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Report of the Canoe-Tour

Würzburg, 24th- 25th June 2006


First of all, we had two marvellous days I enjoyed very much. I liked the sunburn and the aching muscles, finally, I had the feeling that I had done something.
All jokes beside, I hope that all of you enjoyed the staying with YEU and that we could give you a little impression of what you can expect to be happening in an international convention somewhere in Europe. Thanks to Marc and Adam, that they were so brave to participate on our weekend and that's why I began first to write my report in English.
All pictures we have taken were put on the homepage by Erik and me, we both invite you to inform us if you have any further pictures we can put on the website.



It was unusually early when we had to stand up on Saturday, but a friendly “YEU”-sign, hold by a lovely smiling girl (Hanna), showed the way to the group. There we were, most of us didn’t know each other. However, we all imagined that it would be a nice weekend on a boat paddling over the Main and to get in touch with new faces. Oh, it’s time now to reach the train station. On the train, our superduper headmaster :) Sir Master Jou (simply Johannes) gave us a crep paper and a pencil to write our names down. And not to forget, we got our ration for today, bananas, mineral water, power bar. Oh, nearly we passed the station, where we had to get out. Here we were, KITZINGEN. There was a short march to the river where we would receive our canoes. At first, we began to introduce ourselves, what we dislike to eat, if we are grown-up or not, Pizza etc. After a very long introduction in how to handle boats, every body fell asleep, we finally jumped into the boat and our tour began. Some missed the boats and jumped directly into the water or was it because of the heat? Above all, we could hardly wait to get in touch with the wettest element.

The lifejackets were thrown away to the bottom of the canoes. We didn't need them at all. On the one hand because of the heat, and on the other one it was disruptive at the paddling. For  most of us, it was the first time sitting on a boat in a group of three or four people. So we  were hardly able to drive the boats how they should. We drove the boats like drunken sailors. Some of us capsized their boats by a fighting action, to the unhappiness of some passengers because they got wet. I'm very sorry about that. But honestly, it was a hot day, so why did some act like mimosa as they got wet? It was great fun to struggle with other boats. Enjoying the nature, for that would be still enough time later on.

After a few minutes, we arrived at the first watergate. But, where is the right entrance for us? Everybody had a questioning face. After some misunderstandings we found the place, and the big red button we had to press. Oh, holy cow, you can’t imagine how deep the sluices are. It was like a gloomy slippery prison. But, we got free of the five meter deep prison very soon. Now, there couldn’t go something awry, at all.

Even before we arrived at the first place for a lunch break, our canoe sank, all the clothes got wet, unfortunately the waterproof case wasn’t that safe. All the time on both days, my clothes were wet and lay in the sun at the grasground of the boat club, at the stairs of our hostel, etc. And my camera got wet, as well :(. Finally, we arrived, and Master Jou and Alex organized our lunch, strawberries, water, apple-schorle, sausage… Quite well organized, thanks to Hanna and Johannes. After the ample refreshment, some boys of us paddled to some trees from which you could jump into the water or swing over the surface with a liana like Tarzan. It was great, I can only say: The rest missed an exciting moment. Hats off for Jan and Alex,  they found the courage to jump into the water. After the first jump they fell into an addiction. It was fun to watch the boys from Stuttgart how they tried to get into the boat, it was a delightful amusement.


