Day 8, 9, and 10 from Germany

Days 8, 9, and 10 from Germany
Posted on 01/21/2015
This is the image for the news article titled Days 8, 9, and 10 from Germany
We are currently sitting at our gate for our last flight home leaving in about 1 hour. I thought I would use the time to send out the last email of updates. See you guys in KC soon!
Day 8 began with an early but beautiful drive around the Vierwaldstätter Lake near Luzern and on through the Alps direction Heidelberg. The weather was much less cloudy today so we had a great view of the mountains around us that we couldn't see well the day before. Our first stop on the drive to Heidelberg was the Rheinfalls, Europe's largest waterfalls and also our last stop in Switzerland. The next stop was in the town of Titisee in the Black Forest in Germany, the home of Cuckoo clocks, German fairy tales, and Black Forest Cherry cake. We had a taste of each by "acting out"/reading the German version of Little Red Riding Hood, attending a demonstration of how cuckoo clocks are made, and eating cake! Finally we arrived in Heidelberg for a tour of the famous Heidelberg castle and some free time to shop. At 6 we all walked down the main pedestrian zone to the Providenz church for their evening service. It was a really neat participate in a worship service all in German! At least one hymn we knew- In You is Gladness- and everyone at least picked up on the fact that the sermon was about Jesus turning water into wine!
Day 9 also began early with our last breakfast with our wonderful Tour Director, Silke, and our hilarious Bus Driver, Klaus. They took us the hour or so to the Frankfurt airport/train station and then it was time to say goodbye! Not too long after we boarded the IC train to Köln where we had some of the most beautiful views of the Rhein river and many fortresses along the river. We arrived in Köln just in time for lunch at Frau Meier's favorite Currywurst place and then on to the Cologne Cathedral for Frau Meier's favorite tourist activity in Germany- climbing the 500 stairs up to the top of the Cathedral tower :) Everyone made it to the top for some spectacular views of the City and the Rhein! Next we went inside to see the first Gothic style cathedral of the trip and it was impressive. Finally we had free time to shop on the Schildergasse in Köln before boarding the Regionalbahn train to Leverkusen. We arrived around 4:45 as planned and our host families were there to meet us! Each of the three groups of us had unforgettable experiences staying and eating with real German families that night- One group got to help make homemade Spätzle, one got to watch a Disney movie in German with adorable kids, and one group got to go to a church choir practice and sing in German! Be sure and ask your students what their experience was like! 
Day 10 began by meeting at the church in Leverkusen around 8:30, taking the bus to the train station Leverkusen-Schlebusch, and riding the Regionalbahn to Frau Meier's favorite city in Germany- Bonn!! First Frau gave a short walking tour of the city center and then we all hopped on the Straßenbahn to go to a grade school in Bonn-Kessenich. The school is across the street from the Haribo factory so we were greeted first with the sweet smell of gummibears and then the strong aroma of black licorice as we got closer ;). First thing after arriving we were welcomed and given a tour of the school by one of the English teachers, Frau Schlieker, which included walking through all of the classrooms and the cutest first graders singing us a song in English! After the tour we hung out with the kids outside during their 15 minute recess and soon were the talk of the playground- two kids even collected all of our autographs! We were bombarded with the typical questions- are you really from America? How old are you? Is your school in America like in the movies? Do you really have lockers at school? Do you like President Obama? Are there tornados where you live in America? Etc. Then at 11:45 we went to one of the two fourth grade classes to their English class! We all stood in front of the class and shared about our school and Kansas City and then the children asked us questions for the rest of the hour. The most memorable questions were- what are Obama's kids' names? What is your favorite food? Do you like the Yankees? (at which point we got to talk about the Royals' 2nd place in the World Series this year), and what's your favorite song? (At which point we all sang the German national anthem in unison and were given a round of applause ;)). In what seemed like hardly any time at all it was time to go and after a group picture with Klasse 4b we headed to the grocery store Lidl for some good deals on German chocolate and then back to the city center for lunch at Frau Meier's favorite Döner place- Lara Imbiss. After a delicious lunch we took a quick tour of some university landmarks in the city including the dorm Frau Meier lived in, the Math building, and a view of the Poppelsdorfer castle also used by the university. Then it was time for our guided tour of the main building of the University of Bonn by Herr Becker who is the head of the archives of the university. He gave us a very interesting summary of the history of the building and showed us some neat rooms that give an idea of what the university was like when it was a the residence of the elector of Cologne. We also got a peak at two of the rooms where Frau Meier had class when she was a student there! After the tour it was time for what everyone had been waiting for-- Haribo!!! We took the subway (U-bahn) to Bonn-Bad Godesberg for the largest gummi bear store you have ever seen and had a great time finding unique kinds of gummi bears and adorable gummi bear souvenirs. Then we headed back to the city center for our last dinner together and then back on the Regionalbahn straight to Leverkusen-Schlebusch and the last night with our host families. 
It sure has been a great trip! I could not have asked for a better group of young people to travel with on my first trip abroad with students. They were all punctual, respectful, attentive, and simply a ton of fun on this trip! You should be proud of what they have accomplished. I am also so thankful for you parents and your your sacrifice, dedication, and trust to make this experience possible for them. Vielen lieben Dank!!
Frau Meier