I am leaving for Berlin in a couple of hours! We are spending the weekend there and getting back Sunday night. Just got out of class, and I need to pack. I haven't planned exactly that I am going to do there yet, but on Saturday night, we are going to see a show at the Friedrichstadt Palast. We bought tickets to Yma way in advance, and it should be really good.
The train ride there is going to take three and a half hours, even though it's an ICE. Oh well. We waited until the last minute to buy the tickets, and they were rather expensive. Even with a 25% discount card, it was still over 100 euros. Ouch. Well, lesson learned.
Yesterday, I went to Deutsches Theatre and saw the play Der Besuch der Alten Dame. It was very hard to understand. One, it was in a modern style, so there were little props or scenery. Two, they spoke really really fast German, so I couldn't catch a lot of the words. Three, I got THE worst seats in the house: the very last row at the very top. I had to literally lean over to barely see the front of the stage, where most of the action was.
Although I couldn't understand anything and the whole thing baffled me, it was an experience. I'll just leave it at that.
I won't be taking my netbook with me to Berlin, so I shall update after this weekend.
We passed by St.-Johaniss-Kirche during the tour, but I actually climbed up one of the church towers the day before. It costed 2 euros, but for the view, it was worth it. Plus, I got some serious exercise!
I love this city, and I can't get over how beautiful it is. I've seen a lot of it already, but I'm sure there is more to see. I can just walk around the city, looking at little boutiques, stopping for an ice cream, or just wandering around and people watching.
While we were in the tower, we saw a peregrine falcon eating a dove! It was just going at it and ripping pieces of flesh off. There is a peregrine falcon nest in the church, and they are protected since there are very few of the left. A French man told me that there were three living in the church tower. They are wunderschöne :)
I took a few snapshots during the tour. I feel like I can point my camera anywhere and it will be picture perfect.
Got hungry from all that walking, so we went to a creperie on Goethe-Alle. I think it was called GroMo. I wanted to order a pepper, tomato, and cheese crepe, but they weren't serving peppers or tomatoes due to the e.coli scare. Schade. I got a cheese and ham crepe, instead, but it wasn't what I wanted. Heck, I need to eat more vegetables! Just can't live without them ):
After the crepe, I wanted something sweet. There's this gelato store that I really liked. I got Schwarzvanilleeis, black vanilla ice cream, and it was DE-LI-CIOUS. It was black, but it tasted so good, like vanilla frosting out of a can. That sounds gross, but it's a really intense vanilla flavor. I would get it again, but I wanted to try all the flavours.
There was 'Mozart', based on the chocolate covered marzipan candy; 'Raffaello', that coconut covered Ferrero candy; 'Ferrero Rocher'; 'Kinderueberraschung', literally 'Children's Surprise' based on the Kinder chocolate candy; 'Stracciatella'; and much more.
It is always a hard decision to make, but I decided on Erdbeer-Joghurt and Schokolade (strawberry yogurt and chocolate). It was a good choice. The chocolate was a deep deep chocolate and very rich. The yogurt ice cream is my favorite, though. It has a strong tart yogurt taste, not too sweet, and richer than frozen yogurt. It somehow feels lighter, though. Yum :)
I want to try almost every flavor. I think it's possible to average one flavor a day, and it's great that it's relatively cheap. Only ,80 euro per kugel (scoop). For high quality, delicious ice cream, I'd say that's a steal.
Don't worry, I'm not just eating ice cream and cheese. This afternoon, I went into the city to go grocery shopping. For dinner, I just ate a huge bowl of vegetables and some delicious whole-wheat bread full of sunflower seeds with camembert spread on it. It was simple, but it satisfied my cravings for veggies. I bought a lot, so I'll be eating more vegetables for the next few days. That makes me a lot happier :)
Today, I also went hiking in the Göttingen Forest, but more about that later.
Posted by Jo W. at 2:24 PM
I've been here a week, and I have only written one post. So sorry about that, but I've been really busy! Still trying to figure out how I should write these blog posts, but I'm just going to ramble about what I'm doing. Forgive me if my writing is all over the place.
Everything here is new to me, and I have gone around the city many times already. I've tried a few restaurants, cafes, bars, and ice cream shops. Downtown Goettingen is in the style of old European towns, with half-timbered buildings. There are so many little boutiques, book stores, cafes, imbiss stands, and much more. I'll slowly make my way through the city, seeing and eating whatever looks good. I live in the Goethe Institut, which is kind of in the suburbs of Goettingen. The walk into town isn't bad at all, though. There are also grocery stores not too far away, so even without a bike or car, getting around is pretty convenient.
