I have now been in Wittenberg one week. I arrived airsick and miserable Tuesday morning, but by that afternoon I was already enchanted. We took two tours of the Altstadt(old city) this week: a short walk around and a longer tour of the historical landmarks. This whole city pretty much revolves around Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, who worked at Wittenberg Universität as a professor when, in 1517 he nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the Schloßkirche (Castle Church). There are also monuments dedicated to his co-conspirator Philipp Melanchthon and to Lucas Cranach, the only man to ever paint Martin Luther. I can’t wait to spend some more time at the historic sites and museums in town. Other than tours, our classes have been reading and speaking almost entirely in German. I can tell that I am going to learn a lot.
Since getting here I have already had many adventures. For example, going to the Supermarket. I did not realize how different the Supermarket would be. Other than bread, fruit, and pasta, there were not many foods that I immediately recognized. Feeling overwhelmed by the Wurst section, I ended up buying Bärenwust (bologna in the shape of little bears, probably intended for children). The cheese section was also confusing, and I am still not exactly sure what cheese I bought. Luckily for me, my host family speaks English. They have been ever so helpful in identifying things.
My Gastfamilie (guest family) has seven people in it, four children, ages 9-17, two parents, and Oma Lily. Plus the Hund (dog) Bonnie and the Katze, Kitty. The first night at dinner, with everyone gathered on the back patio, was quite an experience for me. It had been a long time since I had had such an energetic dinner. They are all so nice that the adjustment hasn’t been any problem. Bonnie and I are already fast friends.
My biggest adventure this week has been Rad fahren (bike riding). Emily, the oldest girl, has kindly lent me her bike to use while I am here, and showed me the path to the city. Now I ride my bike through the countryside and into the city every morning. It is the definition of quaint, and I don’t care that I ruin the image with my pink Razor helmet or that it usually takes me two or three tries to get the bike started. I just feel so European. Plus it is a good way for me to get some exercise in while I’m here.
Other than sightseeing in Wittenberg and classes, this weekend we took a trip to Dresden, but that is a post for another time. For now I have to get back to learning. I’ll post again next week after we get back from our trip to Berlin.