I’m Ready, but also not Ready

…To come home, that is. Because today is my last as a resident of Bonn!

On Monday we had a big farewell dinner at AIB which was delicious. Today, I puttered around the house picking up my stuff and eating a bunch of leftover food.

After packing up all my stuff, I went in to the city to eat dim sum with Logan and walk around the Christmas market one last time. It was gray and drizzling which makes leaving a little less sad. Here are some pics from today:

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Tomorrow we hop on a plane and head back to the States! I’m very excited to go home and see my family and pets. Of course, I will miss being able to take the train every where (at least, when they’re on time). And being able to walk through cool plazas to get to school and use colorful money to buy delicious bread and apfel berliners at the bakery.

It’s late now and I gotta go to bed. See you back in the US of A.

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Don’t Forget about Studio

Two solid weeks of studio followed the adventure in Scotland. It was kind of nice to just be in Bonn. The Christmas markets were all set up and we’d get food from them at lunch.

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My project ended up being not an actual design but a process for using community engagement to design spaces. In stead of plans and sections, I made an animation.

After working and working and working, we took the train up to Aachen to present our final designs. It was a two-day trip because we had to set up some sort of exhibit thing.

Here is everyone standing with their poster, waiting for Mike, the tallest guy in our class, to hammer all the signs into the ground. We looked like a bunch of protesters.

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We did some other setting up stuff and the walked around the Christmas markets in the city center.

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Friday was a long day of presentations. Since I made an animated video, I didn’t really have to talk which was great.

Here are some still images from my video

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Here is my video if you are interested:

The Community Designed Project Animation

Thanksgiving Abroad

Yep, so it’s Thanksgiving week. The first one I’ve ever spent without my family. Good thing Us LARCHies are basically a family of our own.

The Monday after Rome, we had a tour of the Koln Cathedral. Quite impressive and big. And it would have been a more exciting tour had it been day time and not freezing and windy. We rode elevators up the side of the building and climbed up stairs to see different levels of the cathedral. No pictures allowed to be posted on the internet of the inside of the castle or during the tour so unfortunately you don’t get to see it. But here is a terrible picture I took of the outside of the cathedral before it got dark.

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On Wednesday night, Logan, Ben, Mike (another friend), and I watched Loving Vincent, the painted animation feature film that takes place after Van Gogh’s death. It was impressive and the story was quite suspenseful and interesting. It was especially cool to watch, having just been to the Van Gogh museum and actually seeing some of the paintings used for backdrops. Highly recommend watching.

Thursday, was Thanksgiving. Luckily, we didn’t go turkey-less. AIB hosted a big dinner with all the students at AIB, providing mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, and green beans. We all provided side dishes and desserts.

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Bonn Weekend

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Due to poor planning and dwindling funds, the four day weekend after Paris was a relaxing hangout around Bonn. Almost everyone else was out and about so it was just me and the Log. On Thursday we ran errands and I got a cool shirt from this company called Rednib. On Friday, we made the Apfelkuchen that Mama’s neighbor had made for us when we visited.

Very delicious!

We ate lots of it and watched TV.

On Saturday night, we went in to Bonn to see the buildings let up for some festival of lights to celebrate community and togetherness. It was freezing but there were lots of food vendors to keep us warm.

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On Sunday, we hiked through the forest behind my house. It was an enjoyable, tranquil walk.

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Studio has been confusing. Our professor is an architect, not a landscape architect, and it can feel like there is a bit of misunderstanding with our projects. We had our mid review on Friday and I guess it went well. Here’s a pic of our studio space at AIB.

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Not quite as glamorous as our Stuckeman studio but it gets the job done.

A Hike Across the Rhine

Hi! This post was originally written on September 21st but I have been too lazy to post it. Enjoy.
Last weekend,  we went hiking to some castles and ruins. We took a ferry across the Rhine. The ride was short but the ferry captain was very friendly!

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It took us an hour to find the trail. We accidentally wandered into some industrial war house complex and a private residential road before finally finding our way. By the time we got there. My Fitbit had already reached 10,000 steps! I had assumed it was some small trial though the wooded mountains but it actually much more touristy. A wide, paved path started straight up an incredibly steep slope and we were all out of breath. Our first stop was a castle. We thought about walking around the grounds but we had to pay an entry fee. We hiked some more. The trail took us into the woods an by a tall rock mound that looked like a good place to stop for lunch. The next stop was at Drachenfels Ruins. The ruins were overrun with tourists but the view of Bonn was magnificent.

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We ran into two there friends and continues hiking with them.

At one point along the path we found a grove of apple and pear trees so we picked a bunch for snacking.

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Finally we sat down at the biergarten at Petersberg Hotel. It was relaxing and I ate some pretzels.

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The week was busy with class and excursions. On Wednesday we visited a museum exhibit about play structures which was really interesting! AND we got to play!

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Yesterday we walked around Köln for class, then went to a youth orchestra concert that was a mix of western and Indian music for Beethoven Fest.
Right now, I am on a plane headed for Berlin for the weekend. I am sitting in the very front and had to store my bag in the overhead for takeoff. I forgot to get my headphones out so now I must wait until we are in the air.

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 Pützchens 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.