Well i t’s been nearly 3 weeks since my last blog entry and quite a lot has happened since. First of all, I have to say that the weather since the middle of October until now has been horrible. We have had nothing, but cloudy skies and rain for nearly over 3.5 weeks straight. But luckily I have been so busy with all of my classes and weekend travels that it hasn’t bothered me too much. I am now in my 5 week of classes and so far it is going fairly well. My courses at the University are a little challenging and intimidating, mostly because I am in a class full of Germans and I felt a little out of place. But over the last few weeks I have become a little more comfortable and able to participate freely in class. It’s still a little difficult to understand everything that is going on in class because I feel that there is more of an academic German language spoken at the University, which is quite different than casual German. But everyday I am learning new words and phrases and hopefully by the end of the year I will be able to understand everything that’s mentioned in class.
Aside from classes, I have also been trying to do as much traveling as possible in my free time. 2 weeks ago a few friends and I decided to do a day trip to Strasbourg, France, which is not far from Freiburg. Strasbourg is such a beautiful city and we had an amazing time. We went to the Strasbourg cathedral and it was unbelievable. After walking inside we walked up to the top of the tower and had a wonderful view of the city. The whole time I was there I couldn’t help but feel as if I was still in Germany, with all of the small German looking houses throughout the city. My favorite part of Strasbourg was a little street called La Petit France. It was a small street full of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century houses and everything had a German style to it. We ended up having an excellent time in Strasbourg and I definitely want to return sometime again before the end of the year.
Last weekend a friend and I decided to participate in a weekend children’s camp in Switzerland called Long Bridge. Long Bridge is the name of a camp in Langenbruck, Switzerland where Swiss children from ages 10-16 come to learn and speak English for a weekend. We had a theme of Thanksgiving so we actually prepared a Thanksgiving dinner and all of the Swiss kids were able to try some turkey, mashed potatoes, and of course some good old pumpkin pie. We also played all kinds of American games with them such as American football, baseball, and basketball. We all had a great time and I’m really looking forward to going back and participating in Long Bridge again sometime this year.
Just this past Monday was the 20 anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, which of course is a huge part of German history. To honor this day the Deutsche Bahn had a special offer for anyone to travel anywhere in Germany between Nov. 15th and Dec. 1st for only 20 Euros. I of course had to take advantage of this offer so I decided to go to Berlin this weekend and visit a good friend of mine who currently lives there. I was only able to stay for 3 days in Berlin, but it was still worth it. I got to see all of the major sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, Check Point Charlie, Holocaust Memorial, Sony Center, Reichstag, and of course the Berlin wall. I had a great time, but the best part was being able to visit with one of my German friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while.
So all in all the last several weeks have been amazing and at the same time exhausting. There are so many things to do in Germany, so I never find myself bored and with nothing to do. Every weekend is a new adventure and there are always places near Freiburg to visit and things to do. It’s amazing how many places I have been able to visit in the short amount of time I’ve been in Germany and I can’t imagine how much I will be able to see and do within the next 9 months. I can’t wait!!!