I’ve been in Freiburg for about two weeks and have already fallen in love with this city. It’s just gorgeous. I’ve woken up every morning to sunlight pouring through my window. Despite a few days of rain here and there, I understand why Freiburg has been aptly nicknamed the “sunniest city in Germany”. The landscape, is also gorgeous. There are rivers and mountains and beautiful old buildings that all mesh together in this Deutsch paradise. So far, I’ve been climbing some mountains and buildings just trying to get a feel for the area.
One of the great landmarks here is called the Munsterplatz. The Munster Cathedral is a large church near the center of the town. Every weekday morning there is a local farmer’s market on all sides of the Cathedral. They mostly sell fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, and schnitzel. The other day, I climbed the Munster Cathedral with another IES student. A very narrow set of steps on the side of the cathedral lead to the highest bell tower, where there is a gorgeous view of Freiburg and the surrounding area. As we were standing in the bell tower with the very large Glockenspiel, it started to ring and the whole tower started to vibrate. We must have really stood out as Americans, because as soon as it started to ring we started yelling, “What was that?” “Oh my gosh, that was such perfect timing.” “I can’t hear anything you’re saying!” “What?!”
Being the Environmental student that I am, I love to hike. I can safely say that all the other Environmental Science students that I’ve met love to hike as well. SO, since we’re in the Black Forest surrounded by mountains and gorgeous hiking trails, we hike. There is a mountain near the Altstadt, the older part of Freiburg, that overlooks the entire city. This mountain is called Schlossberg. Some other hike-lovers and I climbed to the top of Schlossberg. There is a tower at the top, which is now closed because it was unsafe to walk up, but at least we made it to the tower. I like climbing things in general, so hopefully we find more mountains, towers, and trails to explore soon.
The language is also something that I’m getting used to. When I first got here I hoped that everyone would speak English, but now I feel differently. Since coming to Germany with a huge language deficit, I’ve learned enough to get by and really think that German is a beautiful language. I can already understand a lot, but my goal is to speak at least a bit conversationally, by December. I’m also very excited to explore Europe on my own, I have a few trips planned so far, but I’m very happy to call Freiburg my home for the next few months.