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Monday, January 21, 2013

Weeks 8 and 9

What an amazing few weeks we have just had. Week 8 was rather uneventful and I missed school on Tuesday and Wednesday as Robert was sick. I went with Sonja on Thursday to her grade 11 classes. It turned out to be her most difficult day with 9 classes and no lunch break.

Week 9 was Berlin, the best part of my exchange. As Peter has already mentioned the many activities we did I will not go into details. It was really good to finally see other Australians, even if they were from Adelaide. We quickly made friends and it made the week even better. Apart from the planned activities we also had a few afternoons of free time. We used these to roam the city by ourselves. We played train hopping, our new game that involves running to a new train carriage at every station, we tested out our language skills by asking random Germany plenty of random questions. 
A disappointing moment of the free time was going into the Australian bar. As we were the only Australians there we felt a certain sense of entitlement and worth in the establishment. That was until we were fined €5 for being to loud. Quite Unaustralian behaviour there, it's safe to we won't be recommending anyone go there in the future.

It was an amazing week, very sad to say goodbye to our new friends. Only one more week for us here, we fly out on the 27th of January 

Ciao, Michael 

Weeks 8 and 9: More basketball and Berlin

What a couple of weeks it has been! With the end of the exchange approaching it has certainly been quite an exciting experience.

Week 8 was not that interesting apart from seeing a third german basketball match ( which the Brose Baskets won of course) and then the following day Tim had a couple of friends round at the house where we watched a few movies. 

Week 9 was the ever so long awaited Berlin trip. I got to Nürnberg at 10:00 on sunday morning where i met up with the rest of my Australian friends, and then at 11 we proceeded on the 5 hour bus trip to Berlin. When we got there I was put in a room with Michael and two boys from Calvin down in the south of Tasmania, Dale and Eamonn. We quickly became friends and dubbed ourselves the Tazzy Boizz. 
In Berlin we saw many attractions like the Reichstag, The Museum Island, the Brandenburg gate, Checkpoint charlie, Sansouci palace as well as the East side gallery where we saw the infamous wall in person. We also visited the Potzdamer and Alexander Platzes (where much shopping was done), the Jewish museum, Madame Tussuads as well as Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where many of the atrocities executed by the Nazis took place.
Apart from the attractions mentioned above we also went bowling, saw the Life of Pi, watched a comedy show, saw the Blue Man Group and partook in karaoke. 
As the week progressed we quickly became friends with the Adelaide group that accompanied us and partook in many fun games with them like " train hopping", chasing people in top hats and having lots of parties in our "party-zimmer". 

When it came time to depart from the Adelaidieans it was quite emotional, because most we would not see again, but I reckon that because of the bonds that were created during the trip, not seeing them again would be unlikely.  

With only 9 more days until we get back to Australia heres hoping that the last week will be a great one.

Ciao, Peter :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Weeks 6 and 7: The christmas holidays

Hi guys sorry for the lateness of this post. Because I have been in Austria and just got back a couple of days ago I decided to make a big post on my christmas holidays instead of two smaller ones.

Christmas was a really fun occasion with the whole family with a big dinner on the 24th ( thats when they hand out the presents by the way, not on the morning o the 25th) and then relax days afterwards. We got to see the Hobbit on boxing day and that was really awesome, and then on the friday we headed out to Austria for the next week.

When we got to Ramsau ( the place we stayed at in Austria) we were greeted by Tim's sister and her boyfriend and after a good sleep, we headed into skiing the next day. At this point I had no prior experience at skiing so after a couple of lessons from my host parents I got sent to Ski kindergarten ( yes Kindergarten) for 3 days. The instructor was really funny and nice with lots of tattoos and jokes up his sleeve. After learning the basics of skiing on the next day I went skiing with Tim and my host father  down a slope which was fun ( and I didn't die, much ). On New Years eve we went to a farm nearby the house where the Wilkes used to stay prior to purchasing it where we had much fun lighting fireworks and sliding down the hill on a toboggan. My time in Austria was really fun and I shall someday return to Ramsau in the future.

With Berlin only 6 days away heres hoping that is going to exceed our expectations.

Bis Später

Peter :)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Week 7: New Years and slalom skiing

Wow, holidays went quickly. It's really starting to dawn on my that tomorrow (while Australia continues to enjoy school holidays) I will be going back to school.

