Travel Log: Holzkirchen, Part I

At what point does a place stop being a vacation-destination and turn into a temporary-home?

I’m sure the answer varies, depending on the situation. But, in this situation, I am pretty sure I’ve passed that mark…

For the past five weeks, I’ve called Holzkirchen, Bayern, my home. Those 30-odd some days may not seem like a whole lot. But, they have been. Trust me.

Thinking about where to start on with my reflections on Holzkirchen somewhat overwhelming. It’s easier to think of the day-to-day monotony than the grand-scale of all I’ve actually experience.

I suppose it’s best to start from the beginning…

After a day filled with travel and anticipation, we arrived in Holzkirchen on a Thursday night.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from my family. There was a mom, dad, son and daughter. Basically, a nuclear family, if there ever was one. I also knew this was their 20th year with an exchange student, so it be hard to throw them any curve balls. They even knew I was vegetarian, and were willing to deal with that.

That night, we had a good dinner and appropriately awkward conversation. Then they allowed me to settle in my room and prepare for the weeks still ahead…

Little rest for the weary, as the next morning I was up bright and early for the first day of school.

The next highlight came night. All of the students, professors and host-families met at the school for “Kennen Lernen,” or a meet-and-greet. There was beer and bretz’n and a burning desire to get out of the school building and see what Bayern really had to offer.

Fortunately, that chance came soon enough, as it happened to be the celebration for summer solstice. A lot of the nearby towns were hosting traditional bonfires, and my host-sister invited me and a few other students along.

It was a fun opportunity to unwind a bit, while still engaging in something uniquely German.

That Saturday passed without much incident. A good run occurred, from what I can remember.

The next day, I was invited to join my friend Rebecca and her family for a hike. We drove to the “Vor Alps” region, in nearby Tegernsee.

After a good hour-long climb up, we reached my first good Bavarian viewpoint. I figured I could get used to things like that…

Fortunately, the next day I was offered the chance, as my class took a trip out to Tegernsee. We did a little, less strenuous hiking, but no complaints there, because it offered a good view of the lake.

The next day was far-and-away one of the high lights of the trip. My sister and aunt were on their way to Italy and were able to make a detour through Germany.

I got to spend the afternoon with my beautiful sister, in a beautiful country, speaking about beautiful things…

My time with my sister offered me a bittersweet taste of home. It was wonderful to say hello and hard to say goodbye…

I didn’t have much of a problem with finding my enthusiasm again. That Thursday my class went to Munich for the first time.

It didn’t take much for me to fall in love…

Actually, while that little glimpse of sweetness sealed the deal, I was already quite enthralled with Munich. Unlike the cities of the north, Munich has a unique Bavarian charm about it.

Those first few days settled my qualms about my family, my food and my potential for exercise. I knew I could get along just fine. Fortunately, it all turned out to be a little better than “fine.”

Part II to follow…

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One response to “Travel Log: Holzkirchen, Part I

  • Asparagus Pasta Salad «

    […] Asparagus Pasta Salad By pursuitofhealthfulness Last summer, while studying abroad in Germany, my friend Rebecca and I got up almost every day at 6:30 to get in a morning run. While our classmates slept, we ran aside the river in Cologne, explored the neighborhoods of East Berlin and discovered scenic trails near Holzkirchen. […]

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