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Excursions June 13, 2011

Posted by Andrey Kossev in Travel Log.
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My first weekend in Germany was fantastic.  Prior to coming here I thought that the structure of the program would be a little too much, but having us all together has made for some awesome memories.  Saturday we went to Naumburg, and were given a rare dose of Freizeit, which we spent crashing a city tour, and eating in a waffle shop (Frau Held is widely considered an expert in the field of waffles and she had seconds).

The Dom

The main focus of the trip, however, was the Naumburger Dom, in which we got a rather exlusive tour which allowed us to climb up to the top and go in the various towers.  We also got to ring the bells (lightly for fear of deafness), which were barely salvaged at the end of World War II.  Naumburg is a great little town, and the streets (as in most old towns) are clean and the architecture beautiful.  I was particularly impressed by how neatly the drainage in the city was made – some really beautiful engineering done with cobblestones in these parts!  The drains got some exercise while we were there too, because the weather has thus far been rather unpredictable here in Germany.  Thankfully it cleared up for the hour or two that we were up in the Naumberger Dom.

Up Top!!

Next came an excellent wine tasting in a nearby vineyard and winery – which was paid for by the program!  We took a tour of the fermenting vats and where the bottling was done and barrels were kept, and later went downstairs and enjoyed an incredible dinner of bread, wine, sausage (two thumbs up on the Leberwurst), and cheese.  With our stomachs fuller came the wine tasting, which showcased 5 different varieties.  The single red wine they offered, in particular, was a bit drier, and had a seriously awesome smoky flavor that I can’t even describe.  Absolutely incredible.

Das Essen

Yesterday, our adventures took us to Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia. The city was built around a ford (furt) on the Gera (formerly Erphes) river, and was a center of trade.  Our tour was quite an experience, as one of our tour guides didn’t show up, and the other spoke to us in hilarious, and very quiet, English. I’m not sure why our tutors didn’t ask him to switch to German, because the history he was trying to discuss was clearly above his English, but it made for serious entertainment.  What I got from the tour besides the origin of the name was that woad was traded a lot in Erfurt, and that Martin Luther studied and became a monk there.

Best Tour Ever

Well, cheers guys, and I’m sorry about dumping a week’s worth of experiences on you all at once.  Bis Bald!

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