The S4 Trip to Kössen
By Sorcha Pursall
The S4 classes of this year went on the annual trip to Kössen, Austria for a week of fun and motivating sporting events. The 100 or so students left in two buses on the 8th of June to begin the 8 hour bus ride to get to our secluded destination in the mountains. We had nearly the entire hostel to ourselves and were greeted by extremely kind and helpful people who ran the hostel, and who would accompany us on our many sporting outings. Students then were given their rooms and given the option to choose one of six groups ranging from the “Go Pros” to “Chillers”.
All six groups took part in the four activities offered, canoeing, rafting, mountain biking and a climbing activity that took place in the trees. Canoeing was done by putting us in groups of three or four, giving us a paddle, demonstrating the key movements and setting us afloat. We were canoeing in a large lake that and we were allowed to swim in. The activities would take up the entire morning, leaving at 9:00 and returning at 12:30 for lunch, and afterwards we would start another activity. Mountain biking consisted of uphills and downhills for a strenuous 4 1/2hr bike ride through the scenic Austrian countryside.
Rafting, similar to canoeing in some ways, was in a group of a much bigger scale with a guide instructing us on which paddle technique to use and when to use it. We rafted for 2hrs stopping to swim rest and take a group shot of us in our ridiculous wet suits. We rafted over the border back into Germany and once out of our gear and having loaded the boats back onto the cars, we had lunch and then proceeded on our 3hr hike back to the youth hostel. The hike was mostly in the mountains and featured breath-taking views. The climbing was near a small clump of trees next to the rafting establishment. We climbed and then were allowed to return to the youth hostel for lunch. That afternoon several of the six groups had free time and it was spent mostly lounging by the pool in the amazing heat.
Something else that was offered to us was the hike up the mountain to see the sunrise. It was not mandatory, considering that it was very hard and draining. The 48 of us that decided to go on this hike met with our teachers outside the hostel at 1:45AM. We then walked up the constant uphill for 3hrs until we reached the peak of one of the mountains, at around 360m high. The view of the rising sun was spectacular and was worth the lack of sleep and sore muscles. The group arrived back just in time for breakfast and happily told the students who had not gone that it had been worth it.
Later that morning, all of the students piled into the two coaches once again to head to Salzburg. After the 1hr drive there the group separated into people who went to a Mozart concert or took part in a fun and educational Rally, arranged by Mr. Nowak. The rally let the students walk around Salzburg and have to find certain monuments as well as working as a team to decode the Latin to find the next destination. After the concert and Rally the students were allowed to roam Salzburg to purchase souvenirs before heading back to the bus to return to the hostel.
At the hostel the students all changed into swim wear and went to the pool and proceeded to throw each other into the pool, being supervised by the watchful teachers the entire time. After drying off and heading to dinner, bags were packed and rooms were cleaned. At 9:00PM a disco was hosted downstairs, DJ-ed by the students who were allowed to spend most of the night there dancing with new and old friends.
The next morning we were awoken at 5:15 by our favourite song and water guns to bring our bags downstairs and eat something before the bus journey back. Due to the lack of traffic and good weather we managed to return to the school 2hrs ahead of schedule.
All in all this trip to Kössen was an amazing bonding experience for all of the students and a good team building experience. We got to see students that we normally would not see and see a different side to our classmates and teachers. I would like to thank Frau Henniger for arranging it and for Herr Misik, Herr Nowak, Mr. Nardella and Frau Löwe for accompanying us. Thanks also to Constantine, Luis and Phillip! Kössen 2015 was an amazing experience that we are certain never to forget!