Sunday, June 18, 2017

Heidelberg and Speyer

View of Heidelberg from the Heidelberger Schloss
 This weekend I joined some friends and traveled to Heidelberg and later that same day Speyer.

Obviously there is rich history entrenched in these wonderful cities. I will try not to turn this into Wikipedia copy-pasta. I do recommend reading about it if you have interest.

The city of Heidelberg, located in SW Germany's state of  Baden-Wuerttenburg, boasts many great sights. The Altstadt was a joy to walk through. The old Baroque architecture, or whatever it was, was quite fascinating. Bumping into tourists and dodging pigeons, observing locals conversing over a local brew, or smelling delicious food being prepared at old, local restaurants added a charming human experience that one can only find in such cities. We had ein Picknick near the Neckar river and then journeyed through the town.
Neckar river

my knee-leg area got badly sunburned

Also worthy of mention is Heidelberg University. It is Germany's oldest, being founded in the late 14th century. It is quite prestigious. The philosopher's way is also a famous attraction in Heidelberg.

Heidelberg Castle was first built by an aristocrat once upon a time (13th century) out of sandstone. Of course, throughout the years it was added onto by other Lords. Moreover, as can be expected, war and the elements have had their toll on the Renaissance palace. It is regarded as very important example of castle ruins in Europe. The climb up the hill was a arduous, but we managed it and afforded ourselves respite among the ancient ruins. The view was great.

Here are some pics:

Castle from below

After Heidelberg we visited Speyer. Another old German city located in the Rhineland Palatinate SW Germany. Speyer was founded by the Romans. It is famous for it's Cathedral, under which the tombs of 8 Holy Roman emperors and German Kings are located. Didn't get to see the inside, but was taken aback by the colossal structure just the same.
Speyer Dom, a cool example of Romanesque Architecture.

behind the cathedral, here you can see the older stonework. (the front of the cathedral more recently(1800's) reconstructed)

Sorry the pics aren't better. Check the web for pictures that do these awesome monuments better justice. What a blast that day was. The semester here is coming to a close and finals are right around the corner. Time flew by. Thanks for tuning in.

Bis Spaeter!


Sunday, May 7, 2017


Hello everyone!

Yesterday I got to visit Freiburg in south-western Germany's Black Forest in the state Baden-Württemberg . The weather was lousy, but I was with good company, and enjoyed the beautiful city just the same. There was lots of old architecture and wonderful stone streets and alleyways. The town was founded during the middle ages in the 1100's and is home to one of the oldest universities in Germany; Freiburg University.

As an old city, there is wonderful architecture, market squares and a great old-town atmosphere. of course it has grown and now has about 230000 inhabitants. During WWII, about two thirds of the town was destroyed through bombings. Because of this, many of the buildings have had to be restored. 

One such beautiful square I was able to visit was the Münsterplatz. Home to a breathtaking cathedral old market building.

The Old Market Merchant's Hall Building

Freiburg Minster Cathedral


My Pictures don't do it justice, it was quite an amazing experience visiting the cathedral. 

Freiburg also is located in a wine-growing region. I had to try a local specialty called 'Kalte Sofie"
It was like a wine slurpee. It was great.

I went with red wine. I recommend it if you ever find yourself in Freiburg
Like many medieval cities Freiburg once had a fortress. There used to be a Motte-and-Bailey castle, it is now gone, but one can still hike up the hill and be rewarded with breathtaking views and sore leg muscles. We climbed up the Schlossberg and enjoyed the spoils.

Again, the crappy pictures from my Handy(cellphone) don't do it justice. There are some wonderful views of the surrounding Schwarzwald. I didn't run into any werewolves, ogres or witches.

It was a very enjoyable trip, and I can't wait to get out and explore some more great German cities.
Classes are going well, and I am continuing to learn much. 

Thanks for visiting and God bless!

Alles Gute :)


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ein Bier, bitte!

Hallo liebe Freunde!

I have had a good past few days here in Germersheim. I participated in a Kneipetour of Germersheim. Attended some of my first classes, and was able to visit a Street-food tour event on the Rhine! I am meeting lots of cool people from all over Europe, even including some from Germany.

The area of study at this branch of the Johannes Gutenberg Uni-Mainz is languages. More specifically, its focus is Translation, Lingual and Cultural Sciences. As such, its student body includes a good number of exchange students, like me. I have met folks from France, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Belgium and others. It's a cool experience to chat with them. I was impressed to learn that many of my fellow students are studying/can speak 3, 4, even 5 languages. Crazy. My head is scrambled just trying to manage German. Anyway.

My first classes went well. I have a lot to learn and freshen up on. My teachers so far seem very nice, patient and knowledgeable.  I am sure that trend will continue. This coming week I will attend the remainder of my core classes. All  my classes are German-language related, so I am hoping to greatly improve my language skills so I can move on to the next one. I intend to learn Spanish and Swedish someday too.

The Kneipetour was great. We visited 3 different cafe/bars throughout the evening. I was able to try numerous German beers. I also met many cool, and interesting people. I ordered from the tap, (vom Fass). I tried Erdinger  weißbier, hefe-weißbier, as well as Paulener hefeweizen and a Pils I can't remember the name of, Bitburger maybe. Here is a picture of the Erdinger weißbier (center) the beer to the left is the Pils I tried later:

The title btw is a reference to a music video for the song 'Wirtshaus Guadi' from the band 'Equilibrium.' My brother, Nate, showed it to me awhile back and now every time I walk into a pub or bar I think of it. Here is the link if you are interested: Ein Bier, bitte. Funny stuff. Cool band.

