Review: Deutsche Reise nach Chicago

Madelyn Knight , Reporter

With cash in my pocket and friends by my side, students from all over the township and I boarded buses to head to Chicago to immerse ourselves in German culture.

When I arrived at PMHS at around 7:55 a.m., students from four different schools were gathered in the lobby. Middle schoolers and High schoolers from both Perry and Southport were welcomed on the trip. We filed into two buses, one with high schoolers, and another with middle schoolers.

The trip took about four hours. We first arrived at the Chicago Brauhaus. The Chicago Brauhaus is a German restaurant in Lincoln Square. We had a choice of a few different menu items, such as Wiener Schnitzel, Chicken Schnitzel, Meatloaf, Bratwurst and a couple others. I chose the Wiener Schnitzel. It came with a side of mashed potatoes and was quite tasty.

Along with the excellent food, there was a man playing live music on an accordion. He played a variety of German music, including songs from “The Sound of Music.”

After lunch, we piled back into the buses and headed over to the Christkindlmarket. It’s located on Daley Plaza in the Loop. The Christkindlmarket is a German market that has mainly Christmas goods. The first thing you see is a huge sign saying “Willkommen to the Christkindlmarket Chicago.”

I stayed with a group of five of my friends, making it six if including me, and headed into the market. Although the market is large, it was  super crowded. It’s really hard to navigate through, because you are always having to push through people.

Despite that, we first made our way over to a booth called “Sweet Swabian” which was based out of Stuttgart, Germany. I got cinnamon and sugar roasted pecans, of course, because they are my favorite. They were warm and melted in my mouth.

After that my group of six made our way through the crowd to go get some hot chocolate. A tradition each year at the Christkindlmarket is to serve hot chocolate with a special mug. They had two options, a snowman shaped cup or a Christkindlmarket mug. I decided to go with the Christkindlmarket mug, because last year I got the snowman cup. The mug was decorated with the city of chicago and a painted picture of the market.

After this, we did a little exploring of Chicago. We went to see the decorations at Macy’s and to drink our hot chocolate. Luckily, we had google maps to help us with directions.

When we were all warmed up, we headed back into the market. We visited a few more booths. There was one booth with lanterns and candles that captured my eye. I bought three tea light candles with winter designs on them.

Before we knew it, it was time to get back on the buses and head home. The day went really fast, but it was a lot of fun and very memorable. We learned a lot about different German traditions and culture and I can’t wait for the opportunity to go next year.