Myself and the travel expert that I am learned that traveling is a lot more tiring than I had expected. I do not think I have ever been more sleep deprived in my life. It all started at 7 am (EST) when I departed my homestead in Clark Summit, Pennsylvania for the lovely Pittsburgh – where it rained almost the entire 6-hour journey. Not too much happened at Pitt until the whole group met for dinner and the first bonding session, which was followed by more bonding at the movie showing later that night. The time was about midnight after the movie where we had board a bus at 2:50 am. I figured, “why not try to get some sleep until 2 or so?” I was apparently so tired that I actually woke up 2:52 am (2 minutes after the we were supposed to be on the bus and I was mildly unpacked). Luckily, I made it to the bus without being left in Pittsburgh and we were on our way to the airport.
This is where all the new “firsts” begin. I was thing sort of thing where if you dropped me off at the airport and said, “Now got get on your flight!” I would have no idea what I am supposed to be doing. Fortunately, I was surrounded by about 21 people who knew what they were doing and were kind enough to answer all my stupid questions. Thanks to these people (now my friends), the whole airport experience was not as overwhelming as I had anticipated. My first plane ride went well. Well, it was actually quite mundane. However, I would definitely fly again. My first ever plane ride took me all the way to Newark. From my experiences, Newark Airport was huge. Luckily, I had 9 hours to explore it.
Those 9 hours felt like days. Boredom settled in quickly, along with hunger, and exhaustion. Time was passed either playing games, eating, or sitting around doing absolutely nothing. I honestly did not expect an airport to be so much like a shopping mall. I only imagined a place where people went from gate to gate with not much in between. However, I guess it makes sense because with layovers and people won’t need to leave the airport and go through security multiple times. So, after surviving the grueling 9 hours of nothingness, it was finally time to board what was most likely the largest airplane I have ever seen. Honestly, I expected my seat to be a bit more spacious and comfortable for my transatlantic flight, but I survived. There was a lot more food on the flight than I had expected. I kept telling myself that I would go to sleep once the food stopped, but it seemed never ending. Once the food had stopped coming, I turned on a podcast about obesity and began my slumber. That lasted about 4 or 5 hours, and I woke up to a lovely breakfast on my tray. The rest of the flight was not too bad as I watched a few episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and just relaxed until we landed. During descent, it was very neat to watch the Bavarian farmlands roll by as we go closer to landing in Munich. The landing and the flight overall were not too bad, although others said otherwise.
The Munich airport felt just like the other airports that I was just in for excess periods of time. I had heard all the horror stories about going through customs and being held for two days, but I didn’t realize that I was through customs until after the it had happened. The first thing I noticed was all the German cars driving around. I felt like I was in the right place. Once we stepped outside, I noticed a particular car, nothing necessarily spectacular, but it was a Chrysler 300 in wagon form. This caught my eye because although I have seen Chrysler 300’s before, I have never seen one in wagon. This was when I knew this trip would be awesome. We then got onto a bus and headed to our hotel. The bus ride began with lots and lots of car watching, featuring a BMW i8, and ended with me falling asleep and waking up with me just arriving at the hotel, which happened to be across the street from a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
To wrap up this day that felt like it lasted forever, we met Sonja and Anna who brought us some pretzels and sandwiches. After our hunger has been satisfied, we took the tram to downtown where Dr. Feick gave us his version of Augsburg and some of the historical aspects of the town. We learned about the town hall and the golden chamber. (This is the gilded ceiling of the chamber).We went to the Fuggerei, which is essentially low income, religious housing for people in Augsburg. The tour ended at Zeughasstuben, which is a traditional Bavarian restaurant. I was skeptical about the food, because I am quite picky, but I figured I wouldn’t have many chances to try this sort of food so I went for it and I really enjoyed it. It was spätzle and turkey in a sauce, and it was delicious! This dinner opened me up to the thought of trying new foods throughout the trip.