Where has the time gone? I’ve been in Freiburg for over one month now, and it’s hard to believe. I guess time really does go by faster when you’re having fun. Since my last post, I have finished my German class. My grade was “sehr gut” or “very good,” which made me laugh but I’ll take it over the passive-aggressive “ausreichend” (“sufficient”) any day. I really am proud of how much of the language I have learned and picked up. I now know how to order food, say time, and read signs. Most of all, though, I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about buying milk rice instead of white rice because I don’t know what “milchreis” means on the package at the grocery store (this is a true thing that happened to me). I knew absolutely NO German before coming here, but look at me now!
We also had a week-long break for Easter, which was exciting. My friends and I decided to go on a trip through Italy and visited Venice, Florence, and Rome. Venice was all water, canals, and cute little streets that led to beautiful empty squares away from the crowds. Florence had vegan gelato, an exploding cart show for Easter, and an amazing lookout spot where we had a view of the city during sunset. Rome was crowded and hot but filled with pizza, paninis, and wine that we never tired of. Now, I know you’re probably wondering what my favorite city was, and I don’t have to hesitate when I say that it was Venice. It’s funny because I never really cared for Venice before going there. I had always pictured myself in Rome or Sorrento. Venice was just another city that was popular enough for me to agree to go to. What I didn’t expect was how much I would come to love it. No matter how deep into the city I went, it never got dull. Every street and square was just as beautiful as the last, so I was able to avoid the crowds easily without sacrificing the views that the city had to offer. I had my first authentic gelato, cannoli, and pizza in this city too, and that makes me love it even more. Overall, though, my Italian escapade was sehr gut, or should I say molto bene? Either way, it was very good!
I also began my environmental courses last week. In fact, I just had a presentation today about urban social problems (fingers crossed that I did well). It’s been interesting so far. The class that I am currently taking is about Freiburg and the ways in which it became a green city. It’s amazing to be able to be in a place that I’m learning about. We get to go around the city and see parts of it that we talk about in class. Today, for example, we went to Haslach, which is a neighborhood that was built to be a Garden City. Last week, we walked around the city center to look at the ways Freiburg has implemented the concept of “mixed-use” into the city. Tomorrow, we’re going to tour the city by bike! Freiburg is a huge cycling city, so not only will I be learning about a sustainable mode of transportation, I will also get to feel like a true Freiburg resident.
Up next on my adventure abroad, I’ll be celebrating my birthday, going to Berlin, and taking a hiking trip to the Vosges Mountains. I’ll make sure to write about these experiences in my next post, but for now, tschüss!