Trip Start Aug 27, 2012
8Trip End Ongoing
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It has been a very busy first week as my hosts have constantly been thinking of ways to keep me entertained. Some of the highlights have been:
Seeing the Expendables 2 in German, quite an experience
Visiting the Wilhelma in Stuttgart, the city's historic zoo and botanical garden, build originally as a royal palace. I still always wonder if it really makes sense to call a hippopotamus a Flusspferd (river horse), even though that's basically what the name means in English as well.
A night of German board games, also quite the experience trying to keep up with a bunch of native speakers. The word games were a challenge, but I think I held my own.
Trying Kegeln for the first time, an interesting form of bowling with nine pins. Probably my favorite variation of the game was the one that entailed eating a Kinder Egg and assembling the toy inside as fast as you can while everyone else bowls.
Visiting the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, which houses some really impressive pieces of engineering from Germany and around the world. The place has over 3,000 exhibits, including historic cars, planes, tanks, and even a space shuttle.
Attending the Bietigheim Pferdemarkt (Bietigheim Horse Market), a huge regional beer festival. The festival, which started as a traditional horse market in 1792, attracts several hundred thousand visitors a year, and also has some of the most impressive carnival rides I have ever seen.
Those are just a few of the highlights from what has been an amazing first week back in Germany. I cannot thank my host family enough for the amazing hospitality, and I can't wait for the next time I will see them this year!