Page 21 - FOXTALK Fall 2012

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Fall 2012
Germany offers education and adventure
One-of-a-kind sledding trip stands out as a memorable
photo courtesy of Anto Martinovic, ’13
tudying abroad was one of the things
I looked forward
to the most ever since my sister told me about her ex-
perience. Once it came time for me to choose where I
was going I became so excited at the prospect of living
there one my own for a semester.
I ended up choosing Germany for two reasons. Having lived
in Germany, I wanted to improve my German and I wanted to
travel. I was on the I.E.S. European Union program based in
Freiburg, Germany, which offered 3 ½ weeks of travel through
Europe. I visited 13 countries between educational and per-
sonal travel. One of the most memorable trips was a trip to
Grindelwald, Switzerland, a top skiing location in Switzerland.
This trip offered a day of skiing, snowboarding or sledding in
the Alps. I had never been skiing or snowboarding so I choose
to do sledding as I did not want to spend 5 hours falling down a
mountain. While I had been sledding before the type of sledding
that we did was nothing like I had ever experienced.
The day started a little rough for me as I had somehow gotten
separated from everyone in my group soon after our bus arrived
and had no idea where to go. After asking a few people and get-
ting nowhere I became resigned to just exploring the small ski-
ing town on my own for a few hours. Through sheer luck I found
my group after 45 minutes of wandering. Next we boarded a bus
that drove us up the mountain. We spent the ride gawking at the
scenery and taking in the winter wonderland landscape.
Once we reached the highest point that the bus could take us
we retrieved our rented sleds. The more adventurous among us
chose to continue climbing the mountain in hopes of getting
to the top and sledding down from there. We underestimated
the time and difficulty and decided to stop after about 2 hours
of climbing. We stopped and took pictures for a while and pre-
pared to go down the mountain. At first I was not prepared for
the speed and control needed to maneuver down the mountain.
I flipped my sled within the first 20 yards, but slowly we all got
the hang of it.
It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I was speeding
down a mountain, surrounded by two things; the cloud ceiling
below us and beautiful mountain peaks all around us. Our group
got separated as we realized that the speed and sharp turns were
making being close together pretty dangerous. In total, it took
about 45 minutes to reach the bottom. It was one of the most fun
and exhilarating experiences I have ever had. And I promised
myself that it is something I must do again at some point. The
rest of the day was spent sharing stories about our trip down
the slopes and enjoying beers at a local café/bar before heading
home to Freiburg.