So far this trip has been all Go! Go! Go! with very little time to sit down and write, so sorry for the delayed updates! Anyway…
Tuesday (June 6th) was the first day of our German class and after a weekend of not knowing the language spoken around us, we were all very excited to learn. So far the German class has been a lot of fun, and we have all learned more within this first week than we could imagine. Tuesday evening a group of us successfully navigated to a store and back — without a buddy! I’ve definitely got this whole public transportation thing down! When we returned to campus, we went to a Welcome Barbecue for all the foreign exchange students this summer. However, it was pouring rain and freezing cold, so we did not stay outside very long and ended the night with a couple drinks in an underground bar on campus.
On Wednesday I officially started my internship. I am going to be spending the summer in a robotics lab. I will be working a lot with Arduino and Raspberry Pi and I am really looking forward to how much I will learn this summer! I’ve already successfully created a mock intersection stop light in Arduino — so you could say I’m a pro.
We had our very first German test on Thursday (it’s a VERY fast-paced class)! After school and work I headed into the city to see the one and only MARY FISCHER! It was so amazing to get to hang out with my best friend — and for the second time in Germany (we travelled Europe together in 2015)! She is traveling with her mom and the two of them started their trip in Munich, so I got to spend time with her. We went to the legendary Hofbräuhaus and had some beers and a pretzel and then met up with my study abroad group later that night. I slept over at the hotel with Mary and her mom and quite enjoyed having a super comfortable bed for a night.
Friday started out pretty slow. I grabbed coffee with Mary and her mom and then travelled back to campus for work. After work, Jayme, Nick, Julius (one of our German buddies), and I went to a shopping mall to try to get Jayme’s phone to work. I am lucky enough to have T-Mobile as my provider, which means that I have international service free of charge. Because of this, I have been the point of contact for my group since no one else can seem to get a well-working German sim card. After the mall, we grabbed the rest of the group and travelled into the city where Mary met up with us again. We then went to a gelato place that makes wacky flavored gelato with real ingredients. We tried FISH gelato here (it was awful) and other flavors like beer and pretzel. After gelato we walked through the English Gardens and explored the city. Sadly, we had to part with Mary that night since she was leaving for Austria the next day.
Saturday was one of the most amazing days yet! We travelled to Schloss Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired Walt Disney). This area was absolutely beautiful! We went to the Alpsee and rented pedal boats to use in the lake. It was so cool to pedal out into the middle of the lake and be surrounded by one of the most picturesque landscapes I’ve seen yet! After the lake we hiked up the mountain to take a tour of Neuschwanstein. The rooms we saw in this castle were insanely ornate, which makes sense considering that the king who ordered it to be constructed, Ludwig II, was a big fan of creating castles. After our tour we headed back to Munich and then back to campus.
On Sunday, we had some amazing sunny and warm weather here, so the group and I put on our swimsuits and travelled to the English Gardens. The Eisbach (Isar) runs through the English Gardens in the center of Munich. There is a wave at one end of river that you can actually surf on (if you’re good enough) and it then breaks into two sections: a fast flowing one and a slow flowing one. The slower part of the river is a very popular place for people to hang out and go for a very chilling swim in. This was the area where we set up our towels and went in. The water was SO COLD but worth it, because it was warm in the sun. We spent the entire day drinking some beers, eating some pretzels, and playing volleyball with some new English-speaking friends. Naturally, us Arizonans did not think to put on a lot of sunscreen in the below 100 degrees weather and we all got sunburned. After the river we travelled back to campus to shower and change into some nice clothes because our German teacher was taking us to an opera! We met Lydia, our teacher, at the Bavarian State Opera where we watched and listened to an opera. It was cool to experience something that is a big part of German culture, even though we did not understand any of it.
This trip has already been amazing. I’ve found myself saying “Omg this was the best day ever” every single day. I am really looking forward for all that is going to come, because if the rest of the summer goes as well as this week, it is going to be AMAZING! Although, I will be very tired, because we have about zero downtime here haha (it’s okay though, I love it)!
Check out the week’s pics here!