Too Much, Too Soon.

So here it is. It’s all coming down to the wire. I only have a week and a half left here in Germany before heading home for Christmas, and what a better way to leave than visiting the world-renowned Nuremburg Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Festival for those whom can’t understand the German vocabulary). I have to say, it was remarkable. I could have, however, done without the massive cluster of people that were present during the opening night of this glorious celebration, but what do you expect from the first weekend of one of the biggest Christmas markets in the world? Besides drinking a fair share of delicious Gluhwein, my group and I browsed around some shops finding gifts for family members and of course ourselves.Image

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While there, I bought myself a wooden Christmas Tree, or Pyramid as some call it, because that was one of the things I absolutely wanted from my trip here. It’s a wooden figure in the shape of a tree that originated in Bovaria during the medieval times that has a propeller on top that spins with heat. In order to heat up the air, there are candle holders to put candles in, and while the propeller spins, the objects on the floors of the tree spin as well. It’s pretty cool. Here’s a generic picture of one that I bought:

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All I can say is I was very excited to finally purchase one. I was looking forward to it the entire time I was here. Besides that, I bought a Christmas Stine and some Christmas presents for my parents (can’t mention what they are because they may be reading this). We were determined to buy every Gluhwein cup the Market served, but we only managed to receive 4 of the 8 founded varieties they had:

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Other than touring the Christmas Market, we also took a tour of the Old Nazi Rally Grounds that were in development before World War II. It’s amazing some of the architecture that was built back then with their not as impressive technology, and the way the structures manipulated the people into making the people believe the Nazis were some type of religious group with Hitler being their God is interesting. Those Nazis were quite the Psychological geniuses. Still don’t make them anymore respected in my opinion but does make them quite the more, oh what’s the word, beguiling. It would be cool if we all got to see the final product, but unfortunately, the construction was all terminated in 1939 when the war started. Here are some pictures:

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Afterwards, we all gathered for a tour of the old city of Nuremburg which is full of castles and half-timbered houses many which have towering bay windows. It was quite beautiful to say the least:

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For dinner, we all ate at a traditional Brauhaus which should be a no brainer. The best place to get authentic German food and locally brewed beer. Since I was in Nuremburg, I of course had to get the famous Nuremburer Bratwursts with sauerkraut. Don’t think you can get anymore German than that! I can certainly tell you, it was delicious.

So as the days are winding down, all that’s left is to finish my assignments, and study for my test (I am here for school, you know). I don’t know what impact this trip will have on me yet, but I’m sure it will have some. We will just have to wait and see. That, my friends, will be saved until another day…

Long Time, No Talk!

Hello, everybody! Guess who’s back? Sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks. Somehow, I lost my password, and it ask for verification through my American cell phone number… The problem being, that number is unreachable at the moment, but I, for some reason, just recently received an e-mail saying I can reset my password. In conclusion, I can now blog whenever I want. I know you didn’t come here to here me babble on about my technical woes, so let’s get started on what is truly important to you: my adventures in the land of Germany.

For the past few weeks, I haven’t really done much except study as well as a couple trips here and there to Koln, Mainz, and Berlin again. As studies go, they have been going smoothly. Not too stressed out about them at the moment. What is there to be stressed about? I only have one assignment the entire semester for each of my three classes. It’s such a hassle! I don’t know how I’ve been able to keep calm these 3 months! I’m about to go insane! Despite my sarcasm, it has been pretty laid back and simple. Now, to the interesting matters: my interesting explorations around Germany starting with Koln.

I know I already went to Koln when I first arrived, but that was only a preview of what was in store. Actually, not really. All we really saw while we were there was the cathedral (with a more in depth tour nonetheless), the old city and the chocolate museum because that’s all there was really to see considering everything was destroyed in bombings during World War II. Now, the inner city is more modernized and doesn’t really takes a stand as a unique-looking city anymore. However, we were able to climb inside the spires, and let me tell you what, it was quite the view and was well worth the retched hike to the top. From there, you can see the entire city, and what it could have been. The architecture of the building are fascinating. It’s unbelievable how anyone could have built such a structure back in the 1500s. It’s unfathomable. As for the Chocolate Factory, it’s self-explanatory. It was a museum about the creation and history of chocolate. Although I am not a huge fan of chocolate, I had to have myself a taste of one of their famous chocolate cakes and boy, was it beautiful. That alone could have been well worth the entire trip to Germany. Possibly the best cake I’ve ever had.

