Saturday – journey back home

Today we woke up very early because it was the day for travelling back to Switzerland. We packed our things and some people got presents for their parents and families. We all arrived at the train station at 8:20 a.m. We said goodbye and thanks for the beautiful week. It was really sad because we will miss them. We hugged each other for a while and we all hope to go back to the Czech Republic some day. When we were leaving all Czech people waved goodbye. Some people started to cry.

We changed the train in Vienna. The next six hours were very long but we could sometimes stand up and walk around. The next stop was Feldkirch. Some of the students went to the restaurant and the others sat on the ground.

After that great weak with our Czech friends we were nevertheless glad to be back home :)

Enya, Nadine

 

Dear Czech students, dear families, dear Jan Willem, dear Jarka

We want to thank you again for your hospitality, your friendship and the wonderful week.
All of us have unforgettable memories in our mind! We all would like to come again and see more of your beautiful country!
It must have been an incredible busy week for you, we appreciate your work and your organization very much.
We hope that you will have time to relax together with your family at Eastern.
We are sure that many of the students will stay in contact and see each other again!
We teachers are looking forward to continueing the Xchange.
Happy Easter holiday
Ursy Helbing & Beat Merz

Friday – quiz and farewell evening

Today, we played some games at school. First, there was a quiz about Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Betty and Marie explained us the game. After that, we made groups of four and started one group after the other, letting pass some time before the next group could start. We had to walk through the whole school and search the numbers with the questions. It was  really interesting. When all groups were back, we went to the Aula to play other games.

The second game was Bingo. We played it twice and we had enough time to even do some  pantomimes. The morning was funny. At 12, Ramon and Vanessa went to eat in a restaurant. And in the afternoon, we went shopping because we needed some food for our journey home tomorrow. We then took the train to Veseli because we wanted to go in a café. There, we met Rya and Fiorella. It was a nice afternoon. Some other students went to Uherské Hradište to play Lasertag. For most of them it was the first time.

In the evening, we all met in the Restaurant Skanzen for the farewell dinner. We had meat with so called dumplings and sauce, the dumplings were rather new to all of us, we liked them. After dinner, the Czech people organised a party. It was very cool and we were all in a good mood :-))

Vanessa, Kay, Ramon

Thursday – workshops and Modrá Archaeological Museum

Today’s morning we were excited to learn how the Czech people celebrate Eastern. We formed three groups. In the first hour our group could paint Easter eggs the traditional way, with special colours made out of red, blue and green wax. The second workshop we created a twig with the help of a teacher. The twigs are made of willow and the boys need them to whip the girls on Easter Monday. This custom is common to bring luck and fertility to the girls. Last but not least we decorated ginger bread, which was very difficult for us because the sugar paste couldn’t be applied so easily.

We were faster than we thought, so we had much time to learn Czech tongue twisters. We also watched videos about Easter Monday customs in the Czech Republic and Slowakia. Finally, we sang the Swiss and the Czech songs we had learned in Switzerland.

At eleven fifty we went to the canteen and ate the food, which had been cooked in the canteen.

Then we travelled by bus to an Archaeological Open-air Museum. In that museum we all got a description of the old houses. We were in every single house and could see how people lived in the 9th century. After the tour through the houses we went to a museum about all fish which live there in freshwater. In our opinion the workshops in the morning were more interesting than the afternoon in the museums. Now we are looking forward to the bicycle tour and the film evening.

Alina, Carina, Nina

 

Wednesday – exciting Prague

Today, we had to get up really early in the morning because we went to Prague. On the way to Prague we played some games and just had a great time. Some of the people slept a bit because we already left Straznice at 6.25 a.m. We arrived after three and half hours to the beautiful city of Prague and took first pictures. First, we got on a platform to have a better view. Of course, we had to take some group photos. From there, we got to the castle of Prague. This castle is huge, you can’t imagine! We could just see a little part of the whole building. Betty told us that this building is also in the Guiness Book of Records. Later, we had a quick look into the cathedral which is inside the castle. According to us there were too many people, so we left quickly.

Our tour continued to the Charles Bridge. In front of the bridge, a Czech student gave us some information about the history. We then crossed the bridge and we soon saw the big astronomical clock, which is really interesting because you can see many different things on it.

Finally, our free time started. We formed small mixed groups and then all headed to different sights or shops. At 4.40 p.m. we met again. We walked quickly to the bus and started our trip back home. What a marvelous city!

Rya, Yannic, Dominik

Tuesday – Palava Biosphere Reserve – Cave – Mikulov

Today we were at the old castle named Maidenburg. We had to hike about three hours. At the beginning it was easy. Some students felt very hot, so they took their jackets off. We talked about music and some of us listened to music with their UE Booms.The Swiss students sang Swiss hiking songs. After 25 minutes we arrived at the first ruins. There we took a lot of photos from the beautiful view. Some ate a sandwich.

