I’m Home, By the Way

Yes, hello! It’s been some time now since I got home on December 12th. Traveling back was pretty straight forward. None of us slept on the plane. We just watched a bunch of movies. (Hidden Figures, by the way, is excellent). Anyway. Happy holidays and all that. I will be returning to my normal blog, Zoe’s College Adventure, to post for this next and final semester. That’s right! After five years, I will finally be graduating! (On time. Five years is on time for my program). It’s kind of crazy to think about.

Last week, I went down to visit Logan. We drove to D.C. so I could visit a landscape architecture office, which went quite well. Then we walked around the Mall, went in a museum and drove home. It was nice. I got a new lens for Christmas that I brought and took some pretty high-quality pics.

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I have been working all winter break on grad school applications to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). It took a very long time because I had to write a statement of purpose and put together a portfolio but yesterday I finally submitted both applications!!! YAY!

If you’re wondering if I miss Germany already: I do. But I also don’t. But I also really do.

Trains and subways can take you anywhere. They are almost never on time, but it was so nice to use them for travel. I also enjoyed walking through cobblestone plazas and listening to people speaking German and non-English languages in general. Learning German (or what little I learned of German) was fun and people almost kinda actually understood what I was saying by the time the semester was over. I got to travel to so many places. That was awesome. Bonn, I decided, was a perfect city to live in for a semester. It was a city, but it wasn’t huge like Berlin or even Cologne. Tourists weren’t hogging the streets and I actually got to know the layout pretty well, despite my general lack of ability to geographically orient myself. I liked how cheap it was to buy food and how fast the cashiers at grocery stores were. However, service in the restaurants seemed extremely slow, compared to the over-eager wait staff of most American establishments. It was also frustrating not being able to really communicate with people. And smiling at strangers didn’t seem to be a practice either, which resulted in some uncomfortable glances. The food was delicious! Sausage and bread and potatoes. There were bakeries everywhere that all made fantastic bread. I definitely miss all the good bread. But it is nice to have brown sugar back. The only store in Bonn that sold brown sugar was “The English Store.” The next closest place was Aachen. I won’t miss not having access to public water fountains and free ice water in restaurants.

Anyway, Happy New Year!

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Farms, Forests, and Fairs

This will be brief because I have to get up at 6:00 AM (It’s currently 12:14 AM but I’m not tired yet). Anyway, here’s the low-down on the last few days.

On Thursday, we took a day trip to Andernach, a permaculture town. It has a farm to generate revenue and it’s super neat.

They call the downtown area the “edible town” because there is an area where they grow produce that is available to the public for free. Here is a picture of it. It’s in an old moat.

Also, all throughout the pedestrian area are planter boxes with edible herbs, flowers, and such. Pretty swanky. At the end of our tour, they provided a nice spread of foods that were produced using the farm we had toured! It was delicious!

Friday was our first “Independent Study” day where we are free to travel or do whatever we like. A group of us got together, rented a car, and drove down to the Black Forest for a little camping trip. (Shout out to Ben for driving there and back because no one else knows how to drive stick). It was nice to sleep in a tent while wearing less than five layers of clothing (Which is what happened in Iceland). We had trouble finding a good place to hike on the first day and ended up wandering around some logging roads which were still pretty cool. Rain poured down on us for most of the afternoon but cleared up before the hike finished. Honestly, the woods looked a lot like Pennsylvania. Like if I saw a picture of where we were hiking and someone told me it was in PA, I’d be like, “Yeah, ok”.

There were more deciduous trees than I thought and it was also not quite as dark. Germany prohibits any camping not on a designated camping site so we stayed at a cute little campground that was reminiscent of Iceland. There were bathroom and a dish washing station and a covered table for gathering. OK I’m getting pretty tired, I will finish this tomorrow…

Hello it is many days after “tomorrow”. I was in Aachen for a site visit but that is a post for another day.

After our hike we played on a really fun playground and in this fountain that we think was spring fed and felt very cold and nice on our gross, sweaty feet.

In the evening we played some cards, then went to bed.

The next day we packed up an headed to another part of the forest, saw some beautiful vistas and interesting things along the trail, then decided to pay nine euro to walk along a super high boardwalk and up this crazy wood spiral structure.

Pretty crazy.

On Sunday, Logan and I went to this big festival held biannual across the river in Bonn called P├╝tzchens Markt which is a huge festival with tons of food and carnival rides. The rides were expensive so Logan and I jut ate a lot of food instead.