It’s hard to believe it, but today is our thirteenth day in Germany. We will wake up and leave early on the fourteenth day, so today is really our last day in Germany. Today was also our first and only free day here, and while a few people bought train tickets for Munich, a couple of us determined that staying in Augsburg would be just as fun as going to Munich and also cheaper and less time-consuming.
There was a group of three of us that planned on simply exploring the parts of the city that we had not yet seen, but while we were eating breakfast, we were convinced by another group to go mini golfing with them and Brad. We walked through a park towards where we were supposed to mini golf, but we found that they would be closed for a few more hours. We chose not to wait and instead went to the nearby zoo. It had been a long time since I had gone to a zoo, so I enjoyed seeing the different animals, especially the baboons, seals, and monkeys. It surprised me how close they allowed people to be to the animals. The fence of the bison enclosure was so low that people could (and did) touch the animals.
After we left the zoo, we broke back into our two smaller groups, so the three of us left the park and went to the university. We wanted to see the university’s store so we could buy shirts to remember our time here. After going to where the store was supposed to be, we found only a display case with a few shirts and pullovers. I chose not to buy anything, but the others each wanted to buy shirts, so they found the right person to talk to and, after communicating through a mix of English, German, and hand gestures, they had bought their mementos. While at the university, we also had lunch, which was unsurprisingly Italian food. Looking back at the past two weeks, I feel like I should be getting tired of eating pasta and pizza, but the food just seems so much better here that I feel like it’s impossible to become bored of it.
We then took a short streetcar ride to a bookstore in the city. Of course, I went to the sports section to look for hockey books. After finding soccer book after soccer book, I finally found a total of three hockey books. It’s interesting to me that soccer is so prominent in Germany but that some people still love hockey to the point of making it into the NHL in the United States and Canada. Some of the German players in today’s NHL include starting goalie Thomas Greiss, Stanley Cup champion Tom Kuhnhackl, and phenom Leon Draisaitl, who was on the cover of one of the books.
We spent most of the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel until dinnertime came. The three of us and one more went back to the restaurant to which we promised to return. This time, I did not order the Big Easy Beef Salad but rather a Caesar chicken salad. Like at all of the restaurants here, I feel like anything I ordered would be good, and in this case, I was right. There is a lot I am going to miss about Germany, and this amazing selection of food is close to the top of the list.