A hearty hostel breakfast shared with similarly budget-minded travelers fortified the group for what would be a dozen mile hike through Central Munich with stops at some of the world’s finest museums. A stroll to the Königsplatz via the Odeonplatz deposited us at the Antiken museum and its unequaled collection of Greek and Etruscan pottery. From there, a walk into Munich’s university district led us to the Alte Pinakothek and its amazing collection of 14th to 18th century art: Durer, Rubens, Raphael, Titian, El Greco are all well-represented here. Next, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a nearby university cafe before strolling back through Munich’s famed English Gardens. A free night to explore and eat on their own allowed the group to test both their geographical and menu navigational skills. Tomorrow, we tour Dachau and then take a long train ride to Berlin.
Arriving Sunday morning, this year’s Pace ICGL Germany group was met by cold rain. Persevering, though, the group fought weather (and jet lag!) by taking a long walking tour of the Munich city center and having a perhaps culturally-cliched yet still entertaining meal at local landmark the Hofbrauhaus. After gorging themselves on copious amounts of sausage, potatoes, and, of course, pretzels, the students braved a half-hour stroll in a now icy mist to return to our hostel and a well-deserved early bedtime.
Day Two began with grabbing a breakfast in the train station and carrying it on our 6:45 AM pair of trains into the Bavarian Alps to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. With the previous day’s rain now a steady snow, the mist-shrouded Castle rose evocatively from its mountain home. The evening turned fancy, with our viewing of Strauss’ opera Arabella at the beautiful Munich Opera House, followed by an elegant dinner at the nearby Spatenhaus.
The sixth graders and their adventurous teachers set out to Camp Coleman on Wednesday morning. As we arrived we immediately appreciated the cooler temperatures and bright sunshine. All students had the opportunity to participate in water activities for several hours Wednesday afternoon. Swimming, jumping on the water trampoline, playing on a huge inflatable slide, kayaking, building sand castles, launching off of the blob, or just hanging out with friends— we really enjoyed the water!
You would think that everyone would be ready to go straight to bed after dinner, but the kids played on the field for about three hours after dinner!
Today we had a lot of fun in soccer camp, having lunch and chatting with local families, and having an ethno-botanist do a presentation. First, at the soccer camp we had our warm-ups and let a group of girls practice their cheerleading. Then, it was game-time. I was the goalie, and where the line should have been there was a large puddle, and under that puddle was a large mud pit. I’ll leave you to guess how that went. At the end of the first half I had touched the ball once, and we were up 1-0. Then in the second half they got themselves together and finished regulation 2-2 putting us in a shootout. There were 11 PKs, but everyone was focused on the goalie, putting a lot of pressure on me. At the end we won on PKs 7-3, and apparently we were the first team to come from another country to beat the Costa Rica team. Overall we had a lot of fun and made great friends!
After we played the soccer game we road back to the eco retreat on the bus. We spent about 10 minutes. Then we walked into the neighborhood down the street to eat lunch. We split up into groups. My chaperone was Mrs. Wilmoth. My group members were Addison, Lillis, Jackson Gant, and Hudson. We went to Dona Digna’s house. We had rice, beans, and chicken for lunch with additional salad and guacamole. After we finished, we went out to see her five cows, one pig, and two bunnies. We then went to her neighbor’s house that also happened to be her family, to play soccer. At 2:30 we walked back to the Eco Retreat and had a quick turnaround. We then walked to the botanist, which was about fifteen minute walk. The botanist was really fun. We got to try a lot of plants, which were mostly really good. My favorites were the coconut, star fruit, lime, Anesthesia (which is pretty self explanatory), and the lipstick plant which when you open up and squish the seeds a red lipstick consistency. Overall I tried a lot of new things and learned so many things I otherwise wouldn’t have.
By Jackson, Benjamin, Dylan, and Gavin
Benjamin woke everyone up with a drum at 6:30 in the morning, and then Mr. Blythe did his morning ritual (this time with a mariachi band). In the morning we went to the Chilamate School and played with the kindergarteners. We whacked down a piñata with them, and they were really energetic.
We did a project where we painted a quote or saying on a metal slab. Then we hung the metal plates on a fence. Shortly after, we took a picture with the 4th graders.
Then, we played a name game with the 4th graders. We passed a football and a soccer ball around in a circle and when someone got the ball, they said their name. We also hit a piñata with the 4th graders.
We came back to the lodge and ate lunch. Then, we prepared for the adventure race. The adventure race is a challenge where you have a map, and you have to try to find your way around Costa Rica. The challenge was around our lodge. We all started the race in our teams and were on to the first station when it started to pour rain. We rushed back and waited for an hour. The delay was over, and we went back to work. We did five stations. There was dancing, rock stacking, milking a cow, an interview, and cooking. They were all amazing and delicious! We had a great time. In total Ms. Forb’s team won with the most rubber bands. Last we ended the day with our ANCHOR session. The Costa Rica race really was an adventure today.