Day 5 – Tall, Old Buildings ….& Fire

Day 5 – Bonn, Eifel, & Monreal

Today we left the AIB at 7:30am for the city of Eifel. Eifel is a small town formed by a volcano. We visited a 700 year old church which was built using the volcanic rock among other things. It was beautiful. We attended mass which was given in Latin and German-traditional Catholic mass. The Church is called Maria Laach. The Monks at this Benedict Monastry product their own crops, products, fruit, and have a fishery. They also are known for their sculpting facilities, and more. The Monks try to live all on the money/things they produce themselves. The singing during the mass was very beautiful. Something out of a movie-dramatic even.After the mass, we enjoyed some coffee and hot chocolate then left on the bus for a castle in Eifel called Schloss Burresheim. It was also about 700 years old and is the only castle in the EIfold-very cold. They developed different methods of heating rooms like metal pot sort of things with strategic openings, hot coal, etc. The Germans have learneel region to never be destroyed meaning it survived the 18th and 19th centuries and the French Revoultion. Apparently a scene from Indiana Jones was filmed with the castle in the background in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” The castle was amazing…so many details that allowed it to be fortified against attackers. It was very interesting to me to discover how every detail of the castle, including the direction of the spiral staircase (clockwise, not counter clockwise) was designed in order to defend in case of an attack. The walls were at least 5 feet thick, very few windows, s shaped entrance, etc. I also was surprised to learn that living in a castle SUCKED! It was freezing because they were made of stone and Germany is cd to be very efficient, I think very much in part to the cimate. At my host family’s house, like most others here, there are many doors which are almost always shut to keep the heat in each room.

Next, we were bussed to Monreal which was destroyed by the Swedish in 1632 and by the French in 1689 – but since then they’ve managed to build more buildings in that short of time.  … The town is beautiful. It was actually rated the most beautiful city in Germany at one point. Quaint, stereotypical German houses nestled between the rolling hills with ruins of a castle on the horizon. Perfect. We hiked to the top of the hill and onto the remains of the castle that was there. It was really fun, muddy, and a little bit challenging but not too bad.o get to my bathroom I have to go through 4 doors (that are always shut). Anyway, the castle was amazing. There were ancient pieces of furnisher that had been actually lived in among other things like many paintings and deer antlers. I very much enjoyed the castle.

We had a break that most of us utilized as nap time (including me) and then there was dinner in one of the bed and breakfasts that the boys stayed at. I stayed in one too…It was cool! A small “apartment” which was very comfortable. Anyway, dinner was eggs sunny side up, a bunch of cold cuts, bread, cheese, and 2 different kinds of wine (we were wine tasting technically). It was delicious..I am lucky that breakfast is my favorite meal, because this was definitely breakfast for dinner. We had some plum pudding and/or cheese cake for dessert which were both delicious and home made.

After dinner we went on a night hike with torches into the forrest for about 45 minutes. It was very fun! Fire is pretty dangerous and we were surprised they let 19 city slickers play with fire in a forrest in Germany. Nothing bad happened…some torches were tossed in the river (with permission) which looked and sounded realllyyyy cool. After the 2nd hike of the day we went back to where we had dinner. I’m gonna let Winkipedia do the explaining here….

Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German alcoholic drink for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine. It is often part of a Christmas or New Year’s Eve tradition. The name translates literally to fire-tongs punch.”

It was DELICIOUS. Took about 20 minutes to prepare and was well worth the wait. It was bedtime shortly after. Today was my favorite by far.

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