Sunday May 7, 2017
Hello from Germany! We started our journey early Saturday morning when we left for the Pittsburgh airport at 3am. After a very long eight-hour layover in the Newark airport, our flight to Munich finally took off, and we all said goodbye to the United States for the next two weeks!
Finally we landed in Munich, and headed straight to our hotel where we received our bus passes and other essential items for our stay. We took the streetcar into Augsburg and spent a few hours touring the city with a few of the University of Augsburg students, lead by Dr. Feick. While on our tour we stopped at the Cathedral of Augsburg which had beautiful windows and architecture. Next we went to the Town Hall of Augsburg where we received tickets to go into a private room with murals across the ceiling. The ceiling was also adorned with sculpting painted with gold.
After seeing the Town Hall of Augsburg we had a tour guide take us through the Fuggerei, a miniature closed in community within the city of Augsburg, built during the 16th Century. During that time, only Catholics could live in this community and were allowed reduced taxes to do so, but were (and still are) required to say three specific prayers each day. Because Augsburg was a large fighter jet producer during World War II, the city was often targeted for being bombed. This resulted in a bomb shelter being built in the middle of the community, which we were able to walk through. At the end of our tour, we got to see the church that was built within the community specifically for its residents.
Throughout the day, we continued to see chalk markings on religiously affiliated buildings, which we later learned are written by children of the churches. The markings are written in order to protect the buildings from being haunted by evil spirits.
We ended our night having dinner at a traditional Bavarian restaurant where we were served chicken and traditional spaetzle with a gravy and mushroom sauce. My table ordered Spezi, a German made soda that combines Cola and Fanta, and it actually did not taste too bad!
After dinner, we all headed back to the hotel to go to bed early, as we are all still exhausted from our travels. Tomorrow we will meet the rest of the German students and give our introductory presentations on our automobile companies.