The weather was nice today so I walked to the Rhine and visited the Street-Food tour. Most of the food there was BBQ, or burgers and hotdogs. There was some Italian, Mexican as well. I saw a sign that said "Best in the World!" So I had to try their American classic hotdog: 
Ein American classic dog, bitte!

It was pretty darn good, and fresh. There was also some music from a live band!

Ok, barely live *crickets*. Hey I hope I can still rock when I am that age. The music was a great compliment to the environment, the musicians were great.

One of the Mayoral candidates for Germersheim was there handing out pamphlets or whatever. Since I was wearing my american flag hat and stuck out like a sore thumb, I heard him say "nein, keine Amerikanische Stimmen in Germersheim" or something like that as I walked by and made eye contact. It made me giggle. There are tacky posters with smiling candidates all over the city, but he has my vote.  

Germersheim is a lovely city, and everyone has been nice, polite and helpful here.  It is very multi-cultural, too. I look forward to the rest of my short stay here.
Rhein with ship
Catholic Church

I really miss donut-country,
These were gross, cool art though.

Selfie (there are selfie spots around
the city painted on the walkways)

Love all you guys, thanks for tuning in.

God bless and Alles Gute!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jetzt fange ich an!

Hey everyone, wie geht's?

Today, Tuesday the 18th, the semester started here at the Uni Mainz in Germersheim. I took the placement test and now know which courses I am supposed to take. I just have to figure out how to sign up for them. I'll have that info by the end of today I'm sure. Had a good Easter weekend, the weather was cold and rainy, though, so I didn't get out much.

This morning was cool, I went to a cafe/bar for a cappuccino (how do you spell that?) and to journal some. It wasn't that great. The place is call Picasso's and seemed to be for older-midlife crisis types. I'm not quite there yet. I left smelling like cigarettes. At least I got to look sophisticated writing and drinking my capp. I'll look for another cafe next time
Mmmm Lecker! (It was ok)
I also stopped by the Buchhandlung today and bought some supplies. I had to buy a dictionary, because I forgot mine. That was an unnecessary expenditure, oh well. I feel like I stand out like a sore thumb here in town. I am having a grand time walking around and browsing in shops and stuff.
Here are some more pictures. Looking forward to starting my classes here. I will also be able to lead the English conversation evening for English learners ('Murican English) here every other week or so at a local cafe/bar. Cool! 
View from my Apartment

Little nature pond near my place, swans and ducks. beautiful.

Dictionary i bought. Not sure why I added this

This is the town square. Pretty neat

I'll take better pictures, hopefully on a shinier day. 
Love and miss all you guys,
Alles Gute!



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hallo allerseits!

Sorry it  has taken so long to make another post. I had some issues during travel, arrival and with luggage. Still waiting on my luggage now. Anyway I am here in Germersheim writing this at my apartment, which ,thankfully, has internet. Unfortunately it is only available for 6 months of rent at a time (not month to month, or sub-leasing available). Since I am only here for 3 months, I tried to negotiate (Verhandeln). Then they threatened to call the cops if I didn't sign lol (that escalated quickly), so, I was out of options. Sucks, live and learn. I couldn't find another place to live, really and was out of time. Anyway, enough whining. Germersheim is a beautiful little Fortress city (Festungsstadt). It's been around since the Holy Roman Empire, as such, it is a popular tourist destination. Cool!  It was officially named a city by the German King Rudolf von Habsburg in the 1200's. Anyway it has some great old architecture and almost everything is within walking distance. I still have lots of stuff to take care of here (banking, rent, etc.) I opened a bank account at the German bank, Sparkasse, to avoid fees from using my American bank. Not sure how that will go, it will be an experience, anyway. The university is still on holiday so none of my contacts are there. I have made contact with Johanna, who was assigned to help me through a Buddysystem at the Uni. Luckily she lives in Germersheim. She has helped me immensely. I've already met some other Americans, too. Hopefully everything will work itself out in the coming week. I've already got some possible avenues to pursue for a bike to use, hopefully that will work out. It is a university city, so many students loan out stuff or sell stuff they won't need anymore for the semester. Coolbeans. I can't really do much as far as signing up at the Uni in person because no one is there, wish someone would have told me that ahead of time. As it stands, since tomorrow is Easter, I will have to wait until next Tuesday to deal with the University bureaucracy. Also, all the shops are closed all weekend, which reminds me, I should go shopping. My knowledge of Deutsch has helped me, but I still have much to learn. It is hard for me to formulate complex sentences and speak fluidly still. I can understand a good bit when people are speaking though, certainly enough to get by for the time being.  Here are some photos I took. I am a crappy photographer, so. 

 Selfie with city in background

The Old City Gate

The Rhein

King Rudolf
Ok, I'm pretty ugly so I won't take anymore Selfies. Didn't realize how much of the photo they took up. Love all you guys! Til Next time Bis Spaeter!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


I'll be studying in Germany for several months in a small city south of Frankfurt called Germersheim this summer. I'm doing this through an exchange program at my university (Middle Tennessee State Uni.) I leave April 10th. Anyway, I'll try and write some blog stuff to document my travel/study abroad experience.  I'm a pretty boring, exceptionally average person, so, no promises this will be entertaining. Maybe I'll do a German phrase of the day or something. I'll even write about stuff.  I'll probably do a weekly blog. So tune in.

Alles Gute!