Caroline Beaumelou

Caroline is in Germany on her year abroad from University of Aberdeen. She is linked with Meldrum Academy in Aberdeenshire.

October Days

Hello, class ! or Hallo, Klasse !

Sorry for the delay in getting to write to you -- arriving in Freiburg has been a whirlwind of excitement and adventures. On top of that, there has been the usual things that one does when moving to a new country: administrative steps, unpacking, uncountable runs to Lidl... 

Let's get into things: Freiburg is a beautiful city ! It's in the Black Forest -- which I haven't had the time to visit yet, I know, an incredible shame -- and the city itself is quite old, with really beautiful buildings. I'll post some photos down below. All throughout the city, there are these little narrow canals, on almost every street, that used to carry away waste from houses. There's an urban legend, apparently, that if a foreigner accidentally steps into one of them, they have to marry a Freibürger. I've been avoiding them if I can, I'm quite busy enough exploring the city and settling into my classes.

Not all of the city is old, however, and the best illustration of this is Platz der Alten Synagogue, or the Universitätszentrum, where I have most of my classes. In one plaza, there's the city's old theatre, which is only 8€ for students, and really encourages getting involved in the culture ; there's the three university buildings, KG1, KG2, KG3 ; and there's the new university library, which is an ultra modern building made entirely out of glass. Funnily enough, every day at midday when it's sunny, they have to drop curtains down the side of the building, because the sun reflecting off of it blinds drivers on the road ! 

Freiburg is also, apparently, quite haunted, as I went on a ghost tour of the city last week that lasted quite a few hours. One of my favourite stories was of a ghost who supposedly puts fresh flowers on a specific grave, every day, and has for the past three hundred years. What a kind ghost. 

There's a really intense bike culture in Freiburg, and in Germany in general, as you'll see in one of the pictures, but I prefer to travel using the VAG, the Freiburg public transit system. My WG, or student home, is next to a tram stop that leads straight to the Universitätszentrum in about ten minutes, which is great. Travelling across the city is really easy, with five tram lines and walking opportunities besides. 

There's also truly incredible food here, to the point that I need to slow down before I go over budget ! But with restaurants just about every four metres, there's so much choice, and it's so tempting to grab a kebab or a currywurst after a course. One thing however is that paying with card, or EC-Karte, is really rare here. No cash, no purchase ! It's a culture shock for sure. (Another thing I've noticed is very few bathrooms here have a hook for your bag inside the stall. A small change, but a noticeable one !)

I remember you wanted to see some artwork and some nature, so for next month I'll try and go spend some time out in the forest for you, and there's an exposition coming up at the Freiburg museum that I'll try and see. I'm not sure if it'll be as 'weird' as you guys asked for, but it should be interesting all the same ! 

This is getting quite long, so I'll perhaps cut it short -- I hope you're enjoying your classes so far, and that you find the updates interesting ; I know that you don't study German, but hopefully it'll pique your interest in Germany all the same. If not, I can always pop over to Strasbourg ! 

Tchüss ! Bis später, Klasse.

Here we have the Bibliothek, in all it's reflective glory. ^

The Stadttheater ! One of my courses is on Theater in Germany, so I'll likely be there often. ^

My tram -- Linie 1. ^

Just a few bicycles outside the library... ^


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