Freiburg — June ‘17
Getting there is half the battle
So my first time flying internationally didn’t go as well as I had originally planned. A three hour delay leaving Atlanta left me with few options for getting to Germany as early as I had hoped. Eventually I found a flight that had me landing in Germany at noon the next day, which had me getting to Freiburg at about 8 p.m.
It would be a few days before my luggage found its way to my dorm in Freiburg, but in the mean time I was just happy to be able to stretch whenever I wanted.
First Impressions of Freiburg
After a day and a half of traveling, I finally made it to my dorm just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday. It was a nice apartment on the south side of the city, about 15 minutes from the university and the city center by street train.
The view from the balcony is really nice, especially since this building was built to house students.
I went out Friday evening to take some pictures of the buildings that I had passed on the tram to class several times since I got here. It started raining after a bit, so I had to pack it in early. This first set of pictures is from the Johanneskirche area, which is named after the double-towered church along the city’s main street.
I got back on the tram after a while and headed east into the heart of the city. These pictures start in the Holzmarkt area and go into the center of Freiburg to the Freiburg Münster, an enormous cathedral that dates back to 1200 AD.
The first of many pictures of the Freiburg Münster.
This statue is actually about 50 feet from the münster’s doors, but in the same plaza where a daily market brings fruits, vegetables and meats from around the area to central Freiburg every morning.
Not your typical gargoyle on the left.
I was able to get in a few more pictures on my way back to the dorm before the rain threw me off course.
A Long Weekend in Geneva
I left for Geneva, Switzerland early Saturday morning and got there just after lunch. I knew going in that French was the dominant language in the city and was preparing to deal with that, but I did not expect that they would use a different currency as well, the Swiss Frank. Convenient.
I left the train station and accidentally made my way to the Brunswick Monument, which I had planned to see on Sunday. It sits just across the street from Lake Geneva’s waterfront, which is home to a number of the city’s enormous parks.
Having walked approximately 500 miles at this point, I decided to head to the Geneva Hostel where I had booked a bed for the night. It was clean, modern and safe, but (in keeping with everywhere else I’ve been) there was no air conditioning and the sun didn’t set until 10 pm. It was hot.
I started Sunday prepared to walk 500 more miles and took another trip to the lakefront and decided I couldn’t leave without getting a feel for the lake. It was cold.
Geneva was basically the home of the Protestant Reformation during the 16th and 17th centuries and St. Pierre Cathedral, which was home to John Calvin for some time. I got a chance to tour the cathedral and climb both of its towers, which overlook Geneva’s old city and most of the surrounding area as well.
I joked when I first got to Geneva that I would never leave; I didn’t realize it then, but I was setting myself up for one long journey back to Freiburg. A crash outside of town delayed my return train and sent me on a series anxious, late-night train rides across Switzerland in hopes of reaching Freiburg before the last trains stopped running for the night.
I made it as far as Basel, which lies on the Swiss-German border, about an hour’s ride from Freiburg, at 1 am Monday morning before the trains stopped and I had to find a room in a hotel. My frustration was relieved though when I found a room at the Hotel Victoria just outside the train station and was somehow blessed with a desperately needed phone charger and air conditioning (finally!) I caught the next train to Freiburg Monday morning and made it just in time for class.
A small group of us took a trip about an hour south of Freiburg to a tourist town on Lake Schluchsee. The water was ice cold, but that didn’t deter the us and a handful of Germans from spending some time in the crystal clear lake.
Corpus Christi at the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
We went about half an hour east of Freiburg on the Catholic Corpus Christi holiday (Thursday, June 15) to see an incredibly ornate church, the likes of which I would not have expected to see in such a small town.
Father’s Day in the Black Forest
Freiburg is often called the gateway to the Black Forest because it sits all but directly in the shadow of the forest and is the closest city to the Schwarzwald. I decided to pick up a map in town and plot a route from a bus stop in a nearby town up to the most popular peak in the Freiburg area, Schauinsland.
Schwarzwald Stadium and Freiburg Pride
Lucern and Mount Titlis
Return to Schauinsland
The Long Goodbye