Day 1: The 35-Hour Day

Sunday, May 6

Wir sind endlich in Deutschland angekommen! After a long night flight and a six-hour time jump, we hit the ground running. Our rooms were not yet ready, as we expected with our morning arrival, so we used an office room on the first floor of the hotel to stow our luggage while we began to explore our home city for the next two weeks.

We decided to go on a short walk while we waited for Sonja, one of the organizers on the German side, to arrive. It was only down the street to Königsplatz, the main street car station, but it helped to keep us awake and stretch the legs.

When Sonja arrived with Simon, they gave us some general information about getting around Augsburg and our planned itinerary for the duration of the trip. Once we were set, Dr. Feick led us on a tour around the city.

The first stop we made was at Ihle, a bakery, where most of us bought something for lunch. I myself wasn’t hungry, but some people got very interesting things. Only in Deutschland would a sandwich be served on an actual pretzel!

Moving on, we continued into the heart of the city. We made a stop at the Rathaus (town hall) and went inside to look at the beautiful golden chamber upstairs. The building, like much of Germany, went through renovations after the Second World War, but most of the integrity of the Goldener Saal was preserved.

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Continuing down this road, we visited St. Anna’s Church, which exemplifies architecture from the Baroque era. This is where the grave of Jakob Fugger, the patriarch of a historically influential wealthy family, is located.

After taking a short break to rest and move into our hotel rooms, we continued to walk around the city. At 4:00, we had a tour of the Fuggerei, an exclusive living community created by Jakob Fugger for the poor.

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We took a walking tour of the complex, and got to look around the inside of one of the apartments as they looked when they were first built. Rent for an apartment today is only 0.88€ ($1.05) a year, however one must also match certain criteria to live there, namely that one must make under a certain salary, be Catholic, have lived at least two years in Augsburg, and have a good reputation to his or her name. On top of this, there is quite a long waiting list!

After the Fuggerei, we went to dinner at Bauerntanz and ate traditional Bavarian food. I ordered Jägerschnitzel, which is a type of cutlet served with mushroom sauce and Spätzle, a German egg pasta. For dessert we all ate Apfelstrudel, a perfect way to end an exhausting day.

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We then made our way back to the hotel. My most recent sleep having been in Pittsburgh, I was awake for 35 hours straight. After such an exciting first day, sleep was most certainly welcome!

As a side note, I am involved in a step competition for the month of May with Johnson & Johnson, which is the company that my Dad works for. He was allowed to have one non-employee on his team, so I joined because I knew I would be taking a lot of steps here in Germany! So each day at the bottom of the post, I am going to put the number of steps taken that day out of interest. For reference, the number of steps that constitute a normal day should be around 10,000 for a healthy lifestyle.

Step count for today: 19,743

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