On the plane:
I knocked out the moment I was on the plane. This is my first time flying with Lufthansa and I have to say I can’t stop but comparing it with Cathy Pacific in my mind. (Although it’s maybe because I slept through the entire trip; when I woke up the captain was already broadcasting “cabin crew please prepare for landing”.) Although the german broadcasts are interesting and I was reassured that I needed to work harder on my German. Also, landing is extremely soft (as opposed to the time with Air France when they made landing like an entire catastrophe and everyone clapped for their own pure luck when the plane landed safely.)
I didn’t have any dreams and plus I was sick. Buried inside my blankets ( I brought one of my most trusted and used wool blanket and the one distributed on flight ) , eye covers and a surgical mask, I was only woken up once in the middle of the flight because the lady sitting next to me needed to use the restroom. (She started coughing at the end of the flight so it might be possible that I gave my cold to her… I felt very sad about that.) For the same reason, I totally ignored the foods. I remembered smelling something but that’s it.
First thing I realized upon arrival in Munich was the awesome time difference of Germany between US and China: I could talk to family and friends from both parts at the same time!
Second thing worth noticing is that the subway from Munich airport to Münch Hbf was late for an entire hour. And everybody looked totally fine with it. I wondered when I could reach that peace of mind. I also realized that people walked slower in comparison to in the States.
(The inspiring ticket that was supposed to leave at 18:27 that actually left at 19:30)
My train to Regensburg left at 6:44 am and arrived at 8:11 am. My plan was to arrive early to walk around and got a general feel of the city before everyone got here. But the train was already stuffed with people getting off at different stops along the way. Deutsche Bahn’s inter-city trains kind of reminded me of their counterparts in Japan. Both countries have train stations built into a collection of (fast food) restaurants and sold tiny pocket books.
(on the way to Regensburg: sun came out at around 7:30am)
(Haha this is so funny, it’s at a coffee shop called “San Francisco Coffee” on second floor of Regensburg Bahnhof.)
(And of course I need to get some caffeine here. )
I spent the morning exploring University of Regensburg. The university itself is like a combination of Soda hall and Evans on Berkeley campus. Before I left, I was shown a booklet of pictures from Regensburg so I had high expectations. Needless to say, the university had much more practical design.
(A 20-mins walk from Regensburg Hbf with the help of Google map)
(Flags; and winter sun in Regensburg)
(See what I was talking about?)
(Philosophie… Moses Hall on Berkeley campus left such a good impression of Philosophy Department on my mind, which translated to confusion when I saw this very direct, practical, black-and-white, simple design of directory)
(But! It did get a lot better once I ventured onto the main campus.)
(Not us. Those are just two random human beings.)
(Artistic bridge connecting main campus with the sports facility. Three students were chilling at the end of the bridge.)
I wandered around campus for a while, especially amongst the Physik and Philosophie Departments. There were some interesting talks going on. But I guess my snow boots are instant give-aways of my actual identity: a curious visitor. In order to make myself less noticeable so as not to disturb the students, I tried to blend in with one group of local high school students. That was a harder job as apparently I was the only Asian following at the end of the group.
Then I left the university to visit the actual Regensburg Altstadt. It was another thirty minutes walk. This Thanksgiving break I would like to give my most sincere Thank you to google map.
(On the Way to Regensburg)
I decided to join a day tour at the visitor’s center. The tour was in German and although I couldn’t understand 100%, I did find some familiar terms from in class. Did I know that Regensburg was the largest city in Bayern in the German Empire? No I didn’t. I also didn’t know that the reason that Regensburg preserved many architectures from middle ages because it didn’t have enough money to build more fashionable buildings. Before the discovery of America, Regensburg was very rich. But once colonialization started, Regensburg lost competitively and could only re-use its previously built buildings over and over again.
(The most “fashionable” Regensburg could get with a not so full wallet. An Italian design tower)
The church was also interesting in that Regensburg was one of the first cities in Europe with Protestants and catholic population living together peacefully. The solution was two separate churches and the gothic cathedral was left half-undone. In the 1900s when nationalistic values were on the rise the gothic element became valuable and so the rest of the cathedral was finished. Hence, even if the cathedral looked old half of it was only done during the last century.
And for the first time in my life I had sweet Crepe only with sugar! It tastes so good! I got tired after walking for a while so I went back to München earlier than I expected. But I was so excited that I got to use my German a bit today!