Panorama of the Rathaus and the Platz it's in. There's a great ice cream/cafe shop in the corner to the right, where I had a waffle with joghurt ice cream, fruit, and strawberry sauce and a cappacino. Everything was delicious and so pretty! There are some ridiculous ice cream creations here in Germany. One of the most well-known ice cream specialty is Spaghettieis, vanilla ice cream that looks like noodles, topped with strawberry sauce and grated white chocolate. Germans just like to make ice cream look like other things, like birds nests, pizzas, tacos, etc. The ice cream creations are crazy.
|Waffeln mit Joghurteis, Obst, Erdbeersauce, und Sahne. Lecker!|
|Other delicious looking ice cream creations|
Near the Rathaus is a statue of a girl in the middle of a fountain. She is called Gänseliesel, and graduates come to kiss her, even though it's technically against the law. I had the luck of witnessing a graduate kiss her. She drew a large crowd, and everyone was taking pictures, so I didn't feel like a creeper.
There are many bookstores, here, and I just want to go into one and spend a few hours looking through books. I haven't had the time, yet, but I'll probably go during this week. I went into a large bookstore called Thalia, and of course I had to go into the cookbook section. They have a wonderful selection of cooks, and most of them are in full color with beautiful pictures of the dishes. I wanted to buy at least one, but couldn't choose which one. They were also pretty pricey and I have to be selective with what to fill my suitcase with.
|I want all of these!|
On Saturday, I came upon an antique store tucked away in a narrow alley between two buildings. There were a lot of knick knacks, porcelain, glass, books, etc. I looked through the books, and found cookbooks! I got one, and it was a really good deal. Got the book plus two little things for gifts, and it was only 4 euros.
I am looking through my new cookbook, and planning on making some of the recipes. Breakfast is included with the room and board, but I have to make my own lunch and dinner. Going out for food can get expensive, so buying groceries and making food saves a lot of money. I haven't made anything complicated yet. Pasta is the easiest thing, so I got some premade tortelloni, pasta sauce, and mushrooms that lasted me for two meals.
Wasn't too bad. I've also been surviving on muesli and joghurt and chocolate. Cooking is hard since there are limited pots and pans, and the stove smaller than half the size of my stove at home. It seriously looks like a toy.
Posted by Jo W. at 5:49 AM
(I wrote this on the train on the way to Goettingen on my first day. It's my third day here, and I'll write more about stuff later)
I am in Deutschland! Right now, I am on the Inter City Express from Frankfurt Airport to Goettingen. I have made it this far, hopefully I can find my way to the Goethe Institut, where I will be studying German for eight weeks.
I feel kind of clueless, and I was hoping to meet up with people from my program so we could ride the train together. However, their plane was delayed, so I didn't want to wait at the airport for two hours. I had no idea how to ride the trains, but I (hopefully) figured it out, and this train that I am on will take me to the right city!
I left home Sunday afternoon, and my plane arrived in Frankfurt early Monday morning. I didn't sleep very well on the plane, so I am terribly jetlagged. It's not even 10am, and I am so tired! I'm running on adrenaline, here.
Well, it's good to know that my German is good enough to find my way to the right train platform. Haha I am so proud that I bought my train ticket all in German. I didn't say much, but I understood the ticketing lady's questions and directions to the platform.
Before getting on the train, I exchanged some money to Euros and bought two Vollkornbroetchens, or whole grain rolls, for the train ride. Damn, everything is expensive, and changing dollars to Euros makes me feel poor. Well, I'll have to learn to budget my money and be especially careful when I'm buying food!
My train arrives in Goettingen in about 45 minutes. From the train station, I'll take a taxi to the Goethe Institut and check in. Until then!
Posted by Jo W. at 1:38 PM
I went hiking with my brother on the Old Rag trail in Shenandoah National Park. The trail is roughly 9 miles, including about a mile of rock scrambling. It's pretty challenging, and requires hand over hand climbing over rocks and through narrow passages. I love this trail, and the rock scramble is my favorite part. It's so fun to climb and jump around on the rocks.
We did the whole trail in a little over 4 hours. I think we only stopped for 30 minutes for lunch, and didn't take many breaks. I kept a pretty fast pace, but I was still surprised that we completed it so fast.
It was quite a view from the top.
Posted by Jo W. at 9:38 AM