Guten Tag alle! It’s been a week and a day since I arrived in Erlangen, Germany. For those of you who have been wondering, yes, my luggage did arrive eventually, and it’s been pretty smooth sailing here ever since!
My trip had a few mishaps at the beginning, starting with a cancelled flight and being rebooked on a KLM flight (which had exceptional service….meaning food, always my top priority) and in the end I arrived in Frankfurt a half hour earlier than my original flight. Of course, then I had to wait three more hours to take a five hour bus ride, but what’s traveling without some bumps in the road? (Except Germany’s roads are in great shape. Can they redo Michigan’s?!) I actually met a couple from Chile on my bus ride and we sat together for part of the trip. My Spanish is finally being put to some good use!
I’m living with six German students in their flat just a kilometer from the city center. I couldn’t have come across a better place to live. Everyone is at different stages of school – some are in their first year of university, one is working on his doctorate. I told them I’d rather talk in German, although my limited German hasn’t quite gotten me through conversations yet. Hopefully by month three I’ll be doing fine. (:
My internship is at the Friedrich-Alexander Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU). Erlangen’s population is almost 40% students, and the rest of the people around here mostly work for Adidas and Siemens. FAU is pretty spread throughout the Erlangen area, and the institute where I work is actually a 30 minute bike ride outside of the city in a small area called Tennelohe. For most students around here, that’s a bit of a hike – I’m sure I could ride my bike from one side of Erlangen to the other in fifteen minutes! That’s what’s great about this place though – everyone rides their bikes all the time. Most bikes are beater bikes though where the back pedals are for braking, and I’ve spent a couple of times playing stop and go along the road when I forget that I shouldn’t pedal backwards. I don’t think I’ve ridden a bike like that since I was seven or so. It’s also awesome to see everyone riding around with hiking packs on their backs. I’ve even seen a fair number of people walking or riding around with trekking poles. Where are they going?! And how do I get there? I’m sure I’ll have some hiking adventures soon. (:
That’s it for now, I’m off for a bike ride and then a trip to Aldi’s. It’s amazing having a grocery store just a block away from my house. As long as I don’t need anything at night – supermarkets close at 8pm. It’s just as well, because the Euro Cup games are on at 9 anyways.
Until next time, ciao!