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Letter from Ulm

Celebrating in Ulm

July 21, 2012
Diane Germann , The Journal

Editor's Note: Diane Germann is the Hans Joohs Exchange Intern to Ulm, Germany this year. This is her third letter about her experiences.

As funny as it sounds, I started my third and final moth off in Aberdeen, Scotland. I decided now is as good a time as ever to visit my old friend Scotty from Scotland. Though it rains quite a bit there, Scotland is a beautiful place. I ate fish-n-chips, took a dip in the North Sea, visited Drum Castle and had a heck of a time trying to understand the Scottish accent. Oddly, it was almost a relief to return back to a country, though they speaks a foreign language, I've become a little more accustomed to.

To really get back to my German roots, the second weekend of July, my guest family and I drove around visiting some of the smaller cities in the area. Among many places, we visited Mochental, Steinhausen and Bad Buchauer. We saw a breath-taking castle in Mochental. We discovered the Wallfahrtskirche in the small town of Steinhausen, which was quite possibly the most beautiful church I have ever seen. We visited the beautiful Federsee Lake in Bad Buchauer, which can only be reached by a walking bridge that's almost a mile long because it is surrounded by moorland. Needless to say it was a tiring weekend, but very well spent.

This whole month has just been a constant adventure. Last week, I was interviewed by the Sdwest Presse with the mayor Gunter Czisch, and my Ulm exchange partner Eva-Maria Karremann, who should be arriving in New Ulm in just about a month! I simply can't wait to show her all there is to see in Minnesota. It feels like a small way to give something back to this city I've grown to love so much.

I might be mistaken, but it seems that right now is the best time to be in Ulm! This weekend is when the real festivities begin. Elton John is coming to perform in our very own Mnster Platz this Friday. We will enjoy the lichterserenade on Saturday, where everyone floats little lit candles down the Danube River. Then, Monday is Schwrmontag, a very well known holiday only celebrated in Ulm. On Schwremontag, the mayor gives a long speech telling everyone what he promises to accomplish in the coming year, and then ends his speech with the words "I swear to be a true and honest representative of the rich and the poor without reservation, so help me God." all in German. Immediately following his speech, das Nabada begins, where everyone heads to the Danube River and boats, swims or floats down the river, which will be an excellent way to end my stay here in Ulm and Neu Ulm, Germany.

This Hans Joohs exchange is something that I would certainly recommend to anyone in New Ulm who has studied some German and wants to have a new and unforgettable experience in the beautiful Swabia land of Germany. I feel I have learned so much at my internship while enjoying everything our sister cities have to offer. I thank you all for supporting this exchange because it has undoubtedly changed me for the better!

Herzliche Gre aus Ulm,

Diane Germann



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