Cream shop in Latham, before it closed, just with chocolate instead of donuts. I agree with what many of the students said: it would have been better if there was less museum w pictures of chocolate signs, and more chocolate samples. Jessia and I had hatched a plan to invade the bon-bon line when the workers, dressed and resembling Chef Boyardee, left the door open. We had concerned she would be gunned down by a bon-bon gun, which was, we theorized, like a paintball gun with chocolate based ammo instead of paint.
After this, we split up for about an hour of free time. The chaperons went to a famous restaurant in
Once we were done eating and were heading back to the train station, Frau Lohoff agreed to catch up with the students so Frau Canavan and I could walk the inside of the cathedral, which was not accessible earlier in the day as there was a mass in progress. The cathedral was just as impressive as the Berliner Dom and the Aachen Dom, and like the sarcophagi of
At , students entered the train station and began making their way towards the tracks. I realized that 4.5 hours was really not enough time to get any type of grip on
For me, however, I had a different adventure in store. At I was meeting Hannah Jaeshke, a former exchange student and track star of mine on the steps of the cathedral. I disappeared from the group early so Canavan could convince some gullible student that I had missed the train and didn’t know how to get back to
It was great seeing Hannah again. She was a student of mine when I was at Ballston Spa and was an extremely hard worker, scoring higher marks in my senior English class than most of her American class mates. On the track, she was also a force for the BSpa sprint team. We have kept in touch since she returned to
We stopped for coffee. Canavan has me now hooked on milkaffe. I know the spelling is almost certainly wrong, but that is what it sounds like. It’s like regular coffee with cappuccino foam. You don’t even need to add cream, so I like it a lot. We talked about how her year and exams were going (she thinks she aced a recent exam in English – obviously because of my wonderful influence!) and her plans for next semester. Hannah goes to a gymnasium (sp?) or a school for the most gifted and talented students in the area. Geschwister-Scholl is a gesamtschule or a comprehensive school that has a mix of students from all ability levels, but like most mainstreamed classes in the
After coffee, we walked around
It was nice walking around
The train was largely unoccupied for the first stop. We picked up passengers often and eventually the train was very crowded, but I must have looked foreboding because the seat next to me remained empty. When we hit