At the moment I'm resting in a cafe in Basel, Switzerland. I'm happy I get to spend a day here since I was going to spend more time in Switzerland but couldn't because of the virus I came down with. Its a nice little city and has a really nice main street that you can walk down with cafes and shops. The River Rhine goes right through the city and it felt great just to sit next to the river for a while this morning.
About a week ago, I left Hamburg for Freiberg, Germany to visit my friend Susie who is studying there. It was fun visiting a smaller German town and meeting some other Americans who were studying abroad there. The town had amazing side streets and great beer gardens. At night many students sat out in this one court yard just drinking and hanging out. It was pretty crazy. The next day Susie and I went for a hike in the hills near Freiberg. That night we went to a friend of hers in her program's birthday party and it was fun just being able to be back in a place that reminded me so much of the flats in London! It was a really great time!
|Freiberg Town Hall|
|Side street in Freiberg...apparently if you accidentally step in the little streets on the side of the roads you need to marry a Freiberger.|
|Path of the hike "climb" we went on!|
|Little German house!|
|German Wind Mill!|
|Break at the top...so German.|
|Climbing some rocks!|
The next morning Katja brought me to the school she taught at to talk to each of her classes about America. It was the first time I had really been with a bunch of people who had never actually met an American before, since many of the students come from poor families and have never really had the chance to go to America. It was fun talking to a lot of them, and listening to their questions. A lot of them asked about University life, sports, American Football (which of course I know everything about), my home and more. It was fun being able to talk about where I came from to people half way across the world. It also made me feel really proud to be American. You could just tell how much they adored our country and what it meant to them. That was really cool.
Anyways, after some of the teachers heard I was in the school, I started getting pulled around all over the place to a ton of classes. I talked to kids who were 12 all the way to 18. After we left the school we went straight to their brewery where they gave me a tour and I got to meet some of the staff! They even gave me beer straight out of the factory! Next we drove into the black forest a bit so that I could see some of the classic homes and one of the largest domes in Europe at Janinna's school.
After a bit of a rest we Katja brought me to the kid's tennis practice. While they practiced we drove across into Switzerland for gas (its cheaper there)...so that was my first time in Switzerland! Yay! After that we walked along the Rhine and then we met up with the Dieter and the kids at the tennis courts. Then I played doubles tennis with Dieter, Katja and the tennis instructor. It was pretty awesome playing tennis on the Swiss/German boarder, I felt like Roger Federer! Sort of. It was great playing tennis, I hadn't played in such a long time!
|Fresh out of the tap|
So, that night I got really sick. I don't think I've ever actually been so sick, which was a bit scary, especially because I was so far away from home. Luckily I was with Katja and Dieter who took really good care of me and made sure I had everything I needed. After talking with the doctor at night, Katja told me he thought I had some virus that has been going around and just knocks you out for a while, but with all of my traveling, it made it worse. After the worst part was over, I was finally able to sleep and I passed out for an entire day almost, only waking up a couple of times. The next day I just laid outside for a while and then slept some more. I could easily say that that period was the most home sick I've been, I couldn't stop thinking about home, but being with a family definitely made it a lot easier. It was a bit weird, because I can't really say I've been home sick yet this trip, but immediately once I started feeling better, I was ready to hit the road and get back to it, especially because I had ground to make up. So, this morning, I left for Basel, Switzerland...where I am now. Tonight, I'm getting on a night train to Berlin, staying there for a night, then headed to Riga, Latvia, via Lithuania by bus. There I will get to see my Dad, which will be really great!
So, I'm back at it, and feeling a lot more healthy!
The pictures below are from out the window of the room I was recovering in: I think you can see why I recovered so fast!
You could see France, Switzerland and Austria! Not so bad. And as you can see the Alps are amazing! Not a bad place to recover.
Anyways, I just wanted to let you all know I'm back on my feet, I miss you all and I wish you could all be sharing this with me! Thanks for reading, as always I really appreciate it!