After a whopping nine-hour layover in the Newark airport and an eight-hour flight, we eventually entered the little B&B Hotel in Augsburg. When we finished recovering from the extensive, tiring journey, the program organizers treated us with snacks in the form of sandwiches and Bavarian pretzels. This savory intake of carbs certainly prepared me for Dr. Feick’s walking tour of Augsburg.
Nobody can beat Germany at punctuality–the street cars always arrived exactly on time and efficiently transported us to where we needed to go. As a fluctuating amount of light rain drizzled upon us, we sauntered upon the city’s cobblestone streets lined with countless restaurants and shops whose European brands I did not recognize. In Germany, shops are usually not open on Sundays, but today happened to be one of the few Sundays in the month when shops were open just about everywhere. People holding blue flags and balloons emblazoned with the European Union symbol filled the area in front of the town hall and appeared to be celebrating. We soon made our way to the Augsburg cathedral, where we spotted the five oldest stained-glass windows in Germany from within its dark halls. Later, we met a local tour guide who showed us the apartments, gardens, and bunkers of the Fuggerei social settlements. I especially found it interesting how the Fuggerei apartments, as well as other buildings in the surrounding area, displayed an eclectic juxtaposition of medieval and modern architecture and designs. Overall, I see Augsburg as a very quaint, walkable place of German historical significance.
To close off the somewhat rainy day, we ate dinner with the German students. The feast consisted of soup, chicken, spätzle, and fruit. I particularly enjoyed this part of the day because it was the first time that I got to interact with some of the German students and learn more about their culture, as well as what they think about various aspects of life in Germany, such as education, transportation, and food. The German students were friendly, and I am excited to work with them on our company projects.
Today’s events were an interesting, informative kickoff to the program, and I am looking forward to more upcoming events that are in store for me. In the meantime, I need to increase my sleep number.