(Here are some pictures for you to swoon over:ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

As for Mainz, there wasn’t a whole lot there besides dirty streets, guys rocking hard on the street corners to their music and a giant foot statue in a parking lot. To me, I consider Mainz the Detriot of Germany. Some friends and I just went there because everyone else from our group was gone, so we decided to leave as well.

See here’s the foot for you! Only part of the entire trip worth seeing!Image

Since we were so disappointed about Mainz, we headed out to Darmstadt because we heard good things about it. We didn’t spend a lot of time there, so my review of it is incomplete. I’ll just put more pictures of it so you can judge it yourself:ImageImageImageImage

Lastly, this past weekend, I went to Berlin to visit my friend Jacob from high school. I didn’t really see anything different because I really wasn’t there for sightseeing. I already saw most of what was needed to be seen last time I went with my culture class. This time, it was all about the fun and spending time with a good friend. Sometimes, that’s all you need to do. Most of the time, you don’t remember a place because of what is there and what you see, but the experiences you had while you were there. Most of the time, it’s the people who make the experience worthwhile and memorable. Traveling isn’t just about seeing new things, but also making new experiences with others. If you do that, I guarantee you will have the time of your life, and it will be a journey you will never forget.ImageImage

I Can Explain…

Sorry everybody that I haven’t posted anything on here for a while. Unfortunately, my internet stopped working for some unknown reason last week, and it still hasn’t been fixed. Hopefully this weekend, that will be changed. Since I’m here, I better tell you what has been up since last time I posted. Besides my internet not working, all my normal classes started last Monday; all of them in German. Surprisingly though, I understood approximately 70-80% of the lecture. Of course because of this revelation, I went into my next Personality Psychology class with great confidence. Come to find out throughout the entire lecture, I had no idea what the professor said. Fortunately, I have a tutoring session for all my classes to go through what was presented in class in English, and believe me, it helps. Other than attending lectures and tutoring sessions for 18 hours, 4 days a week, not much has happened. Hopefully, I will provide you with some more interesting content in the close, upcoming future. Thanks for your patience.

Capita Berlin

As most of you should already know if you keep up with my somewhat weekly announcements, the group and I headed off to Berlin this last weekend. We all left by private bus at approximately 8:45 Thursday morning for a 6 hour bus trip. We arrived at the lovely Heart of Gold Hostel of which we were staying in for the weekend. Since my friend Jacob is studying there for the year, I decided to meet up with him at the S-Bahn station right at the corner near the hostel. He took Stewart and I to the Brandenburger Tor for there was a concert and the world’s largest karaoke show going on then. We stayed there for most of the night and had a couple drinks afterward. The next day, my group and I went on a 3 hour bus tour of the city. Berlin has much history to it. We saw sights such as Checkpoint Charlie, the East Side Gallery, Brandenburger Gate, etc. There was much to see within that three hours. After lunch, we all went to the Berlin Hohenschonhausen, the Stasi Jail in town. Total disturbing what some of the people had to go through inside this jail. Anyways after that, I met up with Jacob again as we did some bar-hopping before we headed into a party. Unfortunately, we didn’t make our way there that night considering we got lost finding our way there. Let’s just say the constructions on the rails wasn’t really working in our favor, so we instead just strolled around the city for a while. The next day (Saturday in case you lost track), our group explored the Deutscher Budestag, or Capitol Building. Much different than the one in America. Throughout the afternoon, I explored a WWII museum and visited the Holocaust Memorial with a group of people. Being there gave me a bit of a sense of discomfort, but the tour guide said that was the designers intent. Well, he did a good job at that. Jacob, of course, met us there at the Holocaust Memorial, and joined us for dinner. After dinner though, he headed back to his place while some from our group and I headed to a popular club in Berlin: E4. I must say, it was pretty nice having VIP access with a group of good friends for 6 hours. That, my friends, is how you party. It was a blast even if I didn’t get back to the Hostel until 5:30. I didn’t care. I had plenty of time to sleep on the bus on the way back… all 8 hours of it.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Oktoberfest 2013

