Posted by: Talie Morrison | September 4, 2011

Three Weeks in Germany

I can hardly believe it is already Labor Day Weekend!  Where did the summer go?   And I took a trip to Germany way last May/June and have not had a chance to do a blog entry about it….but then when you are spending summer in Crested Butte, there is not a lot of spare time!  Hard to believe that I can have more time to work on blogs when I am traveling than when I am at home.  Anyway – I wanted to share with you what a wonderful time I had in Germany!   So, let me work on my memory and see what I can come up with …

The Crested Butte UCC Church has a sister church in Spremberg Germany: Evangelische Michaelkirchengemeinde

In front of the Spremberg Church, you can see the sign post with Crested Butte listed as 8427 Kilometers away!

–they invited us to come and participate with them in a celebration called “Kirchentag”  (that means “Church Day”).   It was being held in Dresden, which is only a couple of hours away from Spremberg.   I love the people that I have met in Germany over the years.   Our relationship with these folks started back in the late ’80s – so we have visited back and forth, watched kids grow up, and had many fun times together.  It was like going home!  Our little delegation consisted of 5 of us from Crested Butte and 1 from Denver.   The St. Michael’s Church had asked us to sing with their choir at Kirchentag and they had sent us the music months in advance.   Well, being typical Crested Butte folks – of course we didn’t get a chance to practice except once or twice before we went!   Well – we weren’t a singing group anyway – but we were going for fellowship with our German brothers and sisters (good thing because singing in a choir is not one of my strong suits!)

So, May 28th, we flew from Denver to New York to Berlin.   Hans and Roland met us at the Berlin Airport and after loading us and our baggage into their van, we headed to Spremberg…   But, of course, we had to stop along the way and have our first German meal – yum!   I sure love German food – lots of “worst” and ‘kraut”!

It was great seeing all my German friends again!   I stayed with Hans (who is the pastor of the St. Michael’s Church)  and his family and their hospitality was incredible!   I moved back into the room that I stayed in the last time I was in Spremberg and I was very comfortable and cozy!   They took me in like part of the family!

We had a couple of days of choir practice in between touring the area.  Or maybe I should say we toured in between choir practices!    We did a tour of Spremberg and a tour of the mining areas (and reclamation areas) that goes on in that part of Germany.   We also went to an evening organ concert with incredible acoustics!  And then we went to the nearby towns of Reichenbach and Goerlitz, and the beautiful park of Bad Muskau (which is partially in Poland).   Finally with all our choir practice, we were finally ready for our first concert, which we performed in Spremberg at their beautiful outdoor amphitheater.

While our American Indians were drawing pictographs on the rocks, the Europeans were building cathedrals!

While our American Indians were drawing pictographs on the rocks, the Europeans were building cathedrals!

Beautiful Castles!

Beautiful Castles!!

Check out Tengu on the lion's front paw :-)

Check out Tengu on the lion's front paw 🙂

I love the German architecture and cobblestone streets

At the lake in the Bad Muskau Park - The park is 1/2 in Germany and 1/2 in Poland

City Touring

The next 5 days of our trip consisted of going to Kirchentag in Dresden.  To get to Dresden, we drove for about an hour, and then took the train (for about an hour) the rest of the way into Dresden.   The opening ceremonies were amazing – 200,000 Christians sitting along the River Elbe with the golden statues and domes of Dresden in the background.  It was such a celebration of life.

Singing in the International Choir (I'm actually in the back row)

Opening Ceremonies of Kirchentag - thousands of people next to the River Elbe with Dresden in the background.

And coming from the wee little town of Crested Butte – to be a part of so many people all together was incredible!   The theme of the week was “…da wird auch dein herz” which translates to: “there will your heart be also”.  That comes from a Biblical quote about where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.  So the question is where is your treasure?   And what is your treasure?  (Lots to think about!)

