Nervously awaiting to be checked by the security guards at the McNamara terminal at the Detroit Metro Airport, my heart raced. This was going to be to the second time I had ever ridden on an airplane; my first trip internationally. After making it through security, we had about two hours to wait before boarding our plane.
I was traveling with about 36 other students, all current classmates of one of the many German classes at Belleville High. I knew this was going to be a true test of how well we had been paying attention to the instruction from our teacher, Frau Wright. It was my third year in German, so I thought I had mastered the language fairly well and couldn’t wait to show off.
After an excruciatingly long flight, we had finally landed! Vienna, Austria was where we were to meet our tour guide, Mathias. A tall lanky fellow, he quickly caught up with us as we were extremely anxious to run rapidly around the city, seeking every tourist attraction there was. After hailing our tour bus, we boarded, being introduced to our driver, Rolf.
Throughout the next week, we were to tour the streets of Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and Luxembourg, experiencing everything from the photographs of King Ludwig’s Harem on the walls of the Nymphenburg Palace, to the church that was bombed during one of the world wars in Salzburg, Austria.
We polkaed with an accordion player in a restaurant on a vineyard in Vienna and we gave Euros to a fire handler in Heidelberg. We experienced the unsheltered life of Europeans, with one of our hotels being located next to an adult store, and plugged our noses at the fact that it seemed every European was unable to be wounded by the side effects of cigarettes.
We heard tales of the formerly communist Berlin and we we surprised to hear that Germans weren’t angry at all with the United States for being exceptionally brutal.We sampled Wiener schnitzel at a truck stop on the Autobahn and had Spetzi (lemonade cola) every chance we could.It was a life changing experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
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