Heute habe ich mehr Deutsch gesprochen. Mit meine Mitschüler spreche ich nicht so viel Deutsch, weil sie nicht gut Deutsch sprechen. Ein Mitschüler, Jon, hat kein Deutsch gelernt, aber diese Monat ist gut für seine Verständnis. Er hat die Zahlen und kleine Phrasen gelernt und er befahlt sein Essen auf Deutsch. Ganz toll!
We’ve done a lot of things in the past few days that I haven’t had the chance to catch up until now. Traveling, moving, packing, re-packing, touring, and not having any wifi can really get to you.
Last time, I was just in Freiburg, a growing city in southern Germany. After being there for so long, we had to jump right on to our next destination, which was Schloss Beuggen, an old castle that hugs the Rhein near Rheinfelden. We showed up and it was unreal.
There was a small lake that went around the outer parts of the castle walls; it looked like half of a moat. There were a few swans bustling around in it, dipping their heads under the water and floating peacefully. We hiked through the front archway, our bags clinking across the cobblestone, and we were standing in the middle of our second destination. We were to call this place home for the time being. Since we had to wait for our rooms to finish getting cleaned, it gave us a chance to eat lunch on the Rhein.
We found a nice location not far down the river, a little outlet of large rocks and trees sprouting their roots like solid ground. I took out some food that I had left over from Penny., our new favorite grocery store and just watched the Rhein flow by. It rushed by so fast; I don’t think I’ve seen water move that fast before. I swear if I tried to throw some sort of paper boat into it, it would reach the dam (a half mile down the river) in three minutes.
If the river can move that fast, how fast can the earth move? The air? I could go find some website that can give me a direct answer, numbers, or figures, but what fun would that be if you only wanted to know the answer and not the reason or a comparison? Is the point of answers to just give us finality, a conclusion? I want to know how fast the Rhein flows because it fascinates me. I can see how quickly each duck drifts past as it sits on the river and I want to know how fast its going. I’m curious to see. But what does that number mean to me anyway? It’s just a number, and I’ll probably lose interest in the Rhein after I find out.
I wonder these things just like how many people have stayed in my same room in this castle room. How many people have been on vacation and stopped here? How many Germans? How many Americans?
Schloss Beuggen is older than our country, older than my ancestors finding their way into Minnesota and finding their roots. It seems like that is old enough, trying to picture them without the use of cameras or technology to get them through each day, trying to survive in a new world. That’s old enough.
But when a castle presents itself that is older than 1300 and has had limited restorations done, I find it hard to believe.
I’m living in a room like that. I’m sleeping in a room like that and I just can’t believe it.
We also had the chance to visit a cave that showed a tributary to the Rhein. This was incredibly interesting, but also terrifying. I was told to lead the group and translate the certain phrases that were on a handout we received. It was only in German so that is why I was utilized in this way.
Each path was cramped and could barely fit one person inside the trail. There were small railing that were following the path as well, wet from the dampness that left my hands feeling like clay. The rock formations would hit against our hardhats and pull at our coats, but the end result was worth it.
At the end of the path, there was a small waterfall that was about 15 feet high. It just looked like it was out of nowhere, covered with the earth around it and flowing from nowhere (so it seemed). We didn’t get a lot of time to get a look at it, but it was enjoyable enough to remember it for a while.
Once we got settled in to our castle rooms, we just relaxed and waited for the next day.