The Köln Cathedral was one of the first things that caught my attention as soon as we stepped out of the Hauptbanhof along with the endless amount of tourists swarming around the majestic structure.

Worshiping in the Köln cathedral was a unique experience for me because of how much it contradicted the Pentecostal church I’ve grown up in. I was amazed at how tourists would sight see at the back while the service was going on. I found the burning of incense interesting and a bit disturbing. Majority of the service consisted of singing in Latin and a German sermon, languages I am not very conversant with. A part of the service I enjoyed was listening to the organ and the musical accompaniments as we sang the hymnals. It was also tiring yet refreshing to climb up the 600 and some stairs and take in the beautiful view from the top of the bell tower of the cathedral.

First week!

Germany was a lot to take in to be honest and our first week went by in a flash. I was overwhelmed by the transport system as I spent half the time trying to avoid getting closed between the hasty S-Bahn and U-bahn doors and figuring out the bus and train routes. I was also still a bit jet lagged so it made things a bit harder. I absolutely loved my first meal in Berlin, introduced to me by Professor DeRooy, currywurst. It also came as a shock to me that you could get run over by a cyclist if you stood on the bike path.


Elevator Speech

Wow! Germany was phenomenal. It was a summer filled with learning, about traveling, culture, German, and engineering. We took a 6-week engineering course, and I can now say that I will never look at bridges the same (“In trusses we trust”). We also took a German class, but the extent of my German knowledge is ordering food, saying please and thank you, and asking how to get somewhere, basically the essentials. We had a fantastic group, 37 students, and I did not know most of them to begin with. It was a lot of fun meeting them all. We stayed in Berlin, but were able to travel on weekends and then also the last week. We pretty much went everywhere in Germany that you could possibly want to go, like Heidelberg, Köln, Wittenberg, Neuschwanstein Castle, Munich, and more. I was also able to go to Paris (watch out for those pick-pocketers!), Salzburg in Austria, and Prague in Czech Republic. We did some hiking in southern Germany, which was amazing. Seeing more of God’s creation, especially in the mountains, is always fantastic. Germany is absolutely gorgeous. I had a blast and would highly recommend to anyone considering this trip.

Some Pics to Show What It Was Like

This picture was taken in Klobenz. Before we walked up to this statue, Professor De Rooy said, “There is a famous statue ahead. I would tell you the name, but I just can’t seem to put my thumb on it right now.”

It is very common in the United States to see a UPS truck. It was a little bit of a shock to see the UPS delivery man riding a bike with his packages behind him! This was not a huge culture difference, but still took us by surprise.

When you don’t reserve a seat on the train, be ready to sit on the ground! We played cards on the ground of the train to pass the time. We still had a lot of fun. Well… I might have had more fun because I lucked out with still getting a seat.

As engineers, we can make supports out of anything and we like to engineer all the time. At dinner, we had to balance 3 knives with 3 glasses of beer and have it support weight.

Blog Q8

If I could describe the Europe trip in one word it would be eye-opening. It made me realize and understand that there are other people in the world besides people in the states. Different cultures and traditions that I learned about while I was in Germany. I was able to see first hand how different life was there. For example most people use public transportation to get places, there are different colored parts of the sidewalks which are bike lanes, and a whole different currency. I thought my experience in a different country was amazing and I would totally go again.