I finally made it! It’s been a dream of mine to travel to Germany for over ten years already, so you can only imagine my excitement when I finally set foot off the airplane and into Munich. Whenever I travel, I like to divide the overall trip into smaller segments, such as the drive from Harrisburg to Wilkes-Barre (because I carpooled with my roommate to Pittsburgh), the drive to Pittsburgh, the bus ride to the Pittsburgh airport, the flight from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, th
e final flight from Philadelphia to Munich, and the final bus ride into Augsburg. It sounds simple enough, but once you finish segment after segment, believe me, it gets VERY tiring. Needless to say, I was jumping for joy each time we moved closer to our end goal. On the plane ride from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, I met a toddler named Case who sat two rows behind me and across the aisle, but he could not stop staring and smiling every time I waved and played peek-a-boo with him. On the flight from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, I sat beside Eric Sherbocker, a fellow Plus 3-goer, and to my left was another Eric, a stranger travelling to Munich for a yearly vacation with his mom! I soon befriended him too, and now I refer to him as “other Eric.”
After arriving in Augsburg, albeit very exhausted from travelling I was still very happy to explore the city. I was thrilled to finally meet Sonja, considering she, too, is Croatian and can speak the language with me.
We started with the Augsburg Town Hall, or Augsburger Rathaus, where we walked to the Golden Hall, which was richly adorned with paintings of Roman Emperors and intricate designs after being destroyed by the bombings during World War II.
Later on, after finally showering and changing out of our traveling clothes, we met a few German students from the University of Augsburg and dove deeper into the city’s history by learning more about Jakob Fugger, the “German Medici,” and the legacy he left behind in Augsburg. I was upset that I never actually learned about the Fugger family throughout my Humanities II course in high school, considering we covered every other prominent European after the fall of the Roman Empire, but it was amazing to experience the history first-hand, rather than reading about it from a PowerPoint. We walked to St. Anna’s Church, where Jakob Fugger is buried, followed by a tour of the Fuggerei, or the oldest social houses that were funded by Jakob Fugger to house the needy of Augsburg. I was brought to tears when our tour guide mentioned that the residents only pay 0.80 euros a year for rent. Let’s get with the program, America.
The time finally came to eat dinner with more of the German students. Liv and I sat with the four Master students, even though we had NO clue they were the onesgoing to Pittsburgh in the fall semester until about halfway through the dinner. For dinner, Liv and I both tried traditional Bavarian schnitzel covered in a delicate mushroom sauce and spaetzle, a type of German noodle. The dinner went extremely well, and I think it’s safe to say that after our excursion in Ausburg, we will still see a lot of the Master students in Pittsburgh soon enough.
Well, as they say, Wilkommen in Deutschland!