Now that two weeks of orientation and my first week of classes are officially over, I have a few minutes to catch you up on my shenanigans abroad. That’s right, folks! Today you’re…
TIME TRAVELING WITH JENN!
Rewind to my trip to Basel. The next day, I moved to Freiburg via train. I had to repack (and we all know I hate packing) and go through travel anxiety all over again. Yes, I know that after surviving a ten-hour flight over the Atlantic ocean, I shouldn’t be scared about a thirty-minute train ride. But you see, I’ve never been on a train before. Ever. Talk about major performance anxiety! Where would my suitcase go? Would I accidentally sit in first class and get fined? Would I get off on the right stop?
The Holladays were kind and drove me to the train station (listening to my questions the entire time). While we waited for the train, we picked up some authentic German McDonald’s fare. That’s right, my first time having McDonald’s in 12 years happened in Germany. Oh the irony.
The train ride was actually pretty uneventful, but I enjoyed taking pictures. I also recorded a brief video to document my first train ride. Warning: contains awkward narration and facial expressions!
Birgit Kindler, our liaison between Stetson and the Freiburg PH and also our lifesaver for the next few weeks, picked me up from the Freiburg train station and took me to where Sarah and Matt were staying. Because we couldn’t move into the dorms for another three days, we slept in nearby hostel and enjoyed a few days of Freiburg without the demands of a schedule.
Jetlag had hit my two travel companions pretty hard, but they were determined to stay up as late as possible; this way, they could adjust to the time difference sooner. They decided they were up for a late evening tour of the city, and I could tell they were itching to get a taste of Germany (a first time for Matt). On our way down the stairs, I missed a step in the dark and fell. Klutz that I am, of course I would render myself lame the first night out! However, I could take my shoe off without causing additional pain, so I knew nothing was broken. I decided I would “walk it off”.
We set out, and after about ten minutes of sidewalks, we noticed a restaurant far above us on the edge of the mountain. It looked so magical and inviting, so we climbed the ramps and stairs. I soon regretted my hurt foot, but realized that it was keeping me at the same pace as my travel companions, who hadn’t had time yet to acclimate to the altitude. So in an odd way, my sore foot was a good thing.
Finally at the top, we scouted out the area: patrons were dressed semi-formal, a stunning view of Freiburg, and a cave.
Impressed, we decided we needed to come back when we were more appropriately dressed. On our way back down, we noticed an elevator and decided to take it the rest of the way. That’s when we realized German elevator buttons don’t look like anything we could translate. We pushed a few, and after a moment the doors closed. But the elevator went up, not down, and the doors opened on the quiet restaurant. We were staring directly into the bar, with the bartender just a few yards away polishing the top. Soft music tinkled in the background, and we frantically pushed more buttons, trying to figure out how to go back down. Just as the door slid closed, the bartender looked up at us. The elevator jolted downward, we breathed a sight of relief, then all started laughing.
This was only the beginning of a night of shenanigans, as we toured the rest of the city. We saw wonderful things, like the Freiburg cathedral and (unfortunately closed) ice cream cafes. I wish I could tell you all about it, but our time machine is limited in how long we can stay in one time, and it’s about to move to the next day. Buckle up your seatbelts, chrononauts; it’s time to time travel again!