The past couple of weeks have been rather stressful for all of us, but we made it and, for most of us, our Spring Break trips start tomorrow. Some spring break destinations include: Prague, Vienna, Rome, Ireland, Barcelona, Lisbon, Taizè, Ukraine, and Cologne. They are definitely hard-earned trips. I cannot believe that we only have about two more months of studying abroad. Time surely flies by when you are having fun!
Speaking of fun, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Fußball (soccer) game here in Germany. If you know anything about Europe, you know how important Fußball is. My host dad and host brother are huge Dortmund soccer fans, and they took me to a game this past Sunday! It was extremely nice of them and was a very memorable experience. There were so many people. As a comparison, the Dortmund stadium holds a little more than 81,000 people and the new US Bank stadium holds about 66,500 fans. The soccer game itself was a blast, even though the Dortmund fans were protesting slightly since Dortmund could no longer make it into the Euro Cup. According to my host dad, the fans were not nearly as loud as usual. Nevertheless, I still had a great time and, naturally, enjoyed a bratwurst! A fun fact I learned is that the beer inside the stadium does not contain alcohol — the fans would be even crazier otherwise! Outside of the stadium, it is very common to see a lot of policemen and policewomen (even police on horses) to stop riots and such. Singing chants in German such as the title pronounced (Hey, Hey, Hey, bay for bay) was a blast, and to top it off, Dortmund WON! 😊
My host family also took me to Münster University’s final girls volleyball game. Although maybe not as thrilling to them as soccer, I had a great time as I played volleyball the past three years at Luther. Münster University is in League 1 for volleyball, so it was interesting to compare their League 1 to the United States’ Division I schools. Also, perhaps even more fascinating was the fact that Münster’s team spoke German, but the other school (from East Berlin) spoke English on the court. While at the game I tried to explain some of the rules to my host brother, but it was difficult to do so in a different language. I am still in the learning phase of the language. Lastly, it will come as no surprise to some, but they do sell beer at volleyball games. Germans do love their beer apparently! Münster University did also win, so I am beginning to think I might be a good luck charm…just kidding.
I just want to add this little section about one piece of our Hamburg trip that I did not get to write about yet: Lübeck. During our time in Hamburg we got to take a day trip to a small little island that is a couple hours by train from Hamburg. It was a fun town known for two things: marzipan and the Holsten Gate (Holstentor). The city gate was really fun to see because it leans slightly; one reason it leans is because there is much more material on the outside of the gate than on the inside. Another thing I found interesting was that the windows on the outward-facing side of the gate were much smaller than those on the inward-facing side. After all, the goal was to keep the bad out and the good in. Also, as a group we were also treated to a piece of cake and a coffee while in Lübeck – compliments of Dr. Steding! 😊 It was so much sweet food in one sitting, but it was all delicious. I had a marzipan hot chocolate which I thoroughly enjoyed. The taste of marzipan is not for everyone, and I won't be offended if you don’t like it — it just means more for me! Also, with marzipan you can mold it into just about anything, and this little café had created some fun sculptures with it.
All of us are hoping that, when we return from spring break, there is a little more sunshine. The sun seems to have forgotten to stop by Münster recently. Stay tuned for blogs about different spring breaks!