We are into our final week here at Grillensee but for Team Ealing it is a day like any other. We start at six with physical jerks then a quick run down to the lake, where we break through the ice for swim. Then breakfast of cold meats and sauerkraut. OK, I made some of this up, but some is definitely true!
We have an early start, breakfast (cold-meats) is done by 8.30am and we are in work everyday by nine working through till six when we go for dinner, we have an hour for lunch and tea break in the afternoon. After dinner we usually do some more work!
All this commitment is paying off, graphics leaflets and promotional materials – looking good; media promo video – coming along; students – working hard; teachers – flagging slightly; weather – raining (as usual!). It has rained a lot here, a lot! But nothing will dampen our spirits and today we are off to the famous Schloss Colditz!
However, it seems we were thrown a bit of a curve ball as there was an unexpected wait of an hour and forty minutes between train and bus, but this provided time for some retail opportunities at Lidl and Kik (budget clothing to suit all occasions – just as well as it was getting near the point where pants would have to be turned inside out!). The bus eventually arrived and we then had a twenty-five minute ride through the country – everyone fell asleep. When we arrived at Colditz town amazingly the castle is not immediately apparent but we soon found our way and hiked up the hill to the castle.
The castle is impressive and very large but our feeling was that they are missing a trick here as they don’t seem to be exploiting the tourist opportunity very well. There is the “Escape Museum” which is a few rooms of artefacts from Colditz time as a PoW camp in WW2. The contents are interesting but the presentation is a bit dull. To be honest some of the escape attempts and high-jinks of the PoWs are laughable - my favourites are the "radio room" disguised with blankets and the headphone sockets appearing as towns marked on a map of Africa stuck on the wall - I kid you not. And, when you consider the prisoners managed to construct a full sized glider, it's no wonder there were so many successful escape attempts from what was supposed to be a high security prison.
Apart from the museum there is a rather small gift shop and you can get into a few rooms of the castle but in order to see anymore you have to take one of only two guided tours per day which we could neither afford nor wait around for as we had to catch our bus back to the station. The castle has a long and varied history although it is most famous as a PoW camp and it seems a pity that there is not more about this on display. Having said all that we were all glad we went as we can at least say we’ve been but I have to say Escape from Colditz was nothing compared to the schlep we had getting there.
There was time for a quick coffee (can’t make it through the day without regular coffee stops!) before heading back to base. We were all flagging a bit by the time we got back and we had dinner in our “haus”; Doug had come down with a cold so had to “go for a lie down” (for twelve hours) and the rest of us “took the evening off”, which amounted to YouTube for the students and a lot of college work for me! Some things never change…….