I made a post and posted it on the day I was flying out, but for some reason it did not post. Oh well, there is nothing I can really do about it. The flights went pretty well. The first flight was the hardest flight to be on - it went to London. It left the airport at midnight, Nova Scotia time, and arrived at 9:00 in the morning, London time. It was hard both mentally and physically - it was on that flight that I truly realized what I had signed up for: a year without seeing my friends and family in Canada, trying to live life in a totally different country. And although it was still exciting, it was also saddening. The flight also felt the longest (I mean, technically it was the longest, but I could really feel it). All of the other flights went fairly well, although our plane from London to Frankfurt was late, which made us miss our next flight. But we managed to get everything in order fairly easily, and since it was not our fault that we missed the plane, we were put on the next available flight, which was only an hour later - just enough time to get through security!
Anyways, we eventually landed in Hamburg, exhausted. I didn't even realize how tired I was, until it was time to sleep. All I had to do was turn off the light, and I immediately fell asleep. Now I am getting less exhausted, but I am still tired a lot.
The lady my sister and I are staying with for the first three weeks before we go to our permanent host families is taking us to see different parts of Northern Germany. It is really nice! On Saturday, she took Elizabeth and me to Ahrensburg Schloss, which is a castle. It is extremely beautiful! We were not allowed to take photographs of the interior, but I did take a lot of pictures of the outside. I would love to share some of the photos with all of you guys, but I took them with my phone, which is not yet hooked up to the internet, and I haven't been able to figure out how to transfer the pictures from my phone onto my computer. Once either of those two happen though, I will try to post pictures! On Saturday, we also got to go to a German Markt (market), to get some food for our lunch - which was an amazing experience in itself. I loved seeing the German culture shine through in their basic everyday interactions, hearing the language, seeing the cobblestones that made up the market square. It was beautiful.
Heute (today) we got to go to the city of Kiel, which is on the Ostsee (Baltic Sea). Kiel was very heavily bombed during World War Two, so it had to be rebuilt. When it was rebuilt after the war, it was made very industrially. We got to see a submarine that was used during the Second World War. I was very interesting to see. It was really small - and I know this won't mean too much to any readers who have not seen my house in Nova Scotia - it was smaller in length and not as wide as my house, and yet more than 50 crewmates would live in this submarine (called a U-Boat)! It is a very small space. I am not a claustrophobic person, but just the thought of having to live in that small of a space with so many people makes me feel a little bit claustrophobic. After we finished our tour of the submarine, we went to a local beach, which looked out onto the Ostsee. It was very beautiful there!
By this point, Elizabeth and I were very tired, so we decided to go back to our host's house, and rest for a little bit. It seemed like we were just going to have a quiet evening, which would have been nice, but then our hostess said that she had a surprise for us - one that turned out to be even better than a quiet evening around the house!
We all piled into her car, with Elizabeth and me not knowing where we were going, and found ourselves at the 'Planten um Blumen' park in Hamburg. It was pretty, but it was late, so I was not entirely sure what we were going to do there. We were led towards a little pond or lake in the middle of the park, with a large crowd of people surrounding it, and then told to wait for a few minutes, until it was 10:00 at night. So we did. And when 10:00 arrived, the lake seemed to explode with water shooting into the sky, and a beautiful light and classical music display along with it. For the length of three classical songs, there were fountains spraying water in the middle of this pond or lake, that was turned different colours by lights shining onto it - it was beyond beautiful! Just re-reading over that sentence, I realize that words do not do it justice, not one bit.
I am having a lot of fun! Whenever I have downtime though, it is not easy. I miss home, I miss my friends and family, I miss Canada. One thing that being in Germany has done for me, even only for the few days I have been here, is that it has given me an even bigger appreciation for Canada, for it's people, for it's nature, for everything it encompasses, one that I guess I had before, but not to the magnitude that I have it now.
I really like Germany, but I also really miss Canada. For that, I am thankful that I have been keeping busy, since it helps take my mind off of Canada.
I hope you are all doing well! Tomorrow I will be going to the local Rathaus (town hall) to get my visa that will allow me to stay in the country for the school year!
I will hopefully write here soon,