There were so many presentations and discussions to attend – it was hard to choose!  Luckily they were all translated for us!   We got a little box and a set of earphones so we could understand what was being said.   Some of us decided to go to the discussion on “Is war legal?”   It was interesting to hear about the issue of whether it is ok for a country to invade another country in order to oust their government (even if there is genocide going on).   That afternoon, we ended up at another discussion, which piggybacked on the first about “Does force create peace?”   Lots to think about in these times.   Another one of the discussions we went to was about the economic/resources issues – “Will we grow and die, or can we shrink to live”.    There were thousands of people attending these discussions – I was so heartened to see so many people trying to find some answers for what is happening in our world.

Thousands of Candles floating down the River Elbe the first night of Kirchentag.

Ethical Discussions with the Kirchentag Banner in the background

Tim and me making a heart with our hands...

   

Are there any answers to the problems we face in the world today? Or only more questions?

The Frauenkirche (which was still just a pile of rubble the last time I was in Dresden!)

Along with the discussion groups, we also did some touring of Dresden, which is such a beautiful German city.   It is amazing to see the photos of how much devastation there was in 1946 – and to see how they have rebuilt it.  And even to see the changes since I was last there (which was probably about 10 years ago). We attended some concerts in the evenings and, of course, ate lots of great German food!    On Saturday, our choir sang in one of the neighborhoods of Dresden.   After a couple of concerts in the outskirts, we went to the city center and found another couple of places to sing – it was like we were traveling minstrels. 🙂

The last day of Kirchentag, which was Sunday, we decided instead of traveling down to Dresden we would watch the broadcast of the Kirchentag Church Service at the St. Michael’s church in Spremberg.   It was a beautiful service and fun seeing the places we had been during the week.  That Sunday was also my birthday – so I got to celebrate with all my German friends!   It was very special!   And for the afternoon “koffee and kooken”, we had 5 (or maybe it was 6) birthday cakes!   Oofta – just to sample them all was a huge “sugar shot” – and they were all SO GOOD!

It's my birthday - Yikes I can't be that old can I??

Celebrate!!! Yum!!

The next day, three of the Crested Butte folks headed home, two went on to Prague, and I took the train to Nurnberg to see my friends Suzie and Basti (who I met in Chile last year).   I spent a couple of nights with them and toured Nurnberg – beautiful!   Then I took another train to Munich to see my friend Annie (who I had met in Argentina).   I spent one night with Annie and then spent another night in Munich with my friend Michael Bartchinski (originally from Spremberg).   Michael took me on a bike tour of Munich – awesome!  With a bike is the best way to tour a German town!

Love the architecture - this is near Nurnberg.

   

Biking in Munich! Great fun!

People have beautiful flowers now matter where in the world you go! Love it!

Then I took the train back to Spremberg to celebrate the 50th birthday of my friend Kerstin.    The theme for her birthday weekend was Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales.   My German friends know how to dress up just like the crazy folks in Crested Butte!!!   That was a beautiful weekend celebration – and with more delicious German food, lots of cake, and of course great German beer!    And then back to Berlin to fly home – I had such a wonderful time over there and I send all my German friends hugs and love and thanks for all their hospitality!

The Greischel Family (It's hard to recognize Peter in the wolf costume!) These folks would fit right into life in Crested Butte where we dress up anytime we get an excuse!

Now that's a PARTY! Yum!

With my good friends, Peter and Geisla Bartchinski

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Responses

  1. Wow Talie – you always capture your trips so well in words and pictures to share with your incredible family of friends. You are wonderful! Can’t wait to see the post from your next adventure this fall in CA. Have a wonderful trip. love you! Mel

  2. hi talie!

    oh what a magical trip!
    happy happy belated birthday!

    xoxoxo
    missy

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your trip to Germany. I really enjoyed reading the narrative and the photos are wonderful–especially the flowers and the food. Have a great trip to California and keep sending the stories. I’m sure that your trek up Whetstone was fun–what a gorgeous day that was. The girls, Aaron, and I really enjoyed Mt. Crested Butte. We stayed on top for a long time–naming the peaks and enjoying the warm and calm day.


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