Visit in Gedern

On June 15th, 2007 the group from Columbia, consisting of 34 visitors, arrived in Frankfurt. After they were picked up by bus at the airport, there was a champagne reception on the yard of the evangelisches Gemeindehaus, before the guests were welcomed by the president of the Gedern Sister Cities, Klaus Neunert, by the mayor of Gedern, Stefan Betz, and by the president of the city council, Kurt Heusohn.

The group was officially welcomed the next night in the well-attended “Alten Turnhalle” in Gedern. The national anthems of both countries were performed by the Seementaler Musikanten. The entertainment program was led by the Seementaler Musikanten, the “Männerchor Harmonie Steinberg”, and the cheerleaders of the Comprehensive School of Gedern.

Since on Sunday there was nothing planned, the American guests could visit friends they already knew and make new friends.

On Monday, June 18th, the group went to the Rhine River. At 8 a.m., the bus left the “Parkdeck” towards Koblenz to the “Deutsches Eck”. Then the group had lunch in St. Goar, in a restaurant right across from the “Loreley-Felsen”. After lunch, they went from St. Goarshausen to Rüdesheim per ship on the Rhine River and visited the “Niederwalddenkmal”. The member of the Verschwisterungsverein, Kevin Strerath, who was also the bus driver, told the guests about the sights, as well in German as in English.

On Tuesday night, the firemen invited the guests for a get-together. The weather was great, while new contacts were established. The American guests did not have to pay for food and drinks. That was the firemen’s way of saying thank you for the cordial hospitality two years before. Thanks to the Volunteer Fire Department of Gedern.

On Wednesday, June 20th, the group went to Berlin for three days. They arrived in Berlin at 2 p.m. and then had a guided tour in English through Berlin. They saw “Erichs Lampenpalast”, the Humboldt-University and the cathedral. Then they went to the hotel. After supper, the biggest part of the group stayed in the beer garden of the hotel. The younger travellers explored the city by bus or subway.

The Thursday started with a good breakfast and then the group went to the parliament building (Reichstag) to visit the dome of the building. After staying some time at the “Potsdamer Platz” for shopping, the group went on to a guided bustour, lasting three hours and taking them to the city’s most important places. Highlights of the tour were seeing some parts of the Berlin Wall, “Checkpoint Charlie”, and the “Brandenburger Tor”, before the tour ended with a champagne reception in the “Europa Center”. Then the group had supper in the “Nikolaiviertel”.

On Friday, they went home and, on the way, visited Potsdam (“Cecilienhof” and the gardens of “Sanssouci”). The day was rounded off at the “Stöhrbalser” in Gedern. They want to thank bus driver Kevin Strerath, who also told the travellers about the sights in English and in German.

On Saturday, June 23rd, the farewell party in the firehouse Ober-Seemen took place. The visit ended with musical entertainment by Alexander Eckhardt and the “Männerchor Liederkranz Gedern”.

On Sunday, the farewell was of course accompanied by many emotions. At 10.30 a.m. the bus started to the airport, where the flight to St. Louis via Chicago started on time. With that, ten wonderful days ended.

Translation by Jochen Bergheimer