Ok, as you all know, I went to Oktoberfest this weekend. A lot happened, so I’ll try to keep this as brief as I can. We left Friday around 6:49 pm for a 12 hour train ride to Munich. It was 12 hours because we had a 5 hour layover in Nuremburg at midnight. Anyways, we arrived at the hotel room at around 6:49 in the morning and slept for a couple of hours. After our nap, we arrived at Oktoberfest at around 10:00 am. We finally entered a biergarten at the Lowenbrau at approximately, 10:30. During that time, I had a few beers here and there while meeting some new friends from New Zealand and Italy. We stayed there until about 11:30 at night to head to bed for the night. Unfortunately, we lost a couple of people, so I and another person had to go search for them. Without any luck, we had to hurry back to the train station considering we only had 15 minutes until the last train left for our hotel. Eventually, we got there but arrived there just a few minutes too late, so we had to stay in the train station for 5 hours until we could catch the next train. After chatting with a Chilean girl and a couple hours of sleep, we got on a train heading out to our hotel. We didn’t arrive at our hotel til almost 7:00 am that morning. Two of us were planning on heading to Munich again around 9:30, but since one of our group members didn’t show up still, we decided to wait til he arrived. He didn’t meet us until 1:00 pm, so we ended up not going back because it was too late. It was probably a good idea considering how tired and worn out we were. Finally, we arrived back in Marburg around 9:00 pm. Despite all the struggles and long rides to and from, I can most certainly say it was well worth the trip. It certainly lived up to the hype, and I hope I can go back again some day! Well, now we’re off to Berlin (I can never catch a break, can I?)ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Frankfurt

So this weekend, My friend Stewart and I went on a journey to Frankfurt to find some cheap Lederhosen for the wild Oktoberfest this upcoming weekend. Let’s just say, it wasn’t very cheap. We will get back to that later. Anyways, we had an hour long train ride to Frankfurt from Marburg which was so much fun (not!). As soon as we arrived at Frankfurt, we noticed we could arrive at the C&A, which is where the Lederhosen was being sold, by S-Bahn. We spent a good 15 minutes trying to find the train, but eventually gave up. We started walking there not thinking it was very far, only a mile to be exact. On our way there, a guy who spoke perfect English with a beer in his hand started talking to us about how his girlfriend kicked him out of the house and how he is from Texas. All of a sudden, he stopped us and asked for some change for food considering he was on the streets all by himself the last few days. I gave him a euro of change not thinking twice about it. Suddenly, he asked for a 5 telling me he would give me 4 in return, because he only had 4 and a kebab costs 4.50. So I gave him the 5 waiting for him to give me the 4 euros when all of a sudden, he asked me if I wanted some weed. I told him “No thank you. Just give me the 4 euros, and we will be on our way.” Turns out, he didn’t have the 4 euros, so he told us to wait 10 minutes so he could get the 4 euros because he owed somebody. Stewart and I waited for 18 minutes, and the guy never came… First day in Frankfurt, and I get robbed. What a statement your making, Frankfurt. Anyways, we left, and after almost an hour, we finally find a C&A store. We both looked through all the Lederhosen seeing they were all 99 euros (oh boy!). Believe me, those were the cheapest ones, or so we thought. We were trying to look for sizes because we didn’t know what European size we wore. I saw a size 48 that was for 59 euros. Naturally, I tried them on, but they didn’t fit. Fortunately though, I found a smaller size for the same size on the rack in front of the dressing rooms for the same price, and they fit perfectly! I was ecstatic! At least now I know I wear a size 44 in Europe (that means a 44 cm waist, by the way). So long story short: good things come to those who give! Next destination: Munich!

