Phoebe Katz, May 7-8
I woke up in Nordenberg and then headed to the Pittsburgh airport. I ate half a bagel, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel that I purchased the previous day from Bagel Emporium in New York. We all checked our bags (mine was 35 lbs, which leaves plenty of weight for souvenirs). That took longer than I expected because we all checked in with the same guy. And then went through security. I was right after a very old couple. Then we walked to our gate and we had plenty of time before our flight, so I also had the opportunity to finish by BEC, read a bit and drink some water.
The first flight was super quick, and before I knew it we were in Charlotte. This surprised me, because for some reason I thought we were going to Raleigh. The Charlotte airport was very packed, which made it a less than fabulous experience initially. But we got to our gate quickly and had an hour before our flight was boarding. I got 10 chicken nuggets, fries, and a chocolate frosty from Wendy’s. The nuggets and frosty were fantastic, but my fries were disappointingly over-salted.
The second flight only lasted 2 hours, which surprised me because it was supposed to last 8 hours. We also landed in New York, which surprised me because we were supposed to land in Munich. I gave my parents a call when we landed to let them know of the problem and they told me my dog missed me. Then I spent hours on the floor of JFK waiting for the new plane. It was very boring and I just wanted to sleep. I made it through though, and we eventually boarded the plane. I sat in the same seat and got settled in for the flight. I turned on Moana but did not have headphones so I just watched it silently while listening to music on my headphones. It was fabulous and I managed to fall asleep within the first 20 minutes. I ended up waking up and falling back asleep many times, but I ended up getting around 6 hours of sleep, which was more than I expected.
After customs and baggage claim, I washed my teeth and boarded the bus to Augsburg. On the bus, I looked out the windows at the fields we passed. There was a very stark contrast between the city and the countryside, with very little suburban area, which felt very different than the United States. The bus let us out at our hotel and we walked to McDonald’s for our first German meal. They had waffle fries, which was kinda cool. Then, we got a brief introduction to the program back at the hotel. We also got tote bags before checking into the hotel. I had just enough time for a quick shower and then the group met and walked to the Fuggerei. Our tour guide was impassioned, but I was bored after the long day of travel.
Dinner was at a German restaurant, with actual German food. It was definitely very heavy, but I mostly enjoyed it. I didn’t love the mac and cheese (sorta thing) which was made with very strange noodles. We got to eat with the University of Augsburg students, though, which was a nice introduction to them. I organized my room and then fell right to sleep upon getting back to my room after dinner.