Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oh, Freiburg how much fun we had!

Tom and I

So I am currently sitting in a bus station on my way to Norway, Michigan to visit my sister since Emily and I are back in the United States, but that isn’t what I’m going to write about. I am going to write about Emily and my trip to Freiburg, Germany.
It was here that Em and I reunited from our time apart. I went to Amsterdam, packed, and said some final good-byes to friends. Em traveled around the south of Germany. She got to explore Heidelberg, have misadventures in Stuttgart, and buy a dirndl in München. It was a joyful reunion! However, on the way down I got to do some thinking. And we all know that that cannot be good. I swear there was smoke coming out of my ears and everything!
Now, before I met up with Emily I was really close to just canceling the trip. I had no motivation to go and I wanted to stay in Oldenburg for a little bit longer. We can thank the fact that I had already bought all the train and plane tickets, because that was the main reason I went. I had already spent the money on the mode of transportation and I was going to force myself to go! And Em would have killed me, but on the train down I saw the beginning of the Black Forest and the mountains. I remember seeing mountains when I was younger, but this time it was different. I watched in awe as it all came into view. I couldn’t believe it! I just watched as we just traveled through them and my passion had returned. I was feeling rejuvenated and happy again. I didn’t feel melancholy anymore and it was a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t stop thinking that it was this that I lived for. I lived to see and experience new things and to tell others and invigorate them.  I couldn’t do any more homework once I felt this. I just couldn’t make myself.
Pastry anyone?
However, back to reuniting with Emily, it was a joyous occasion filled with trumpets going off, us running to each other in slow motion with arms wide open, a great big hug, and laughs while we walk out of the train station. Okay, that didn’t happen. I was sitting in Starbucks drinking some tea and doing some homework, I had to make some headway. It was a nice reunion. She just sat down and we picked up right where we left off two weeks before. I heard about Stuttgart, way before you guys ;).  We just sat there waiting on our host to show up to take us home, we sound like lost puppies or kittens.
Eventually our gracious host, Tom, showed up. You could tell that at first he was a little bit hesitant at first. It was easy to see by his posture, but I can say with a guarantee that it didn’t take long for him to take a liking to us. I think it helped that we made him dinner and dessert. It was also funny and shocking that he knew one of my friends that I went to Taiwan with. Tom was even nice enough to take us to where he studied and let me catch up with Cornelius. It was great. We talked a little bit and caught up while Tom and Emily went to go buy stuff for dinner. Cornelius was the first non-American Taiwan friend I have seen, until Paris.
Emily sized hole.
Once my little visit was done we headed back to Tom’s apartment to make dinner and just relax a little bit. It took a little bit to finish dinner, because we just kept goofing off. Tom got Breakfast at Tiffany’s stuck in our head and that wasn’t very nice of him, because that song stuck with us through the rest of our trip. Thank you Tom thank you. It took even longer to eat dinner and dessert, because we kept getting distracted by YouTube and just chatting in general. After dinner Tom took us to his friend’s apartment, because it was her birthday! That was fun. I got to see how much Emily’s German had improved and Tom tried to help me with my rs. The r is something I have always had trouble with, but I am still practicing. When we left the party we all pretty much went to bed. Tom had to make a train the next morning because he was called in to sing. Oh, did I mention that he is training to be an opera singer? Well he is and he sang Breakfast at Tiffany’s opera style to us that morning. It was a sad morning, because we couldn’t stay another night, but so much fun.
After we said good-bye to Tom we spent the day just catching up on writing and homework. I just love love love doing homework while on holidays. We had a semi-creepy moment, but Rebecca was able to help save the day with her ‘emergency’. I still owe her some snicker doodle cookies, maybe when she comes to the States I will have some for her.  However, this creepy moment happened around the time that our second host got home from work, so we were able to go to his house at that time. Or second host was Ralph. He was very nice. Our first night he made some yummy homemade meat balls. I got to help a little bit, by help I mean I was peeling potatoes. He also helped me pick out a nice beer to go with dinner. We didn’t do too much that night besides talk and just get to know each other.
It was the next day that surprised Emily and I. Ralph and is girlfriend took us to France! It was a surprise to us since we only thought they were going to go. It wasn’t until they were getting ready to leave that they asked if we were coming. We jumped on that. We went to Neuf-Brisach and a town named Colmar. Neuf-Brisach had been around since the 1500s I believe and the town wall was still up. It was so much fun to talk around. Emily was even able to crawl into one of the holes on the side of it. It was very small and cute. I just loved how it looked. The houses were nice pastel colors with shutters and all roads lead to the center of the town and church. It was here that I had my first French pastry. It was so good and pretty, raspberries and cheese on a pastry.
After this quaint little town we went to Colmar. It was about 30 minutes west of where we were and a bit bigger. We walked around the town center and saw some old buildings. I was wondering how they were still standing. Some were leaning too far forward and others to the side. They all had that skeleton look to them, the one where the wood is on the outside of the building making those nice shapes. It was also some sort of Carnival for the children. So much confetti was thrown; Emily even picked some up off the ground and threw it at me. I wasn’t too happy, but what can you do it was all for fun. We didn’t do much in this town, but walk around and explore a bit. Our hosts were nice to take us and show us what France looks like outside of Paris, since we were heading there in a few days.
On our way back from the adventures in France we stopped to pick up some baguettes, coffee, and dessert. I got to have a mini baguette fight with our host, or was it Emily? I can’t remember it was getting late and I was getting tired, I sound like such an old lady. We ended up having fondue that night. It was my first time ever having fondue and it was so delicious. I will definitely be eating it when I can. That night was filled with laughs, riddles (which I am terrible at), great company, and learning more about our hosts and the area.
Slippin' and slidin' is what I do.
That Sunday Emily and I were left up to our own devices. Both of our hosts had plans, but they did tell us about some places to see in Freiburg. One of them was to walk up Schlossberg and see the city from there. I was a bit hesitant, because I knew both of our shoes were not meant for walking up hill in snow and ice, but we did it. I didn’t care for it when I would slip, but I never fell on my butt and the view was worth it. I will always remember watching the snow falling gently. It made Freiburg seem like a sleepy little town, but it added something to it. It once again reminded me that there was more to see in the world. Emily and I even took this time to just talk about what we wanted to do once we got back. Halfway up the mountain it just turned into a leisurely stroll, mostly because it wasn’t as steep anymore. It was a bonding moment for us that is for sure. There were points where we just sat on the railing looking out on the town and the mountains surrounding it just talking. The way down wasn’t so serene. I would say it was a death trap of snow and ice, but so much fun.  We got a few funny pictures of us goofing around. Emily was even able to slide down the mountain, once we found railings, because her shoes had no grips on them. I was stuck taking super baby steps. I saw people laughing at us and mimicking us since Em’s idea was so good.
A street in Colmar.
The rest of the day we just walked about the city center. We found this place with amazing chocolate and bought a cake for our host, since I didn’t want to bake. It was just relaxing, something we needed since the next few weeks would be a whirlwind. There is something about Freiburg that is going to stick with me for a long time. I think I might have to plan a return visit sometime.


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