Today we arrived in Germany. Our flight landed at roughly 8 am German time. We had left the dorms at 3 am the morning before so we were all still very tired, but there was no time to rest. We still had a full day ahead of us. After arriving at the hotel, we had some time to get acclimated before we left for a tour of the city of Augsburg. This tour was our first experience of the German culture. Looking around you could see the differences between here and back in the U.S. The town center had a more vibrant atmosphere and seemed much more open to pedestrian travel than what I am used to back in the states. Even though today I did not get to interact with the German people that much, I felt as if I learned a lot about them and had a better understanding of their culture. Two things that I learned about Germany from the tour alone was how much pride the Germans had in their culture and how much the second world war had affected them, especially in the city of Augsburg. This was obvious because all the buildings had a newer look to them, however the insides of everything had been restored back to the way they had historically looked. My favorite example of this that we saw on our tour was the Rathaus. This was a giant town hall that had been destroyed by the war, however when they rebuilt it they had used pictures from prior visitors to rebuild important parts of it such as the gold room.
Another place that we visited on the first day was the Fuggerie. This was a poor person community that was historic to Augsburg that they had also rebuilt after the war. It is still open today as a community, but it has also been designed back to its historic state so that you can see what life was like for the people who originally lived there. The final place we went today was to the Zeughaus for dinner. This was the first time that I could try Bavarian food. I especially enjoyed the Spaetzle. Hopefully in the next couple of days I will get a chance to talk to more people and learn more about the German culture, but for now I just need to get sleep.