I made it through my first week of classes! I really like the classes I have in English. For the rest, I know I will need a tutor or someone to explain what is happening in class.  I usually sit in the back of the class with my German-English dictionary on the ready and hope that the professor doesn’t ask me any direct questions.

Two weekends ago I hiked up Achalm mountain, which is in Reutlingen. The hike made me work up a sweat, but the view from the top was beautiful. Unfortunately, we realized it was about to storm after we made it to the top. Then, we booked it down the mountain hoping we could beat it, but about 3/4 of the way down it started pouring. It was a nice shower after my work out though. The next day, I was invited to brunch by a few girls from church so I had a great time getting to know them. We kept having conversations where we would switch between German and English so it was good practice for me.

This weekend Erin Markov and I travelled to Nürnberg by bus. Two of my friends from Elon met us there and it was so great to see them again! First, we went to the Lochgefängnisse (medieval dungeons beneath the Rathaus). The tour went through the different cells and torture chambers, which opened in the 14th century. It was funny when the guide would describe the different torture mechanisms in German because I wouldn’t understand everything, but the others on the tour would collectively gasp or cringe every few minutes. I think it might have been better not to understand some of the gruesome techniques they used lol.

After the dungeons, we went to the courthouse to see where the Nuremberg Trials took place. We saw the courtroom and an exhibition on the trials. Then, we went back to the Altstadt (city center/old town) to eat dinner. We also got Starbucks which was a nice treat since there isn’t one in Reutlingen. There was also a cover band playing in the square. They were really good and everyone was dancing and singing along. It was cool because all of the songs were in English so I recognized Hey Jude, I Feel Good, and the song from the Venus razor commercials, which I hadn’t realized was an actual song (“I’m your Venus. I’m your fire…”).

On Sunday, we ate our complimentary breakfast at the hotel and proceeded to steal as much food as we could stuff into our backpacks for the rest of the day (Nutella packets are a hot commodity here). Then, we rode the tram to the Tiergarten (zoo). There we saw giraffes, lions, penguins, red pandas, reindeer and normal deer, a butterfly house, and watched an exciting show with trained seals and dolphins. After the Tiergarten, we explored the city more, found some quaint gardens, ate lunch at a Biergarten, and then parted ways. It was sad to say goodbye to Amory and Nathan, but I hope to see them again soon.

I also want to give a shout out to my dad because he is turning 50 (yes, that’s right the big 5-o) tomorrow! Also, Matt and I have been dating for over a year now…where has the time gone….I love you Matt!


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