If you did not know already, our club spent last September gallivanting through Europe to Germany and Austria. The smiles in photographs and the words spoken when they returned led the Publicity and Editorial committee to do something a little different when covering this trip.
The following personal accounts have been written by the young people of our cultural group who were inspired to write and share with you the stories of their travels. Werner Fricker III, Danny Galgon, Anna Martini, Michelle Paul, Allysa Reiter and Sofi Walter have composed these pieces and they are truly a wonderful glimpse into their fun and fruitful experiences.
FREIBURG & THE VOLKSTANZFEST
Freiburg was the first city we stopped at on the U.G.H.’s trip around Europe and was where our first performance of the trip was! For me it was amazing because it gave me my first impression of Germany and boy was it a good one. We were greeted and treated to a buffet lunch by the Banater Schwaben Club, whom the U.G.H. hosted when they had a tour of performances around the U.S. During our stay in the city, many of the members of the Banater Schwaben were kind enough to host us in their homes, including my sister, Emma and me. On our first night in the city, the club set us up on a tour of Oberbergen, which is an area with a beautiful vineyard and winery where we were invited to a wine tasting lesson and dinner. The next day we toured the city and were able to see a very extravagant church right in the middle of the town. The architecture of it was just breathtaking and seemed to tower over everything around it. After sightseeing, it was finally time to head to the Volkstanzfest der Banater Trachtengruppen aus Baden-Wurttemberg. We participated in a parade around the city with six different groups in it and performed in the town square for the mayor of Freiburg! This was a once in a lifetime experience because the dancers accumulated a crowd of spectators! After marching back to the dance hall we were delighted to be served dinner and not long after we finally performed our two dances, Windmüller and a polka called Kovarovska! The feeling of performing in front of the whole hall in a different country and in front of all of the other dance groups from around Germany too, gave me so much pleasure and I wish I could have done it a million times! Overall Freiburg was a great start to our trip and I will never forget the amazing performance that we gave that night!
During the dance group’s recent trip to Germany and Austria, there were so many amazing stops along the way. Personally, my favorite stop was at the Stubaital in the Austrian Alps.
After arriving, it did not take long to realize that we were in a very beautiful and special little corner of the world. We first had to take a shuttle ride from a parking area at the bottom of the mountain up to our hotel. Cows, chickens, and all sorts of various farm life surrounded us. It was clear to me then that we were about to have an experience that would be completely new to me. Later on that night as we were wrapping up a delicious dinner, I took a moment to step outside and take in one of the most clear and beautiful night skies I have ever seen in my life. Being so far away from any industrialized civilization and light pollution, I was able to see thousands and millions of stars that have for so long been hidden from me. It was one of those reminders. Sometimes it is good to step aside from our busy non-stop lifestyles to just sit back and take in all the beauties the world has to offer.
The next morning, no alarm clock was needed. At 6:00 sharp, all of the cows started walking around to get there breakfast and with that came the clinging and clanging of about one hundred cowbells. Opening the balcony door, hearing the bells ring, and watching the sun slowly rise over the top of the mountain was one amazing way to start our day. After breakfast, we started a hiking trip. This trip took us all over the mountain bringing us near the top to a quaint little restaurant that we stayed at for lunch.
After lunch, a few of us decided to carry on a little further up the mountain to one of its peaks. Up there at the top, looking out over the vast Austrian countryside, all of us who were there shared complete amazement. Being all the way up there, we could see for endless miles and it was so amazing to me how fulfilling an experience can come with such simplicity. No TVs, laptops or any kind of fancy devices were needed. Just some good company, a mini journey, and a spectacular view of a land that sits much less disturbed then what I have always been used to is what brought me to my favorite part of our trip.