The sun was burning. It was hot. It was soccer day. Germany against Sweden….. I hope most of us could enjoy the game. I was busy tidying up the place with Le Maetre Jou and some helpful volunteers, thanks for this. I hoped all my wet clothes would get dry in the sun, but they wouldn’t, unfortunately. Hence, I compassed all the handrail. I think it was an exhausting day, much more than it seemed. We felt our bones and muscels. We drank our ice-coffee and just relaxed ourselves in the ancient backyard next to the magnificent medieval town tower, which should be our accommodation for tonight. Believe me, when I say, it was one of the greatest places, I had stayed before. When the successful game was over, of course in German eyes, it was time for a well-deserved typical German dinner, dumplings at mushroom sauce, in the top of the tower. An overwhelming view over the roofs of OCHSENFURT and the Main floodplain. In following evening hours, we organised some games for getting better in touch and well-known. I think we stressed our participants quite hard, as they should line themselves in the order of their first name standing close on chairs communicating without talking. It was funny for us, organisors, and sweating for you :). Sweat perls ran over the faces. And there was another game, called “Kissing Killer”, in which people had to “kiss” their given victims somewhere. I heard Kevin was one of the best vampires, but he bit too much, so that he got sick :(, unfortunately. Anyway, everybody was afraid of everybody, all had to be close together, so that noone could bite somebody. Usually, some smart vampires caught hard-working volunteers in action when they supported their self-sacrificing relief, that was quite unfair. That’s life.
Now, it was YEU-time. We introduced all in the meaning of YEU; in its name the event was organized: the international air, the inviting beaches of Cypres, the mixed cultures, new friends, etc. I hope you loved our presentation and that we could give you an insight of something, which is really worth to experience.
The sun was gone, a mild night was inviting us for staying outside. We decided to make a campfire for baking stick bread. But, somehow I couldn’t loose the feeling that our march looked like the “Kastenlauf” (bear crate walking) in Wuerzburg. Really, it was hard to carry all the stuff, we all groaned. But lounge music, the atmosphere on the river, the fire, the stars, the talks gave this day a nice end.



For the ones who went to bed late, it was hard to stand up, however the pleasant words of roommates and the day laying before us, and of course hunger, helped to get up. Red pigs (sunburn:)) were running through the tower, asleep and tired eyes were staring at each other. It was time for the second part of our canoe-tour. Groups found themselves. Alex and I, we were a couple in one boat. I think everybody had to deal with the handling of the boats again due to a changed number of passengers and boat size. At that day, it was cloudy and sometimes rain drops suggested that we would have a shower. Luckily, only our boat was overturned by crashing straight into another one, and my clothes got wet once again. But, I might say, I was adapted to capsize. In this way, some lost their stuff so that the Main got to a huge conglomeration of culture goods, later generations will say, it must have been a stormy canoe-tour. Many comrades comforted us, and helped us to manage the capsize. It wasn’t that easy to turn the canoe, to get into it and to put on all our luggage.

Hanna joined us for support. And despite of this experience, we mutated to the party boat, singing all along the journey, waterdrunken? At the lunch time in a beautiful lagune, you could see the exhaustion in all the faces. People behaved more silent, as though they confounded their vitamine pills with sleeping pills. Some fell asleep everywhere in every stage, nobody moved more than he should. Nobody, no. Some boys had had power, still. They swam across the river. Oh god, what a streaming; you could swim and swim, you weren't able to move. During the afternoon the sun overcame the clouds. It got hot and the fights began again. It was nearly relaxing to receive a wet shower from one of the opponents. Unbelievable fast, we reached WUERZBURG and its fortress throning over the city. Before we gave back our boats, we had to find out who is the best canoer. Fabian and me, we paddled in a four-men-canoe against each other. Fabian flew over the river, oh man, there was almost no chance for me and than he fell into the water. Yeah, and I won. It was great fun. At the last beach (2m length) we lay on the grass like seals. I guess most of us hadn't ever swum in the Main and hadn't intended to do so, though after this tour every body lost ones last provisos. And in private, this water is much better than the chlorinated water in the swimming-pools, isn't it?

Last but not least, we ended our canoe tour with barbecue. To our surprise, some former YEU-members joined us. After some complications, we wagged a plate like a funny dog to light up the fire, we ate our sausages and could make our resumees by each own. Due to our preparations we had some delicious salads and beers, and the weekend could die away, cosily.


There's something left to say, very well done and great thanks for the organisation to Hanna and Johannes, and of course to you for your participation. If you love similar actions like this one, you are welcome to take part in further events and you are allowed to pass it on to your friends, as well. Moreover, if you are interested in organisation, we invite you to let us know, and above all the orga-team would be pleased, if you wanted to join our society, Youth for Exchange and Unity - German Group e.V. (YEU), and participated in one of our international conventions, for instance in Greece and Poland this year.

With great embraces



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