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This is Stewart, everybody!

By the way, here are some pictures of Frankfurt. Lederhosen will come later. I promise! ;)ImageImageImageImage

Oh, Lordy!

It’s been over a month since I arrived here in Germany. The time flies by so fast, it certainly doesn’t feel like it has been that long. Almost October and I’m just getting started. We finished our first week of Culture Class today, and boy, is it fun… You can certainly tell by the amount of artistry and drooped heads throughout the classroom. I wish I could pay attention, but with a class size so big and consisting of mainly presentations presented by other students, it gets a little bland. Although on Tuesday, we explored the main attractions of the city: the church, castle and the “Oberstadt” or the “upper city” because that’s about all that Marburg has going for it. Unfortunately though, I already seen 2/3 of the tour, so it wasn’t as exciting is it should have been. At least we didn’t have lectures and ordered a half rack of ribs at half price afterwards. So Good! Besides that and finishing our draft, nothing has really happened this week, but tomorrow, I’m on a quest to find the sacred Lederhosen in a land known as Frankfurt! Til then, I bid adieu!ImageImageImageImageImageImage

It’s Been A While!

Hey, everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve just been occupied with all the fun I’m having here in Germany. :D It’s been a great time so far. Language classes are draining considering I have 3 hours of it a day, and tests every Friday. At least we don’t have a final. The last couple of weeks I have gone to a couple of clubs with my friend Andrew, and we have certainly broke it down several times. Last week, we were ready to go to a wine festival in Hidelburg, but all the trains heading there from Frankfurt were cancelled, so we all came back and partied ourselves. The last week has all been about some fantasy football. Some of the students I that are from the program started a fantasy football league since, well, we wanted to. Certainly can’t leave everything American behind! Well, as for this week, we all start culture classes tomorrow. It’s gonna be real fun having 5 hours of classes a day starting at the generous hour of 9:00 all the way until 4. We are all certainly looking forward to that. I know I will considering it’s my only English speaking class I’ll have this entire semester… Anyways, I might need a Döner after that long day of work. They certainly are delicious! Can never get enough. Until next time!

Here are some pictures I took that last couple of weeks. Enjoy!!ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Deutsch Klasse

So yesterday morning, I started German classes. Apparently, I tested into the B1 class which is the second highest German class that the school offers. Because of this, I can officially attend classes in German! (phew). After our terribly long 3 hour class, I walked to the Döner restaurant for Döner Donnerstag. Those things are incredibly delicious. Other than that, I just hung around with my peeps: Andrew and Stewart and Leah. Tonight though, I’m very excited for. Why do you ask? Because it’s karaoke night,, that’s why. Talk to you all tomorrow. 

 

Here are the pictures I wanted to post my last blog, but my computer wasn’t functioning properly so enjoy!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Merrily We Stroll Along

It’s been an amazing first couple of days within this beautiful city with some wonderful people. Yesterday, we all had to participate in a German language exam in order to figure out what classes we should be in for the upcoming weeks. The written test was a breeze, but the speaking was another story. I got possibly some of the most challenging questions of the group (what am I suppose to say to someone when they say the phrase, “the beginning is hard?” What’s hard? What do you mean?). Fortunately, I feel confident enough that I passed elementary German! (let’s hope! Been studying it for two years.) Afterwards, we just took a stroll to the mess hall, bought a SIM card to call and text people in Germany, filled out some paperwork (fun) and just kinda hung around with people until the welcome party (which really wasn’t much of a party, so we thought we’d make are own by grabbing a few drinks at the Dungeon staying up til 3 in the morning. The next day, we just filled out more paperwork for our student visas and took more strolls through the city sitting by the river and eventually ending up at the castle in town. It was certainly a sight to see. It’s amazing how buildings that old can still be standing today. It’s quite fascinating. Well, better get some sleep now considering I start language classes tomorrow. Wish me luck!