06 September, 2009

First full week of classes (and travel) complete

Well it's been quite an eventful week. I started classes on Monday. They were mostly pretty easy. That's a big change for me in comparison to my usual Engineering course work. I'm so used to staying up late working on homework assignments that I really don't know what to do with all of this free time.

I've spent a lot of time wandering around Reutlingen stadtmitte. That's like the downtown area, with lots of shops and restaurants and Kebab stands, the staple fast-food joint here in Germany. The main bill of fare at a kebab stand is the doenor, which is half a pita with the pocket filled with gyro meat and lettuce, cabbage, onions, and cucumber sauce. Delicious. And probably healthier than most American fast-food.

On Wednesday after class Rian and I went for a stroll through the neighborhood surrounding the Hochschule. We stumbled upon a quite large park and forest reserve with lots of trails through the hills. Very pretty. You should check out my photo album for more details.

We were planning on going on a trip to a nearby castle on Thursday but the weather was gross so all of us Valpo kids stayed inside and watched a movie. On Friday Rian and I went to Stuttgart to see the Mercedes-Benz Museum. We took two buses and a train (S-Bahn) to get to Stuttgart and then walked about 4 miles from the train station to the museum. We walked through a Schlossgarten with paths lined with huge birch trees. Again see the photo album for pictures. The museum itself was very cool. It was only 4 Euros to get in thanks to the student price. The bulk of this week's photo album as you can see is dedicated to photos of cars.

Saturday (yesterday) I was going to try to go to the Castle by myself, but I accidentally missed the bus. I was waiting on the arrivals side of the station instead of the departures side. Oh well, that's how we learn, right? So instead I took a train to Rottenburg am Neckar to visit Christine who was the R.A. in the German house last year. I got a private tour of the town which is about the size of Urbana. It's a predominately Catholic town so there are many houses with Saint figures mounted in their walls and of course big pretty church buildings.

Today I went again to the Baptist church just down the road. There was a large group of kids who, from what I gathered, had been at a summer camp for the past two weeks. They sang "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" one of the favorite classics in contemporary Christian worship. That was fun to be able to sing along to. After the church service I stuck around and had lunch with the kids and talked with a few of the counselors. They were a very welcoming group of people.

I'm looking forward to another organ concert tonight, but until then, I'm going to take a little sabbath. Thanks for reading. Keep in touch.

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