Today was a very busy day here in Germany. We began the day by eating at a traditional Bavarian breakfast of Wiesswurst and pretzels. the dining hall-styled restaurant that we ate at, the butcher makes the classic Wiesswurst sausages himself and the feast is only held on Thursday mornings. The entire experience felt very traditional – the room smelling like sausage and the room full of locals. Our Wiesswursts were served in huge silver bowls, soaked in water, and all linked together. Since I was on the end of the table, I ended up with the job of disconnecting the sausages and passing them out to the table. After almost dropping a few all over the place, I finally figured out a good system and everyone began to get their breakfasts much quicker than the first unlucky few.
Once everyone began eating, there were mixed reviews on our traditional breakfast. Some people really enjoyed the sausages and ate four to five each; however, I was on the side that wasn’t as thrilled. I thought that they tasted too lemony and I also didn’t love the texture. It’s a good thing that there were plenty of pretzels around, because I filled my stomach with those instead of the Wiesswurst.
After breakfast, we left for Oberammergau (or “Obamashouse” according to Megan). In this town, we had free time, which we of course filled with ice cream and gift shops, and then we all went up a gondola to get a spectacular view of the area. When I heard we were going up a gondola, I was expected to be in something like a ski gondola; however, in this one there were no benches, we stood the entire way up. The ride up was cramped with eight people standing in a small cable car and consistently moving around to share the spots to capture the picturesque views on the ride up.
It was quite foggy once we first got to the top, so there was little opportunity for pictures. This led Gemma to decide to go down the steep side of the mountain that we were on to get a better view. We all stood at the edge encouraging her to come back to the flatland so she wouldn’t fall down the slope, but she just kept on going. Once she finally decided to come back up, she realized how steep of a hill she had to climb to get back up. She started making the trek and slipped three separate times (which I was lucky enough to get on snapchat video), but safely made it to the top! The fog eventually began to clear, leaving us with a few minutes of prime photo opportunities of the view and the group together!
We got all of the pictures that we could possibly want and then grouped back into the cable cars to make our way back to Augsburg. On the way down, we all took the opportunity to get some less foggy pictures of the beautiful sites! We ended our ride with a classic group photo and went back to the bus to return to Augsburg.
Since it is our last official on the program, we had a huge goodbye dinner at Ratskeller with the German students and instructors. Ratskeller was a really pretty and traditional restaurant, with high ceilings and long benched tables. We started with bread and a tasting of different dips and continued with classis German options. My meal had pork and mushroom in a mushroom sauce with spätzle on the side and it was delicious! Our goodbye dinner was a perfect last official meal, but it ended with a difficult goodbye to Sonja and the rest of our German friends. It has been so great to meet all of them and to create these unique friendships with students from a completely different culture than our own. I will remember these experiences and relationships and what we have learned from each other forever!