Kochel was a small resort town by a beautiful lake on the edge of the Bavarian alps.

Students at the institute stayed in rooming houses throughout the town. The quality of housing varied quite a bit, but I think our place was pretty typical. The facilities were not what Americans expected in many ways, but I can only speak of my own experience.

As I mentioned earlier, my roommate was Japanese. Her name was Sonoko Uchida, but her nickname was Peco. Her German was excellent and she had corresponded with a German pen-pal for many years. She even assisted in a German language school back home in Tokyo. In addition she was a fine roommate with a gentle sense of humor and unending patience with my stumbling attempts at communication. However much I learned over the summer was due more to her than the instruction at the institute. I'm sorry I don't have a picture from the day that she insisted in dressing me up in a kimono!

It was a stiff (and steep) walk from our house to the school. When I first arrived I was pretty soft, but by the end of the summer I was pretty hardy.

There were also plenty of hiking opportunities around town and even up into the mountains. I spent a lot of time walking around on my own -- even in the rain that was so common in the summer of '68.

The following pictures are of the town.

Picture

Narrative

Schmied von Kochel

The "Schmeid von Kochel" or Smith from Kochel was a local hero. According to Wikipedia he was a legendary figure rather than a specific individual. (The German version of the article is identical but includes much more information about art featuring this individual. This is his memorial in Kochel itself.)

Home Sweet Kochel Home

This was my home away from home during the summer. Our room was on the opposite side of the building on the 3rd floor. It was a spacious room, but unfortunately had no heat and it was a cold summer. The toilet was across the hall, but we had a sink in the room -- cold water only. Brr.

Glazier

The owner was a master glazier by profession.

The bathroom was on the ground floor and we were allowed to take a bath only once a week. Peco was appalled as the Japanese are VERY fond of their daily baths. Additionally we had to pay 2DM (about 50 cents) each time to cover the cost of the fuel for the wood-fired hot water heater!

Unfortunately our assigned bath night was the same as the family, so luxuriating in a hot tub was out of the question.

Mobile

The decor in our room was pretty basic. Two beds with heavenly German federbett comforters. For those who have never experienced these, I cannot adequately describe them. Unfortunately I can't find any online pictures of them (and why would I have thought to take a picture of the bed?).

Peco had brought supplies for making origami and she taught me many different styles. We made a batch and then I fashioned a mobile to display them and perk up the decor a bit.

Candle

Nowadays this makes me shudder a bit. If I had to read after Peco was in bed there were no bedside lights, so I would light a candle. I'm glad I didn't burn the house down!

Kegelbahn

There were two restaurants that hosted us students for dinner. The Gasthof zur Post was pictured on an earlier page. This is the other one: Terrassen Cafe mit Kegelbahn. It also housed the local bowling alley!

We were divided into two groups and rotated every two weeks.

Goethe Institute

This slide is labeled Goethe Institute, but it must have been the administration building. I don't remember it. Picturesque though.

Goethe Institute, Kochel am See

This is the building I remember. My class met in the front left of the door where the window is open. My level was "Grundstufe Zwei," which was a step above rank beginner. Somewhere I have a certificate that qualifies me for promotion to intermediate level if I ever decide to go back.

Kochel Bahnhof

Another key location within Kochel was the Bahnhof. We were at the end of a spur line that ran south from Munich through Starnberg.

The railroad was our link to the outer world.

Kochel House 1

The following pictures were along the path I walked every day to class and elsewhere in Kochel. I'll use the commentary space to describe some of my fellow students (unfortunately I don't have pictures of them).

Kochel House 2 1968 was the year of the Prague Spring. There was a Czech couple in my class who had been allowed to come to Germany to study, but had to leave their small children home with relatives -- somewhat as hostages. When the Soviets invaded their homeland during our school session, they were frantic to get status of family left behind. They eventually left  early to go home.
Kochel House 3

Another student in my class was a Dutch merchant marine sailor. German was to be his fifth or sixth language after French, Flemish, English, Dutch and maybe one or two more. Although he started at our elementary level, by the end of the session he was fluently discussing history and politics with the teacher.

Kochel House 4

We had a small group that frequently played bridge after supper. In addition to myself there were two other Americans: one from NC and one from San Jose, CA, and a Brazilian. Although we started in German with the best intentions, we eventually gave up and spoke English.

Hayfield

Other nationalities represented were Thai, Canadian (French & Anglo), Icelandic, Tunisian (two brothers who were great drummers!), Central American (I forget which country - great guitarist), and French.

We had some good times.

Rose

Roses were a popular shrub. I've always liked this picture.

Kochel Parade

I don't remember what the celebration was all about, but one day the townspeople gathered in traditional festival dress for a parade. As usual it was raining, but that didn't dampen anyone's spirits.

Kochel See

Kochel am See means "Kochel by the Lake." This is the lake. It was quite large and quite lovely. There were resort hotels scattered along the shoreline.

Betsy & Kaye

On the occasional nice day there were paddle boats (tretboot) for rent. These were a couple of my MBC colleagues, Betsy and Kaye.

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