Today marks one week since I left the US! Already I’ve had so many unique experiences and learned so much, but between orientations, tours, and other exploring, there’s been very little time organize any thoughts on said experiences. Now is the first time I’ve had enough time and energy to consider writing anything. Since my new environment consists of basically new everything, I am going to narrow this post to the new city I find myself in. I also wanted to write this post before my intensive language course begins (today!) so it will be rather short and consist largely of pictures.
This is the Freiburger Münster – built from about 1200 to 1500 – it’s one of the most easily recognizable landmarks of downtown and is an absolutely stunning cathedral. Everyday(!) around the Münster there’s a market with fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, souvenirs, and a wide range of other things.
Martinstor is another landmark of the downtown area. On first glance it appears a very beautiful clock tower, but if you look close enough you can just make out the McDonald’s sign at the bottom right. Stepping off the streetcar and seeing this massive clock tower for the first time was definitely a ‘wow, I’m really here’ moment.
One more downtown landmark! This one is found in front of the Rathaus (town hall). Freiburg has more than 20 sister cities and each is given a beautiful inlay in the town square, pictured above is Madison, WI. There is a well-developed community of Freiburgers and Madisonians, part of the Freiburg-Madison Gesellschaft, but probably more on that later.
“Everyone is an artist”
Now we take a step back and view the city from above! These views are the reward of a fairly easy fifteen or twenty minute hike up from the city center – a destination called ‘Schlossberg.’ At the top is nice restaurant and Biergarten both surrounded by impressive scenery. From here you can see the whole city – clearly the Münster stands out above all else – as well as the Schwarzwald. Another ‘I can’t believe I’m here’ kind of moment.
We also took a trip to Basel, Switzerland last weekend (only about an hour train ride south of here) and got to explore the Basel Münster as well as a couple museums:
Overall it’s been a fun and rewarding week of getting to know the city and the people I’m here with, albeit overwhelming at times. I look forward to having more time in the future to write what will ideally be more nuanced posts, but for now I hope you got a little overview of where I am and what I’ve been up to!
As far as the language goes, the intensive course begins today and I for that I am very grateful!