On the Autobahn

 
 
I’ve talked before about getting around Germany, where the train is definitely my go-to mode of transport. But sometimes I also get the chance to take buses on the autobahn, or German highway.

autobahn 1.

The interesting thing about the autobahn in the area where I live: no official, federal speed limit! Generally, the advice is to stay under 75 or 80 mph, but it’s a funny feeling never seeing a speed limit sign on the interstate.

autobahn 2.

Cool fact I learned: Germany has the third longest interstate in the world.

autobahn 3.

I love riding through the German countryside. And here in BadenWürttemberg, there are always mountains along the horizon in the distance. J’adore. : )

Live from… Stockholm!

 

The other day, I blogged live from London. Now, I’m excited to be blogging from my hotel in Stockholm, Sweden!

Stockholm is our second stop as part of the North Trip… studying the politics, economics, and culture of England + Sweden + Estonia.  It’s been fun and interesting so far, and I’ve learned a lot about some differences between these northern European Union countries.

One of the first things I noticed about Stockholm: technology! They have great technology and design everywhere. Our first morning, I headed for the metro with Abbey and Kelly to travel around the city, and we discovered this awesome, modern, interactive metro/city map….

This is the fanciest metro information I’ve seen in any city! It’s fabulous and a great example of the efficiency, design, and usability of most things I’ve seen in Stockholm.

So far, I’m loving it here! It’s sooo cold this far north, but I’m piling on the layers and having a blast! : )

Compare and Contrast: Freiburg Edition

 

February 22:

february 22.

March 25:

march 25.

It’s starting to look a lot like springtime around Freiburg. And with the warmer weather, restaurants and cafes are officially using all their outdoor tables. The streets are packed with people enjoying these sunny days. : )

PS – You can find the rest of the ‘Compare and Contrast’ series here.

Scenes from Berlin

 

We’ve been working in a couple of my classes on reflections, essays, and projects from the Berlin trip. Berlin is a hard city to describe…. every time I thought I had gotten an idea of the vibe of the city, I encountered some totally different aspect of it. So here are three quick scenes, each about a different dimension of Berlin!

I.

berliner rain.
It isn’t really raining, but it isn’t really dry.

The sky above is utterly blank and white as if someone had erased the sun and the clouds and the blue. But there is a heaviness to this erased sky; it weighs down with something more than just emptiness.

repurposed.

II.

berlin graffiti.

Graffiti pervades everywhere.

You noticed it before you left the train station, even before you got off the train. It covers without discrimination: buildings, signs, walls. Graffiti, the mask of the city, acts as a tough exterior, a film between Berlin itself and the tourists passing through. Tourists like me.

III.

Berlin Wall
To your left stretches a Wall. The Wall.  It is relatively inconspicuous – not tall, not thick, but colorful with its own excessive explosions of the graffiti.  In my own mind the Berlin Wall has always loomed large and menacing… the Iron Curtain, the impenetrable barrier, the edge of a system and lifestyle that I knew and understood.

The reality of these stooped and broken remnants of a wall does not jibe with my expectations.

———

In some ways, Berlin was kind of a downer – we focused our studies on the upheavals of history, the war, and communism.  But at the end, I really liked the city.  It has rebuilt and restructured itself into a unified Western European city in such an amazingly short period of time.  And everywhere you go – historic sites and buildings coexist with new, modern structures…..
reichstag energy. gendarmenmarkt.

J’adore that juxtaposition. : )

So. Traveling around Europe has been great so far! And this weekend, I’m headed for the Swiss Alps for lots of snow and sledding – I can’t wait! But first… German test on Friday. : O

Freiburg vs. Nürnberg!

 

Made it back late last night from a busy week in Berlin and Prague! It was a great time and filled with lots of sightseeing and studying recent Eastern European history. Pictures and recap to come later this week! : D

Here’s some pictures from last weekend’s soccer football game – Freiburg vs. Nürnberg! They’re pretty big rivals!

It’s Freiburg in the red, Nürnberg in the white….

We had such an incredibly excited crowd! The stadium was packed and EVERYONE had a team scarf. And there were flags and banners all over…

And the singing and chanting and clapping never stopped! This guy with the megaphone directed the crowd’s songs and chants….

And there was a ton of security!

We ended up tying 1-1. It was a such a great game and experience!

And here’s a quick vid of some of the singing – it was awesome!

Surrealism + College Night

Last week was surreal.

Or actually… last week was about things that are surreal — surrealism.

Surrealism is all about juxtaposing the expected with the unexpected. Violating your understanding of conventions.

We studied le surréalisme in French class – (like Apollinaire, Queneau, and some Baudelaire).

And! Saturday, the High Museum of Art hosted college night. Emory students, along with people from Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and some other colleges, got to see the current Salvador Dalí exhibit + live music. The place was packed.

I’ve never been a big Dali fan – just can’t get into the melting clocks! But. It does make you think. And it’s a great exhibit.

Besides, who doesn’t want to check out photos of Dalí’s stache?

Country Roads

I am from an incredibly small town that you probably haven’t heard of.

Cotton fields, country music, a church on every corner.  And everybody knows everybody.

For seven years, I’ve been livin’ in the big city.  Took a trip back to Alabama for my middle school bud’s wedding – and it was the first time I’d been around the ol’ stomping grounds for what seemed like a lifetime.

I looove the big city.

But I do miss the old dance studio, the fresh cotton, some childhood friends, those Jiffy cookies….