We stayed there about half an hour, then we walked on. At this moment the hiking trip became a bit harder. After an hour’s walk we had lunch: most of us ate Schnitzel with bread. We had quite a lot of time to relax. We finally walked back and got on the bus again. Alena and I (Alice) bought an ice cream. So did many others. Then we got on the bus and drove to a cave.

At the cave entrance we split the group in two: Czech and Swiss students. The Czechs went into the cave first. Sometimes I couldn’t understand what the guide said, but all in all it was very interesting. There were also many bats and some of us were scared. The warmest „room“ in the cave had about 8 degrees.

After the cave tour we walked through the town Mikulov. It was very nice there. But unfortunately we didn’t have time to see more of this town.

We had lots of fun during the bus drive! A lot of us went to the crisps factory in Strážnice. It was an amazing day!

Alice, Ronja, Fiorella

Monday – school and town

It was a warm, sunny day, when we and the Czech students met at the main entrance at Strážnice. After having exchanged our experiences from yesterday, we were accurately informed about the programme in the Aula. Part of the programme was a more detailed tour across the school building and a small language workshop in Czech which was pretty funny, because the Czech students made a contest out of it. After that, the Czech performed a very impressing presentation of their ,,school-band´´ which played fast songs using violines, clarinettes, a cymbalon (a sort of piano) and a double bass. The Czech teachers taught us how to dance to this traditional music, which was really funny, because most of the people couldn’t do it properly. Especially the second song, the one made only for men, was very complicated.

The official welcome was made by the assistant mayor of Strážnice at the city hall. Right after we could taste a special snack that looked like a small cake, but was actually filled with creamy cheese. We took a closer look at the town itself, which included downtown, the park, the castle, a historical village, the canal and the big catholic church. There were some small shops downtown, two statues and the square where the inhabitants perform their festivals. Strážnice owns according to me a big and very beautiful park with lots of trees, a canal and a long street with trees on both sides. Behind the canal we discovered the majestic castle. We did a full tour inside to see clothes, furniture, portraits and hunting weapons of the past six centuries which was very exciting to experience.

The historical village impressed many of us, too. We could see how the people of the Czech Republic lived hundreds of years ago and compare it to today’s life. After all those experiences many were a little tired, but nevertheless we went on because we couldn’t stop enjoying it. The long canal, which was originally built to export shoes into the whole world, was an interesting fact explained by very kind Czech students. The last stop was the big historical catholic church with its tall towers and its highly decorated interieur. So the day was generally just great with all the impressions which we enjoyed. The weather was perfect and we wonder how the other days will catch up with this one.

Valentin, Demian, Timon

 

Sunday – family day

Early in the morning, we woke up in the night train. The “beds” were uncomfortable. A man brought a little breakfast that we ate. Soon after breakfast, we packed our stuff. The time to change trains in Vienna was enough. During the journey from Vienna to Hodonín we played some travel games “Stadt-Land-Fluss”. Upon our arrival in the Tchech Republic, we had wonderful weather and we realized that the countryside is very different to Switzerland. When we arrived at Stráznice, the Czech students played traditional songs and gave us bread with salt. It was a special feeling to see our friends again. After saying hello we all split up and joined our families.

In my family we ate fries and afterwards we went cutting willow brunches for Thursday. Because we were tired we watched a film and played with the dogs. Later on, we saw my student’s vineyards and we tried their homemade grape juice. Before we went to bed we looked at pictures from Switzerland.

Lauryn

After Enya and I had put our things into our room, we had time to relax. Afterwards we went to the city Brno by car. There we visited a castle and we spent some hours in a shopping centre. We were so tired that we could have slept during the whole journey.

Alessia

After we were welcomed very gently, I went to the house of my host family. My exchange student showed me her house and we had a very good lunch. At one o’clock we went to a castle called Lednice. It is a wonderful castle and I really enjoyed staying there all afternoon. There we also had a great lunch next to the castle. The weather was also just marvellous! I can say, that I had a great start in the Czech Republic and I have a wonderful host family.

Nora

Joyful journey

We and our families arrived at the station of Andelfingen at 8.15 pm. Some students were very sad to leave their families. After the train had left, we packed our stuff under the seats. In Zurich we had 20 minutes to change trains. In the night train we spent a lot of time to store our things in the sleeping compartment. After bedtime announcement some of the students had problems to be quiet. That’s why Mrs. Helbling was a little bit angry, because she had to leave her bed several times. The cabines were very small and overheated. Still we think that we all could sleep a little bit.

Maike, Lukas, Nadia

 

Ready for take off to Strážnice

After a fantastic first part with the Czech students here in Switzerland we are eagerly looking forward to leaving for Strážnice. We will shurely spend a thrilling week and will make many wonderful experiences with the Czech families and at Strážnice Gymnasium.

Hey, Czech students … are you ready for your Swiss friends?                                                   See you soon :)

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