Alpine Adventure (May 10)

Today, we had a much earlier departure from the hotel. We left at about 7:30 to embark on a sightseeing day at Neuschwanstein, a castle built by King Ludwig II. I sat with Stephen on the bus, and we had lots of stimulating conversation throughout the day. We spent a lot of time talking about…

Day 13: A day off

Today, for my free day, I wanted to just take it easy at the hotel. I have not gotten much sleep, and I have seen so many sites today, that I was just not in the mood to wake up early for a train ride out to Austria. So today, I slept in until about…

Day 12: Bavarian Breakfast and Oberammergau

We started today with a hearty breakfast in Baindlkirch. This was an authentic Bavarian breakfast with pretzels and sausages. It was excellent. Everyone got 2 sausages and a pretzel, but I ate about 4 sausages and 2 pretzels. The place was in a very rural area, so the landscape was beautiful. It was also interesting…

Day 11: Presentations

Today, we had our final presentations scheduled for 5:30. This meant that I was able to sleep in, and I took full advantage of that and slept in until 11. This was awesome. Our group then left to the University of Augsburg at around 12:30, and we ate lunch there. We then met up with…

Day 10: H&K and preparation for the presentation

Today we went to Horauf and Kohler, a plastics manufacturer for automobile companies. This tour was definitely different from all the other tours because our guide gave it in German while someone else translated it. This company fit the model of a German mittelstadt, a business that is medium sized. Unlike most of the facilities…

Day 6: The Climb

Today had a bit of a rocky start. I woke up on time, got breakfast, the usual. It was the first time that we would be taking a train to get to our cultural visit of the day, so it was a little stressful making sure we had everything we needed and didn’t mess anything…

Day 13: Austria

Today was the last day of our trip. While we were all very upset about this, we really made the most of it. We started at 7:45 this morning where we took a train to Munich and then from Munich to Salzburg, Austria. The travel time in total was between 3 and 4 hours. What…

Day 12: last day in Germany :(

We started our day today with a traditional Bavarian breakfast- pretzels and weisswurst. The place was very authentic; I really felt I was getting the full Bavarian experience just sitting inside. One of the biggest cultural differences I’ve noticed since being here is the normality of drinking alcohol all the time. It’s been almost two…

Day 11: strictly business

For the first time in two weeks, we had no wake up time! Today we had the entire day to work on our presentations as we wished, the only requirement being that we were ready to present at 5:30. As you can probably guess, I took this opportunity to sleep in a little bit later…

Day 10: H&K

This morning we toured Hörauf & Kohler, a plastic manufacturing company based in Augsburg. I would say that this tour was probably the most interesting of all of our company visits thus far for a couple different reasons. Most importantly, the tour was given in German. The company has one English speaking employee who was…

Day 1: Welcome to Germany!

Hello from Germany!  After a long day of traveling, we finally landed in Munich at 5:45am and then drove directly to our hotel in Augsburg to drop off our luggage and begin our day.  We went on a small city tour in order to keep everyone awake until meeting Sonja and Simon, our two main…

Riddle Me This (May 9)

We didn’t have to leave until 9:30 today, which was a major blessing. During the ~2-hour bus ride, Eric, Grant, Kayla, and I played 500 Rummy. I had 490 by the time we pulled into the parking lot of Continental for the meeting and the tour. I learned that Continental sells a lot more than…

The Carbon Company (May 8)

We left the hotel at about 8:15 this morning to travel to SGL, a company specializing in graphite materials and carbon fiber. Despite the fact that this is not the group we were assigned to, Kayla and I found this company especially interesting because we are both ChemEs, and the lecture was very chemistry-focused. I…

The Hunt (May 7)

Today was a pretty exciting day. I got up at about 7 am to get ready for the day, which means I got about 9 1/2 hours of sleep. The breakfast today was delicious. German hotel breakfasts are much better than American ones because they have some cold cuts along with the traditional eggs and…

The Arrival (May 6)

Okay, so today actually started at about 6 am on May 5 in Towers back on Pitt’s campus. The Plus3 Germany group met up in Towers lobby at 6:55 am and traveled to the Pittsburgh airport to begin our quest to Germany. We arrived about four hours before our flight, which gave us plenty of…

Day fünf (Five) – Living the dream, Give me a Castle Plzzz

Castles, legendary buildings that exist in movies, cartoons, and people’s dreams. But unlike unicorns which are nowhere to be found, castles are destinations for many tourists nowadays in Europe. Today, we had a chance to visit Neuschwanstein, a castle located in Schwangau and about two hours away from Augsburg. Ludwig II of Bavaria, he was…

Day 8: Dachau

Day 8 was our trip to Dachau which was a concentration camp located near Munich. I originally thought all concentration camps were extermination camps, but we learned that thats not necessarily the case. Some camps were “reeducation” camps including Dachau. Dachau included many minorities including Jews, Italians, Russians, Slavs, political prisoners, political enemies, and gays….

Day 9: Politics and Kuka

We started off today with a trip to the University of Augsburg where we got a lecture about German politics. I learned a lot about German politics; particularly that Angela Merkel is at the center right party called the Christian Democratic Union. It is also interesting that the Christian Democratic Union is really concerned about…

Day 7: Munich

Saturday was our day trip to Munich, which is the largest city in Bavaria. From the moment we stepped foot on the train in Augsburg you could tell it was a game day for the German powerhouse soccer team, FC Bayern Munich. The trains were jam-packed with people wearing jerseys from Bayern and Stuttgart (the…

Day 9: politics and robots

This morning we started our week with an interesting lecture about politics in Germany. I don’t usually find politics to be interesting, so I was expecting quite a boring morning. To my surprise, the lecture was actually quite intriguing, and I really enjoyed learning about the political system here. I found it especially interesting when…