Day 1: The Never-Ending Day

I arrived at campus in the early afternoon to spend the night at Pitt before departing for Germany.  After saying goodbye to my family, I checked into Tower A, where I stayed that evening along with other Plus3 participants.

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Being dropped off at Pitt

All the Plus3 Germany students went to Lulu’s Noodles for a predeparture dinner.  The restaurant had interesting décor that depicted random encounters with noodles, such as this one.

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Lulu’s Noodles décor

After dinner, I played several group electronic games, such as Quiplash, with several friends traveling to different Plus3 locations.  I ended my evening early to get a good night of rest before a long day of traveling.

The day started early, leaving for the airport at 7:30 am on a bus with the Plus3 Costa Rica students.  We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to explore before boarding the plane.  I went to go get my typical breakfast: 2 plain bagels.  The first flight was to Philadelphia, which was quick- we were only in the air for about 45 minutes.  I sat in the window seat- which is my favorite seat because you get the best views out of the window.

We had a 4.5 hour layover in the Philadelphia airport before we left for Munich.  I walked around a bit, grabbed some lunch, and played card games until it was time to board.  It was a long flight- I attempted to watch Finding Nemo, but I fell asleep about an hour into the movie.

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We were served dinner and breakfast on the plane, but I found both mostly disgusting.  I was not expecting anything too edible and had packed my own snacks for the flight.

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I stayed awake after breakfast, and for the last bit made puns with the cities names on the monitor with Gemma, whom I was sitting next to on the flight.  When we finally landed at 6 am, we had to go through customs and find our luggage.  According to many, my passport picture looks like a 45-year-old Russian spy???  I mostly forgot what my bag looked like- I only knew it was grey, so I almost didn’t grab it off the luggage return.  Thankfully, I grabbed it when I saw the rainbow polka dot ribbon on the bag and recognized it as mine.  We arrived early to Munich, so we had some time to explore the airport and exchange dollars for euros.  My first purchase in Germany was a bag of pretzels, as one would expect because pretzels are one of my favorite snacks.

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First purchase in Germany

As we walked around the airport, I noticed the staircases had interesting structures built around them.  I wasn’t sure if they had a purpose, but I thought that they looked cool.

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We left Munich and rode a bus to Augsburg, where I napped as much as I could in preparation for a very long day. When we arrived at the hotel, we left our luggage in a room off the lobby because our rooms weren’t ready yet.

 

Shortly after arriving in Augsburg, we embarked on a mini tour of the city that took us to several top landmarks. First, we walked to King’s Place, which is the main tram station we would be using because it was close to our hotel and went directly to the University of Augsburg. Continuing down the road, we reached Maximilianstraße, which is kind of like Forbes Avenue at Pitt- the main road through town that has many restaurants, shops, etc.  Next, we went to the town square and saw the Town Hall. Dr. Feick gave us a short lesson on the history of the town hall and showed us a picture of what the building looked like after a bombing during WWII- only 3 walls remained, and all the windows were shattered. He explained that most of Augsburg was rebuilt after WWII and that some buildings were restored as they were before the bombings and others built quickly and plainly.

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We went inside the town hall to discover a decorative golden room.

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Still sleep deprived, we returned to the hotel to get settled into our rooms.

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Pretzel from Ihle for lunch

Shortly after, we grabbed a quick lunch at a bakery and continued on to tour the Fuggerei.  I enjoyed this tour; however, I was too tired to remember much of it and appreciate the experience as much as I should have.

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The last item on our agenda for the day was a Welcome Dinner with German students from the University of Augsburg.  I ordered schnitzel with spaetzle, which can best be described as noodle-like dumplings.  I enjoyed my meal, but dessert was my favorite.  We had delicious apple strudel.

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Apple Strudel

Immediately upon returning to the hotel for the night, I deservingly fell asleep after being awake for almost 40 hours.

 

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While waiting in the airport in Munich, I saw several dogs which inspired me to keep track of the number of dogs I would see each day.

Dog Counter: I saw 20 dogs today!!

 

Whenever I would go on vacation with my family, at the end of each day, we would talk about our high and low, or best and worst moment, of the day. I thought it would be a good idea to continue this tradition in my blog.

Low of the Day:

Falling asleep at dinner because I wish I was more awake to talk with the German students.

 

High of the Day:

Since there are an odd number of girls in this program, I get to have a hotel room to myself with a larger bed and more space.

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