Vişne Kiraz

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Posts tagged ‘Germany’

After my trip to Köln, I took the train to Vallendar to meet with my friends in Schönstatt. When I got off the train in Vallendar, only two people got off the train. Vallendar is a small station, so I asked the guys if they had been going to Schönstatt for Easter. They were from Mexico and came to visit Schönstatt. We took the bus 7 together. It lasted just 3 minutes from Vallendar train station to Schönstatt.

Schönstatt is a small town where a Catholic Movement including Christian personality development, orientation after ideals, and community started in 1914. Then, it has spread all over the world. They told me that if I visited a city  where there are followers of Schönstatt Movement, I could see the exact same chapel where it had started. It was a good destination for me to watch an Easter Ceremony for the first time in my life.

We stayed in Pilgrims’ House which was simple and clean for a religious visit. When I was waiting for my friends, Sister Marguerite, who is from Puerto Rico and went to college in U.S., showed me the around and told me the story of the town. I really like to listen to different things, stories. I also asked her ”Do you also believe that Jesus will come to the world before the doomsday?”, “What are the eggs for?”, “If the Jesus died on that Friday, why do you call it ‘Good’ Friday?”. She was little bit worried about me, since I am Muslim and my friends had not yet arrived.

While I was waiting Georgios (my Greek friend) in my room, Sister Marguerite knocked my door. She introduced me Pia. Pia is a girl from Chile and met with Georgios in Thailand trip. She would be in Germany for one year volunteer program to take care of disabled people. She heard that Sister Marguerite concerns about a lonely Muslim girl who was waiting her friends in Schönstatt. Pia asked her if I had been waiting for a Greek friend. When she got the reply yes, she said she knew me. Actually, Georgios told Pia about me and we all were going to meet in this town. Pia accompanied me and we waited together with our friends.

Finally, Georgios and Giannis arrived to the place we stayed in the evening. After the dinner, we had to climb up to the church on the hill where the Easter Ceremony  would be held. It was around 2 km to walk. I attempted to hitch-hike to the top. It was obvious that we were going to the ceremony. Although Pia said here was Germany, nobody would stop,  the first car stopped and took us to her car. I said I had tried it in France, it also had worked there. Of course, I tried it again when we were going back to the place we stayed and it worked again :)

Egg hunt

When I was watching the ceremony, I realized that how much the basics looked like to each other with Islamic ceremonies. They both sing, say amen/amin, shake hands towards the end of the ceremony. There were many sisters from all around the world. I also watched the morning ceremony for children next morning. We participated in egg hunt.

In the afternoon, we left Schönstatt for Luxembourg…


  • Duration: One day is enough for joining the ceremonies at night and in the morning
  • Transportation: I arrived to Vallendar from Köln via train. It costs 17 euro. Then, take the bus 7 which is 1.65 euro .
  • Accommodation: I stayed in Pilgrims’ House. It was clean and simple for a short visit. The fare includes breakfast, lunch and the dinner. It costs 30 euro.
  • Watch: Easter Ceremony (both evening and morning ceremonies)

(Visne Kiraz April 2012)

2 Yorum

Journey from Köln to Schönstatt

Actually, Köln was not the place I wanted to go this Easter. Everything changed at last minute. My initial plan was to go to Vosges for paragliding. Me and my friends were going to camp and fly there. However, this trip was cancelled due to the bad weather conditions at last minute. At the same time, my friend from Greece invited me to his trip to Schönstatt to celebrate and watch Easter Ceremony. This was a good idea for a 4-day-holiday. I searched for train tickets and found reasonable one from Amsterdam to Köln via DB. Then, I planned to go to Köln first and then meet with my friends in Schönstatt.

Köln welcomes you with its tall church – Cologne Cathedral at the station. I attempted to climb its 509 steps. I cannot say that it was easy. Whenever I see an amazing architectural design from the past, I think how they built it at those days with limited technology. Nowadays, people try to build fast and simple buildings which are totally away from aesthetics.

You can see the Hohenzollern Bridge over the Rhine River which is leading to Cologne Cathedral. The funny thing about this bridge is that the couples put locks which symbolizes their loves that will continue until that locks are opened. The creativity of locks make you laugh during your walk over the bridge. I saw one with Justin Bieber :)

I like the houses around Fischmarkt. Köln makes you feel you were in a doll-house with these houses and funny statutes around the city.


  • Duration: One day is enough for sightseeing and museum visits
  • Transportation: I arrived to Köln from Amsterdam via Deutsche Bahn. It costed 60 euro. The city is suitable for walking and riding bikes.
  • Accomodation: I stayed in A&O Hostel which is around Neumarkt. It takes 10-15 mins to main station on foot. It costs around 20-25 euro. Bring your linens which is not included in room fare.
  • Eat: German wurst
  • Drink: German beer next to Rhine River

(Visne Kiraz April 2012)

4 Yorum
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