Saturday, April 29, 2017


The day began like the others, grey and cold. But  between the giant Munich houses, neogothic and barock churches it was warm enough. The 30 years war between 1618 and 1648 - a time when only a few Maori lived in NZ - left the city with many unique features and beer related stories, like how the invading Swedes drank the Hofbräuhaus (Royal brewery, now owned by the peole of Bavaria) empty instead of destroying the city. Then World War 2 destroyed 80% of the buildings, but they were all rebuilt to the original plans, making the city of Munich look still as it did 100 years ago. Even a cannon ball embedded in the Frauenkirche (woman’s church built in the 1400’s) during the 30 years war was put back in place. We learnt that many of the Bavarian Kings were called Ludwig during their reign, now there is a Ludwig's church, a Ludwig street, a Ludwig-Maximilian University and a Field marshalls hall. The Field marshall statue on the left was not Bavarian and the Field marshalls on the right was a coward, this is a Bavarian joke. The lion on the left (looking towards the royal residence) has his mouth slightly open, indicating that if you do not agree with something the royals say then it is possible to argue, while the lion of the right (looking towards the church) has his mouth shut, indicating that arguing with the church is not a good idea. This shows how open and just the royal family of Bavaria were.
 After the interesting guided tour of the city we met at the Fischbrunnen and discussed our plans. Most of us went to the Hofbräuhaus to enjoy the music and atmosphere but later we all ate somewhere else. Then we took the bus back to our Hostel, with the expert driver Renee driving of course. (by Elaisa)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday: Good bye Bavaria

On Friday the students woke up in a white wonderland running outside to play in the snow and build their first snowman ever. Before we embarked on our journey back to Werder the group sang a song to thank the hostel staff for their hospitality. The very long bus trip was highlighted by some students running into the Manuel Neuer of New Zealand (Stefan Marinovic) who also plays for the German football club Unterhaching. He impressed Frau Zimmer with his perfect German and he was happy to pose for a photo with some of the students. We arrived in Werder tired but excited to spend more time with our host families.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Königssee and Berchtesgaden

It is the 26th of April and our group visited one of the famous tourist sights of Bavaria including the picturesque Königssee and Berchtesgaden finishing with a relaxing day at the Restaurant Hochlenzer Hofbräuhaus. 

Our day trip began with the stunning views of the picturesque Königssee and we were overwhelmed by the clearness and beauty of the cleanest lake in Germany. As we were approached by our wonderful guide, we rode a boat in silence admiring and endulging the full beauty of the 8 kilometre lake, ranging up to a depth of 198 metres. For many of us this was a wonderful and relaxing experience. The scenery was spectacular and revealed the great effort in the preservation of the park such as the Königsbachfall and the Röthbachfall (Germany's highest waterfall). We were also able to view one of the famous sights, the St Bartholomä church located in the St Bartholomä peninsula. Unfortunately we couldn't see the top of the highest peak in the region, the Watzmann Ostwand at 2000 metres behind the chapel due to the fog but it was still a most breathtaking experience and a highlight of our trip. Alongside the lake, another highlight was the mesmerising sound of the infamous echo of the Königsee.
The captain of the boat played us a tune from the Flügelhorn or trumpet which echoed against the Watzmann cliffside. It was amazing and really cool. Once the ferry ride was over we headed towards Berchtesgaden, a small town with an interesting history, located between Bayern and Salzburg known for its salt production with the oldest salt mine going into the valley. Finally, after an exhausting day of walking and admiring the sights of the small and peaceful town, we finished our day at the Hochlenzer restaurant where we tasted delicious and generous servings of German foods such as Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Sauerkraut and Knödeln. The food was plentiful and we were well fed afterwards but it was a great end to an amazing day and an enjoyable experience. (by Michelle)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Today we passed through the Alps and into Salzburg, Austria marking the only time we cross an international border by bus during our trip. 

We began our tour with a guided walk through the significant locations in Salzburg including the Mirabell garden and Salzburg cathedral which was largely destroyed due to Allied bombers during the Second World War but has since been restored.

We also had a general tour of the market and shopping areas that wove between the buildings and streets of Salzburg. We enjoyed an hour of free time here and picked up a few souvenirs as well as a snack.

After this we travelled up into Salzburg Fortress, a large stone walled structure that overlooks the entire Salzburg valley from a central vantage point. We had a guided tour through the various decorative rooms and chambers and learned about the royal history of Salzburg. The highest tower of the fort gave us a 360° view from the Alps to the city and back to the Alps again.

We finished the day back at the hostel playing ball games and table tennis before going to bed to get up bright and early for the next day. (by Iain)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Schönau am Königssee

After 10 hours on the bus the group has arrived in the picturesque village of Schönau. More updates are coming soon. The hostel does not have free wifi, so our life will be analogue for the next few days. We are off to Salzburg tomorrow.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

First weekend in Deutschland

On Saturday, my host Family, Katherine and her host family and I went to the Berlin Dungeon. It's a place in the City of Berlin where people go into to learn about Germany's dark past. It is kind of like a haunted house but it's much more scarier (but I was only a little bit scared). I had a great time in there because it was full of screams and Laughter. After that, we went to Primark  (The best and cheapest place to shop at).

On Sunday, My host family and I went to the Tulip Festival in Potsdam and we saw a lot of beautifully coloured tulips. There were a lot of people there. I tried Netherland mini pancakes with butter and Icing Sugar. That was so yummy! We also saw marching ducks/swans, which was quite an interesting sight. (by Taina)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sports Day at school

Today was our first taste of life in a German school. It began with quick tour around the grounds of the school to familiarise ourselves before Mr Delgrosso gave the Germans an informative presentation on New Zealand and our school.
Then we began our day of sports. First up was an egg race across a very dangerous course. But nevertheless we all managed to finish. A round of volleyball followed before we broke for a shared lunch.
Definite highlights of the shared lunch were the 
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake) and the soup.
We came back into the sports hall refreshed from our lunch and started our final activity of the day; dodgeball with a some German rules attached. A lot of fun was had and prizes were awarded to the best teams. Overall a great day full of excitement and delicious food.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Today, we went to Potsdam to visit Park Sanssouci. We had a guided tour of the New Palace and park. It was massive so we didn't have enough time to see all of it, but what we did see was beautiful. 

The tour was very interesting and informative. We learnt a bit about the Prussian King; Frederick the Great who built the New Palace in Pack Sanssouci, near his favoured summer residence, a smaller palace, Sanssouci. He had the New Palace built as a symbol for the growing Prussian power after the Third Silesian war.  

Surprisingly, considering it has over 200 rooms and the period in which it was built, it took only 6 years to finish the massive new symbol of Prussian power including the separate kitchen and court residence opposite which is so large it functions as one of the buildings of Potsdam University today.  

Because of its great size and as parts of it are under restoration, we only saw about 20 rooms.  They were all very grand, most were built in the rococo style but some were in the baroque fashion.

After viewing the palace, we toured the park.  During this we saw the Temple of Friendship, which Frederick the Great had built for his favorite sister after her death. We also saw the Chinese Tea House and the palace Sanssouci from outside.

Afterwards, we saw the Peace Church and the mini Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam as well before meeting with our exchange partners for a late lunch.

In all, we had a great day viewing and admiring some of the beauty of Potsdam.  (by Katherine)

Good bye and Auf Wiedersehen

The group met this afternoon at Berlin Tegel airport. It was an emotional farewell for everyone and the group is looking forward to the retu...