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So, this past weekend was my first major holiday without the family.  I was at first a little sad that I wasn’t able to spend it with them, but as it turned out, Easter still felt like Easter!  Here’s what I did that made it so oesterlich:

1. The Thursday beforehand, I went on a hike by myself up the mountain in the early evening.  it was very misty (which is why I wanted to go hiking), and it gave me time to reflect on the fact that Easter was fast approaching.  I remembered that Friday evening almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus also made a journey up a mountain, preparing for his time when he would be separated from his father.  I’ll more about this hike later, but know in the meantime, it definitely helped me have time for spiritual reflection.

On the mountain behind my dorm.

2. Friday I went hiking (again), but this time with friends!  It was good to bond with everyone, and to go exploring.  We found some pretty awesome stuff which will again require its own blog post (I’m so behind):

From left, in back: Jenny, Katie, and Matt
In middle: Amy, Sarah, Sanja, and Antal
Front and Center: me! (because I had to set the camera timer)

3. Saturday I went on a hike by myself.  I swear, if I’m not in tip-top shape by the end of this semester, I’m gonna cry.  Anyway, this hike was especially Eastery.   There’s a bit of red and yellow scaffolding on the mountain across the stream from my dorm.  I had wondered for a while what it was, and I happened to unintentionally figure it out on Saturday.  The scaffolding was holding up a cross!  How appropriate for the day before Easter Sunday!

I only JUST realized that the poles are red, yellow, and black, like the German flag! OOO SYMBOLISM

After sitting on a bench underneath the cross for a while, a hare ran across the path below me.  According to Jenna, hares in Germany aren’t the most common animal, so this was a rare sighting.  What do you think?  Is this the Easter Bunny?

Despite his best efforts, I saw where he laid the eggs!

I then decided to go get a better look at the cross, so I continued along the path.  The slope became steeper and steeper, with tons of loose rock, so by the time I got to the top, I had to hoist myself over the edge.  Right in front of me, a teenage couple sat on a bench, attempting to have a quiet moment to themselves; they no doubt witnessed the entire desperate exchange between gravity and my stubborn will.  I gasped out an apology for interrupting their tryst and stumbled away.  It was only then that I realized a much smoother, gentler path ran up the other side of the cross.  Oh well!

Later that night, I was able to video chat with my parents, which really helped me feel close to them for the holiday.

Tune in next time for the second half of my Easter weekend!