National Geographic : 1955 Jul
132 Germany Chats with America at a Castle Turned Hostel Above Bacharach on the Rhine "When I crossed the moat and entered the courtyard, I felt as if I had been whisked back 400 years," relates the author. "I half expected a knight in armor to challenge me with a lance." Here Marilyn Rohner (right) of Sacramento, California, shares travel experiences with a trio of young German hostelers. Germany is truly a country of hikers and travelers. Here I found Scout troops and youth groups, including some from West Ber lin. Many boys wore Lederhosen (leather shorts), and a number of the girls had em broidered dresses and braided hair. In one corner of the common room a group from Bavaria was folk dancing. In another corner a blond youth squeezed an accordion while other hostelers hummed hiking songs. On the ship I had met Doris Esch, an ex change high school student from Dearborn, Michigan. Bright and friendly, she had been chosen to live with a foreign family for two months under the sponsorship of the American Field Service. Her European family lived in Essen, some 35 miles north of Cologne. It was off my route, but I was curious to see how an American girl adjusted herself to a German family, and vice versa. So I hitchhiked to Essen and found Doris hap pily settled with her adopted family. "They're marvelous, Joe," she said. "They have four daughters and treat me just like a fifth. Sometimes I go to school with the other girls.