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Letter: Year in Germany comes to close

By John Martin, 2012-2013 exchange student to Crailsheim

Hello, Worthington. Well, this is the last letter I get to share with you. My stay in Germany is over, and I’m back home with you now! My last month was just as great as all the others.

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In July, I was still attending school. It could get pretty hot there without the air-conditioning. On quite a few days, school was let out early to avoid the heat. One day, I was lucky enough to go with my host dad from Family Meiser to a historic evening boat cruise. The ship we took was the last steam ship made to pilot Lake Constance. It is no longer steam-powered, but every half hour steam was released just to give it that authentic feel. The boat ride started in Hard, Austria, and made it about halfway up the coast before we turned around to return to Hard for the night. The food on the ship was also great! A five-course meal was featured with chicken, rice and vegetables as the main dish, eaten with golden silverware. The ship itself was really beautiful. Everything was really well-polished and shone with brilliance — the railing, wood floors, and stairs. It was a wonderful experience.

One weekend I spent with the family of a good friend of mine, Family Gossler. They took me hiking in the Alps! It was so beautiful — unbelievable landscapes in every shade of green. The waterfalls and rivers were really pretty. We hiked in the morning and, in the afternoon, we went to the longest “Rodelbahn” in all of Germany. It’s like a bobsled on a track, and you can go really fast. The kart is on rails. Each kart has its own brakes, which are controlled by the riders in the kart. Afterward we had dinner of schnitzel and fries. It was really fun!

After school got out, my second host family, Family Mertens, took me to Europa-Park! The park is located in Rust, Germany, about three hours from Crailsheim. It was so great. There were many rides and coasters. Each part of the park is decorated like a different European country. You can have a pizza in Italy and then head to Germany for a pretzel. There were many different countries, and each one was so well decorated. The architecture and styling of the restaurants and buildings as well as the theme of many rides were modeled after their countries. We went for pizza in France, and I couldn’t tell you if it was French or not, but it was sure good! The roller coasters in the park were huge, but they were also cool because of their sponsors. Blue Fire was a great coaster funded by a natural gas research company, and Mercedes Benz sponsored the Silver Star. The Silver Star reaches a top speed of 127 kmh (79 mph). The Blue Fire doesn’t have a chain lift — instead, it launches you from 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds. It also has the tallest loop in all of Europe — 105 feet tall! It’s a great ride.

The rest of the time in Germany was spent with family, friends and the people that have become very important to me in the last year. I learned so much in my year’s experience about friends and family. The year goes by so fast, you wouldn’t believe it.

To summarize my experience: I explored six new countries and an endless list of beautiful cities. I met and formed life-long relationships with countless people that I know I’ll keep in touch with. I also participated in the education system of another nation, and it was really interesting to see all of the differences first-hand. It has been a pleasure to write these letters every month.

I’d just like to say a big thank-you to the Worthington Crailsheim Committee and the community for their support of this program. Thank you, everyone for your support of my last year, and for the continued support of our Sister Cities’ exchange program. I hope all of you will continue to support it.