Kim and I began our weekend adventure by walking around Hanau. Some light clothes shopping turned into a huge New Yorker haul and we may have visited every store in the mall. We visited the Wallonisch-Niederländische Kirche (church), which was restored in 1945 after falling victim to the destruction of the war. Only one section still remains hundreds of years old, and it still stands strong. We strolled around the market and walked past the city hall, and we even stopped by to shop for very patriotic articles of clothing for tomorrow’s soccer game. We had some time to rest before we visited Wilhelmsbad. We took a stroll in its historic and beautiful park and visited a doll museum. It featured hundreds of years of popular children’s toys, from stone carved animals to the modern day Barbie doll. It even features the largest miniature department store in the world. It is so large that it takes up an entire room! The level of intricacy and detail is unimaginable. After this, we went back home to set up for a garden party, since it was Kim’s grandfather’s 75th birthday. The party was catered by a traditional German restaurant and had foods such as potato salad, green sauce, and schnitzel. 13 of Kim’s closest friends and family were invited, and they were all such a delight to meet – more vibrant German personalities! It was a great experience to practice my German through conversing with them and learning more about their lives in Germany. The next day we had an early start – a quick breakfast on the patio and we were off to the Ronneburg. We traveled 30 minutes into the countryside to visit a beautiful castle called the Ronneburg. Knights lived here hundreds of years ago, but this is not the original castles. It was burned down in the 17th century and much of it was restored. There were so many rooms in the castle, some of which were a torturing chamber, a kitchen, a dining hall for the knights, and even a church. The best part was climbing very steep stairs to the top of one of the towers, which has a view for many miles. It was a stunning and breathtaking view, and very different from the views we see in the US. Rather than towering skyscrapers, you see vast green land and tiny villages. After that we went home and got ready for the Germany vs Mexico game, part of the FIFA World Cup series. Decked out in my eye black, wristbands, german colored cowboy hat, and whistle, I was quite the patriot. We watched the game in a public viewing area. Although the food was great and our outfits were better, Germany lost to Mexico 0-1. You could see the disappointment among the now not so vibrant German people, since Germany was the winner of the World Cup only a few years ago. They were definitely favored to win the match. Kim and I then returned home and finished the weekend with some delicious pasta.
(Written by Teodora K.)