July 29, 2001
Ramblinwreck.com is proud to provide readers with a glimpse into the volleyball team’s 12-day tour of Germany. Various Georgia Tech players will provide online diary entries from Germany describing their experiences, the opponents, and the sights and sounds of Germany. Look for subsequent entries on the right side of Ramblinwreck.com.
Keight Vincent #8
After our first night’s sleep at a new hotel in a new German city, Schwerin, the whole entourage trooped downstairs for a bit of breakfast before our day began. As this is her hometown, Maja led the way as we walked through downtown Schwerin on our way to meet the tour bus. She pointed out some interesting things that an otherwise uninformed tourist could easily miss. The coolest of these was one of the oldest houses in Germany – built in 1698!
When we got to the tour bus we were all happy to sit down and enjoy the ride. This tour bus was quite unique – dubbed “Petermanchen”, the little 2-car open air trolley chugged along the streets of Schwerin in grand style. We saw a lot of cool historical places. We saw the cathedral of Schwerin, with a steeple taller than a football field, and we also got to see the place where a refugee woman, not of the Nazi party, was hanged the day the war ended, before the Americans came. Also, we saw the house of a wealthy family, who had a 6 foot coat of arms made in their home. When the Russians came and occupied this part of Germany, they threw the shield out of the window and it broke into a thousand pieces. The family gathered up the pieces and put it together again after the Russian occupation ended.
While we were waiting for the tour trolley to arrive, Amanda started gyrating and staring at her arm, as if a bee had landed on her. Kele, always helpful, offered “I’ll get it, I’ll get it”, and she slapped the thing on Amanda’s arm, only to find out that it wasn’t a bug, but a present from an overhead bird.
I think the team’s favorite part of our tour was the visit to the expansive Schwerin castle, of the former Duke of Schwerin. After playing the part of the tourist and getting our German penny smashed and melted into the castle’s likeness, we began our tour. Kele really enjoyed this part because she got two pennies made, even though they were identical.
The castle was decorated from top to bottom with sculpted ceilings, artful wooden floors, and paintings filling up the castle. Unfortunately we disovered, about halfway through Shannon’s 11th roll of film that there was no photography in the castle. After a nice walk and team picture outside on the castle grounds, we left the castle.
Hungry from our long morning of touring, the team accompanied by Maja’s grandfather, Opa, went to a shopping center for some food. Because it was Sunday, the stores were closed, but we did manage to find an ice-cream store and a place for a snack. Opa, bought ice cream for everyone – 2 or 3 scoops each!
After we ate, we headed upstairs for the exit. However, we made a startling discovery at the escalators. Instead of the typical escalators we are accustomed to, this escalator was more like a ramp carrying us up to the 2nd and 3rd floors. Shelton’s fiance, DiAnn, a physically fit firefighter, showed off her athletic prowess by running up the moving ramp – the one moving down. We were impressed. Then cries of disbelief rang out in the mall. 78 year old Opa, not wanting to be outdone, began running up the same incline. His performance was greeted with cheers as well as a few photos. After a brief stopover at the hotel, we all headed over to Maja’s for a German barbeque.
Maja’s house was very nice. In addition to the gorgeous gardens surrounding their house, the Pachale’s also have an amazing view of Lake Schwerin from their living room window. We settled down to a great German meal of bratwurst, potato salad and saurkraut.
Today was the most educational day of our trip of history and culture. The Petermunchen taught us history, Melissa taught us table manners, and Kele kindled our hearts and reminded us of the educational game of young love.