Well. I haven't blogged for a while. I've been having a rough week. I think the honeymoon period is finally over and I'm looking at this and going..wow. A year is a long time to do this. My homesickness intensified, I got sick, and the weather is horrible in Frankfurt. I swear, the sun only shines here for 15 minutes a day. I've only had about 2 or 3 days since I got here where the sun is shining for longer than an hour. But it's very cold and very gray and depressing.
So I've been really down this week. Especially missing home. On my blogs I'm usually very "Oh everything is great and I'm happy and this is an amazing experience." But I won't hide it. This week has been the hardest week of my life. I've been very homesick, very lonely, and very emotional. I have been very...I'm just not sure how I can handle a year in this place doing this job. I don't think people understand what living in Europe is like until they do it. It's very different from visiting Europe. And from what I've been told by those around me, Germany is even harder than the rest of Europe.
Well this weekend the Young Single Adults had a dance, so Jen and I gussied up and went. It was really different. The dances here are very...formal. Well it's like Prom attire. And there are refreshment tables with the YW and YM serving. Cakes, hor douvres (sp?) drinks, and then lights and fog machines and dancing. Oh the dancing. YOu know how in the US we all kinda get in our little groups and just move and dance together? Well here...no. They ballroom dance. To everything. And there really aren't any...slow songs. Everything is a ballroom dance. It's very different.
We did however meet this Canadian kid, Nathan. So the three of us did the American thing, in a group dancing. We looked crazy I know, and people were like, what? But we had tons of fun acting like Americans and not ballroom dancing. It's amazing how when you are away from home, you just want to be American. Even though at home you wouldn't do those things. Like We just wanted the Boot Scoot'n Boogie. But normally when that happens at dances, I don't really participate anymore.
The next day I drove with the Browns and went to Bavaria. We went to Schwangau and saw the Neuschwanstein Castle. Now, I am surprised at how many people don't know Neuschwantstein Castle. It's one of the most famous castles in the world! It's the inspiration for the Sleepingbeauty castle! And you might not recognize it from my pics, so google it and you will. Trust me.
My favorite thing about this castle is that you have to hike to get to it. Through the forest in the Alps. There was snow everywhere, but it was pretty warm! Plus hiking, we totally worked up a sweat.
The castle is also totally full of history! This castle was the castle of the parents of Ludwig II. (Ludwig II built neuschwanstein.) We couldn't get up to this castle because of the ice and snow. I'm sure if we tried we could have. But if you look close..I was wearing sandals. Yeah, don't ask where my logic was when I thought THAT was a good idea. sheesh. But we were blessed with good weather in Schwangau.
The king who built this castle...or had it built...Built it for his inspiring muse, Richard Wagner as a retreat. In the castle (you can't take interior shots) it seems like almost every room is paintings of scenes from Richard Wagner's Operas. There's even a music hall where operas could be performed.
The king himself was deemed by one doctor as insane. His death was extremely mysterious. Nobody knows what happened. He and the doctor were found, drown in a lake...hmm...
We had tons of fun. There were plenty of those moments where I could try to write them down, but they would lose there humor. You have to kno the Browns or you had to be there. But we kept laughing really hard.
Also, I have now discovered my new favorite thing in Germany. Quark Bällchen. They're aweome! I love them. I can't even describe them.
The Alps themselves are gorgeous and Amazing. I miss our mountains in Utah so much. I can't even figure out where I'm going because in Frankfurt we have no mountains and I never know what's North or South, etc. That's another thing that actually makes this castle so amazing is the location. It's just beautiful.
We had woken up about 6:30 in the morning and driven 4 hours to Schwangau, where the castle is. So after Neuschwanstein we got back in the car, and drove for about an hour in search for our next, not so magical or happy destination.
On the way there, the clouds gathered, it got cold and stormy and started to rain. I guess that was all a little appropriate considering where we were going.
Dachau was one of the Concentration camps during WWII. It was really interesting. Because when I talk to people who have gone to camps, they say that the place is just quiet and melancholy and depressing. Yes, the place was depressing, but not like I expected. Honestly, there was almost a reverence in this place.
Dachau was actually one of the more mild camps. They didn't have a gas chamber like other camps. It actually started out as a prison for people against the Nazi party, but eventually did become one of the camps for Jews as well. It was weird seeing this place and knowing...wow. These things really happened.
I didn't get a pic of one of the memorials that read, "Never Again" in all the languages of the people who were held there.
I do admit, while we were in Dachau, I kept catching myself humming the theme from The Great Escape. Dont' know if that was inappropriate or not.
Anyway, after another 4 hours in the car, we got back to Frankfurt and I barely made it into my bed before I collapsed. Now I"m having a sick tired Sunday. It was a nice escape, but the realization of working again is setting in. Hopefully I'll get out of this sadness this week and it will go really fast. Then the girls will be going to England for Easter Break. We'll see. Hope everyone is doing well. Later!