We finally landed! After 20+ hours of travel, we finally made it to Augsburg, Germany! But let’s go back to the beginning of our very interesting journey of travel, all the way back to 3pm on Friday afternoon. After my dad dropped me off in Nordenberg, I checked in and found my room. It honestly felt really strange coming back to my freshman dorm just after saying farewell, just one week. After settling in, I found the other people that were also going on the trip. We had some time to pass before we had to head to dinner with all of the other plus3 programs, so some of us decided to go to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art! I have to say no matter how many times I visit the museum, I will never get bored, especially the stone section. I could spend hours just staring at all of the different formations and colors of crystals and stones! Here’s one picture with me, Sophia, Phoebe and the stones!
Right after the museum, we went straight to Sennott Square and had our dinner with the entire group. It was pretty quick and then we headed back to Nordenberg to rest before the big day of travel! Normally one days like this, I get really anxious and can’t sleep, and that is exactly what happened. But I was able to sleep for about 4 hours before my body just woke up at 5 and so I decided to take a shower and get ready for the day. This was perfect, because some of us thought to get breakfast at Dunkin Donuts before our checkout time at 7am because we wouldn’t have time and we all knew that it would be $20 for a bagel if we ate at the airport. After getting drenched in the rain, I grabbed my suitcase and backpack and headed down the stairs. We all checked out and went on the coach bus that would take us to the airport. The bus ride wasn’t long, but the check in to American Airlines took a solid hour with all the people that we had. But not to worry, my energy and patience was still high!
The first flight from Pittsburgh to Charlotte was not horrible; it was only around 1 hour and 15 minutes, but we were waiting on the tarmac for about 45 minutes. Then the monster 8 hour flight came and up until the 4th hour we were doing alright. I was settled in my seat, I had just eaten and was about to take a nap. But then, the captain comes on and says that we will be departing in New York because there is a problem with the plan and it was a small issue with the weather detector which was needed because we would be traveling across the Atlantic Ocean and it would not take that long to fix and we would just have to stay on the plane. We departed for New York, stayed on the plane for an hour and were then told that we had to deboard and get on a new flight. We were currently at gate 3 and we had to get to gate 33, so we all speed walked to the gate thinking that boarding was going to start any minute. We then proceeded to wait for a new plane for about 3 hours and at that point our trip was delayed for 4 hours. At this point, we had nothing to do, so Steph led some of us in a group yoga circle so that we could stretch from all of the sitting, which I thought was very sweet. Then finally boarding started and I have never gotten on a flight faster than that day. We waited more on the tarmac and then finally took off, I honestly passed out on the plane after all of the waiting, I was exhausted.
Then, we finally arrived at the Munich Airport after 6 hours! We all went through customs and luckily all of our bags made it, then we got on our bus that would take us to our hotel in Augsburg. The bus was another nap stop and when we got to the hotel we met Korbinian and Maxi, the lead and student lead, respectively for the German program. We gathered in a conference room for an orientation, but before Dr.Feick could sense that we were all very hungry, we set out to find a quick bite to eat. However, that was a bit difficult because a lot of the shops were closed because it was Sunday afternoon. We were lucky enough to go to one place that is always open, McDonald’s. It’s quite ironic how the first meal that the Americans had on their study abroad was McDonald’s. We then came back and had our orientation, we got a bag with goods (mug and pen), spending money, computer lab passwords, train tickets, etc.
After-which, we checked into our rooms and had some time to freshen up before we went on a Fuggerei Tour. It was very interesting to see the place that we learned about in class. We had a very engaging tour guide that was a very persuasive storyteller. Each place that we would go, he would paint a picture of what it was like in the times of Jakob Fugger and then also how the inside works now in this century. It was absolutely beautiful there, the greenery and especially the houses were beautifully organized. We were able to look inside one of the houses, in the time of Jacob Fugger and it was very interesting to see how the house was decorated with the bare necessities. I think having such a clean and simplistic interior was another way that the principles of the place were enforced. After the tour, we headed to dinner at Zeughasustuben with the German students. I had excited jitters the entire walk there, I had no idea what to expect, but I was just excited to meet new people! I sat at a table with Sophia and 6 other German students. They were very sweet to Sophia and I and asked us about our journey here, and how we liked it so far and so one. We even tried Spezi for the first time, which was so confusing at first because of the ratio of Fanta and Coca Cola mix but after a few sips, I was hooked! I had ravioli, which was delicious, but the side of potatoes was more like a mountain of potatoes, but still as delicious! We talked more with the students and then the Americans went back to the hotel. After eating all of those carbs, the long walk back was good for digestion.
We were free after dinner, so some of us decided to play pool at Pool City, and that is how my pool career started and ended. I quickly realized that pool was not the sport for me. It would take me an average of 3 tries to actually hit the ball and after a few turns and hitting the eight ball into a socket, my hand and eye coordination was not up to par and so I retired the pool racket. My friends on the other hand, might secretly be a pool connoisseur. They played a few more rounds and I happily cheered from the side lines. We then headed home once it reached 11, because we had to be up early the next morning since we were heading to the university for our first official class with both the Americans and Germans!