Diary of the
Comenius visit to Wipperfürth, Germany
Wednesday, 16th December
The British guests arrived by plane late in the evening. Principal Susanne Eckhardt and some parents picked them up at the Cologne/Bonn airport by car and took them home.
Thursday, 17th December
The Czech visitors should arrive by train at Gummersbach station at about 9am. But everything went wrong with German Bundesbahn that day. The train stopped around Hannover because of unkown problems. So they missed the train vom Cologne to Gummersbach and finally arrived around noon. All in all the trip from Opava to Wipperfürth took them more than 14 hours. You can imagine that they have been exhausted.
The British students and their teachers Kate and Claire joined the lessons at the Hermann-Voss-Realschule for the first time.
Even though Pavla and Kate, the teachers from Opava, have been very tired, the teachers met for discussing the matters of the project in the afternoon.
Friday, 18th December
In the morning all students and teachers took part in the lessons.
In the afternoon all guests had a guided tour through the city of Wipperfürth with Walter Dalmus.
In the evening the foreign teachers were invited to celebrate a Christmas dinner with the colleagues of the Realschule in the nearby town of Lindlar.
First our deputy headmaster Claudia Deichsel, who lives in Lindlar, guided the guests through the center of Lindlar and showed some historical monuments.
After a hot vine punch offered by Claudia´s husband Andreas everyone felt well prepared to hike the 3km to the lodge, where the Christmas dinner took place.
Saturday, 19th December
The pupils spent an adventurous day with their guest families.
Some of the Czech and German pupils met at the icescating hall in Bensberg. When finally scating the German pupils had to recognize that the Czech students are perfect on ice. Most of the Germans fell down but it was funny. Theresa and Ann-Kathrin gave up first but then had time to take pictures. Because it was Saturday night the hall was filled with dance music. Everytime a well known song was on air the whole group joined to sing that song. Inbetween it had started to snow outside and when the group left after three hours a lot of snow had fallen. All in all it was a very funny evening for each and everyone.
The teachers met for tea time at Susanne’s home in Kierspe. Susanne offered tea, coffee and cake.
In the evening all went to a nearby Christmas market, where we had “Glühwein” again and something for dinner. It was very cold at that time, so all gathered around a fireplace to warm up.
Sunday, 20th December
All involved students and teachers met at 11 am to go to Bonn by bus.
Together we visited the Haus der Geschichte, a German history Museum. It is the best place to reconstuct the history of Germany starting at World War II. You get a good impression how the political system, the economy and everyday life developed in Germany since the 30th of the last century.
After the Haus der Geschichte we had a guided tour of Bonn. The guide showed us the sights of the former capital of Germany by bus. At the Godesburg we got out of the bus to have a nice view over the Rhein valley.
The tour ended at the Beethoven Haus, the house where the famous composer was born.
Afterwards we went to the Bad Godesberg Christmas market. During that stay it started to snow again to make the ambience of a Christmas market perfekt.
Because of the snow it was a long way back to Wipperfürth. But the driver finally brought us home save and warm.
Monday, 21st December
In the morning everyone visited the Realschule.
After school lessons the foreign students stayed at school with the Comenius Club. All together they worked on drafts for a common logo for our “Heal the World”-project.
In the later afternoon Wolfgang Höttermann organized a visit to the neighbouring town of Hückeswagen where the Comenius colleagues were warmly welcomed by the Mayor Uwe Ufer. He took great interest in hearing details of the Comenius project and the various school systems of the Czech Republic and Great Britain. The group then visited a local restaurant where they were treated to the so-called Bergische Kaffeetafel, a regional speciality of waffles with cherries and cream along with savouries and coffee. This was followed by a visit to the local history museum housed in the historic castle overlooking Hückeswagen. The curator gave an interesting outline of the history of the area over the last centuries explaining the various exhibits to give the guests an insight into what daily life was like in those days. After a walk through the fairy-tale streets of the town, magically decorated with Christmas lights, the colleagues rounded off a most enjoyable afternoon in Hückeswagen with a visit to a bistro.
Tuesday, 22nd December
Travelling day: Mike Rooney and some parents took the English teachers and students to Cologne Airport where they took the plane back to London.
In the evening the Czech guests departed from Gummersbach station.
We hope everyone enjoyed their stay in Wipperfürth as we enjoyed to have you here as our guests!
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Pictures of the students´ visit in Wipperfürth
Press release of the Bergische Landeszeitung