We welcomed in the new year 10 hours after Australia with friends from school. Due to the legality, avallability and price of fireworks literally everyone had them. We stood on a large overpass with hundreds of other people at 12am, fireworks were going off from 8pm until well into the morning. Everyone had saved their biggest, brightest and loudest ones for 12. We had a really great view over the city and could see hundreds of little firework shows going on in all directions.

Other activities of this week were also good. I went to see the best parallel slalom skiers in the world as they competed at Olympiaberg, a man made slope right beside the Olympic stadium in Munich. It was really weird seeing winter sports, we generally see these once every 4 years when the Winter Olympics is on.

I also went through the Munich Residenz. An amazingly huge and grand building. Unfortunately many areas had been destroyed in WWII. It was still really great to see.
I also went and saw der Hobbit. Although I didn't understand it all as it was in German I understood enough to follow the plot and to enjoy it.

One week of school before we are all reunited in Berlin for a week of solid exchange student bonding.

Michael :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A slightly late week 6: Holidays

Firstly I'd like to apologise for the lateness of this post. With my blogging companion Peter in Austria and the excitement of holidays it really slipped my mind.

The first week of my two weeks of school holidays was very good. We celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve with dinner, church and then opening presents. The day was very warm, especially for us Australians who were somewhat expecting a white Christmas. It was so warm in fact that Robert and myself went to the park to play soccer wearing shorts and t-shirts.
The next day was a recovery day following the late night before, it was very good to sleep in following the early morning school starts.
On the Wednesday we went to visit grandparents. They live in a little village an hour or so away. We went through old towns on the way with buildings from the 1500s. 
The following day was a shopping day, I got to buy new shows among other things. The area where we were shopping had a Lego shop, it was possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen. 
It was robert's father's birthday on Friday, the day consisted of cleaning the apartment and having a big party in the evening, another late night followed. 
Saturday was another rest day and we were busy getting rest for Sunday. We woke up early on Sunday and went to Austria to ski for the day. This was my first ever experience of skiing so I had a private teacher for the first two hours, after running through the bare essentials of skiing (mainly stopping) I rejoined Robert and his family for the rest of the day. We were skiing on the easier runs but it was still a lot of fun for me. I really loved all of the skiing and will most definitely do it again.

I promise to be on time with the next blog post, I'll tell you about what I got up to for New Years then.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Week 5: The halfway point

Yet another week gone and Germany never manages to disappoint. School was pretty good, apart from my results in the English test. My results were good for a German student but as someone who speaks fluent English they were a little disappointing. I wish we learnt grammar after primary school, or at least what the various grammar terms were called.
I was sick this week so I missed school on Thursday, this proved to be a good thing as school went until 4 that day. Friday was our last day of school before our 2 weeks of Christmas holidays. Friday night was spent celebrating our holidays with a few boys from our class. We went and saw Skyfall in German. I actually understood the majority of it, I guess explosions and women are an international language. 

Saturday was also amazing with family visiting from Luxembourg, it was so good to catch up and to see familiar faces, exactly what I needed halfway through.
Yesterday Robert and I went to an ice hockey game between Munich and Düsseldorf, the crowd was amazingly loud and passionate. Ice hockey was every bit as violent as I'd imagined it to be. It was amazing.
We celebrate Christmas tonight on Christmas Eve, we will eat dinner, go to church and open presents.
Merry Christmas everyone
Michael :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Halfway there

Its hard to believe that we are already five weeks into the exchange as it feels like we only stepped off the plane last week. It did snow a couple of days ago but unfortunately it is just raining now so the chances of a white christmas are looking more slim :P .

On Wednesday as well as last night we went to a german basketball match where we saw Bamberg's team ( the Brose baskets) dominate in both. The basketball over here is really good with some of the players having done stints in the NBA and there is lots of talent to be seen.
 On Thursday we went to see a german play called " Nathan der Weise" with our class in the nearby town of Coburg. We got to wander the christmas market and check out the local sights there. We ended up getting back at midnight which was unfortunate because we had to get up at six the next morning for school. Luckily though because it was the last day until christmas holidays we just got to eat cookies and play games (like soccer in the classroom) which was good. 
On Saturday Tim and i played soccer with some of Tim's friends in Geisfeld which was heaps of fun and it again proved as Michael has already said previously they really take soccer seriously over here. 

With Christmas just a couple of days around the corner its becoming a much more exciting time here and I am so keen for Austria! Just for your information the place where I am staying in Austria has next to no internet so Michael shall be the main poster until the 8th of January.

Ciao Peter :)