16 December 2008

Christmastime in Eichstätt

Because I will probably not be writing on Fire at Will again until after the Christmas break, I thought I would provide one more post before the holiday. Here are several images from the Christmas season in Eichstätt.

There has been snow on the ground, in some fresh or slushy form, for at least the past two weeks. It is already more snow than I am used to seeing, and more that I experienced in my entire first year in Eichstätt. The first picture shows the view of Willibaldsburg from my patio .

The Adventsmarkt, Eichstätt's version of the German Christmas markets, took place on the first two weekends of December, or the first two weekends in Advent. The stalls sold several cups of warm Glühwein, grilled sausages, and rosted chestnuts. I attended the market nearly every night it was open in order to make the most of the short-lived event. In first photograh below, from left to right, are Eric's brother, who visited for the weekend, Eric, Hannah, Alice, and Julia. In the second image are Hannah and Christine, a student from eastern Germany.

A couple of nights ago, as new snow was falling over the town, I grabbed my camera and took to the streets. In the following picture you can see the decorated Domplatz and the cathedral in the background.

This is a look at Eichstätt's city hall and one of its Christmas trees.

The same star decorations hung over the town's streets during my first year abroad.

The Marktplatz was virtually empty in the night hours as it turned white with snow and glowed with the light of the Christmas decorations.

Heading out of the old town center, most of the streets were equally quiet.

The following day I was able to find an accessible third-story window in the town center that provided a glimpse of the snow-covered rooftops.

As the photographs show, Eichstätt is a beautiful place to enjoy and experience the Christmas season.
Enjoy the holidays, and look forward to my next post in a couple of weeks.
Merry Christmas

Fröhliche Weihnachten

Happy New Year

Ein gutes neues Jahr

Before the Holiday Break

For the last couple of weeks students at the university have been anticipating the quickly approaching Chirstmas break. Classes will officially end on December 23 and resume on January 7.

I attended a couple parties last Wednesday night. First, I went to the Trompete restaurant to attend a Christmas party for the teachers of the Sprachenzentrum, my department at the university. Although I can't be certain, I'm willing to say that I was the youngest one there. By coincidence, I also sat next to the teacher of my only course that I'm visiting as a student. In spite of this, it was still an enjoyable time; then again, a dinner with food from the Trompete alomst always is.

Afterwards I headed to a surprise birthday party for Eric in St. Michael's dorm. In the picture below, from left to right, are Alice, Hannah, Julia, and Eric. I first met all of the four during my year of studying abroad in Eichstätt. Alice comes from the Czech Republic. Julia and Eric are German.

Sometime during the party we decided to go outside for some fun in the fresh snow. Here you can see Steffi testing some of the white powder.

Back inside, there was some noticeable evidence of the snowball fight that had occurred.

On Friday evening, and early Saturday morning, was a Christmas party in St. Michael's. Later on Saturday morning, though, I boarded a bus with several foreign students for an excusion led by AK International to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Rothenburg has been the subject of posts on this blog before. During my first semester in Eichstätt, AK International planned the same excursion. Even though the student organization has different leaders from two years ago, much of the trip was the same. In the next photograph, taken from the town's medieval defensive wall, is a view of Rothenburg on a bluff overlooking the Tauber River.

The trip actually brought my fifth visit to the town, and normally I would have stopped at four, but I thought the fresh snow and Christmas atmosphere would still make the excursion worthwhile for me.

I spent most of the day with Franzi, who was one of the few Germans along for the trip. The photograph below was taken as we walked on Rothenburg's wall.

As I had thought, the Christmas decorations and activities in the town did create a pleasant setting. During the day we also visit Rothenburg's Medieval Crime Museum. For a reminder of that and more of images of Rothenburg, check out my post from December 13, 2006.

We left as darkness fell over the old town, and then arrived back in Eichstätt a couple of hours later.
I am supposed to teach two classes on Monday, December 22, but being as that is so close to Christmas I have canceled class. After this coming Thursday I will be done with classes and work before the break. The vacation will last about two weeks, and will offer plenty of time to travel to some new destinations. The decision on where I will be heading will be made soon.

05 December 2008

Recent Activities

Here's a look at some the activities that have kept me busy in the past week or so.

Nine days ago the university hosted a formal dance known as the Uni Ball. I went with my tutor and some of her friends. The dance was held in Eichstätt's old town theater. In the photograph below, from left to right, are Nellie, Laura, Angela, and Connie.

Here you can see me with Laura and Connie. It might be easy to guess what our favorite color is.

Apparently most of those in attendance had experience with formal dance styles. I, however, was in the pleasant position of having to learn in the moment. In the next picture you can see us taking a break from the dance hall on the second floor of the theater in the first floor's cocktail bar.

Last Saturday I rode to Nuremberg with Franzi and Connie in order to visit the city's famous Christkindlesmarkt, or Christmas Market. After a few hours of shopping in the downtown department stores, we met up with Anna and Nellie. Below is a view of the Frauenkirche, which overlooks the square on which I can find the Christmas Market.

In the next photograph you can see one of themany stalls that sells the city's specialty of Lebkuchen, which are a kind of gingerbread sweet.

Next, Connie, Franzi, Anna, and Nellie pause while at the market for a photograph.

There of course savory foods to choose from as well at the market. Here, you can see Nellie and Franzi taking on a one-meter long type of bratwurst.

For information about Nuremberg's Chirstkindlesmarkt or German Chirstmas Markets in general, take a look at my post from December 20, 2006.

I again could not let Thanksgiving pass without any sort of recognition. On Sunday I joined Hannah, an American friend who was her duirng my second semester in Eichstätt, and her German friend Eric in the first floor kitchen of the St. Michael's dorm to prepare a Thanksgiving meal.

In addition to the three of us, three other Germans joined us for the meal: Franzi, Connie, and Christine.

Here are several other photographs from the evening.

In this last view you can see all of us together at the table. From left to right is Erik, Hannah, Christine, me, Franzi, and Connie.

Similar to the first time when I was in Eichstätt, the Thanksgiving meal went well. Hannah and I were glad to have done it, in spite of the hours spent cooking.
Yesterday in Ameican Culture I spoke about American music. The discussion covered everything from folk music to punk. Some of the musical selections I provided were "Yankee Doodle," "Dixie," "Stars and Stripes," and "That's All Right," among many others.
There are no special plans for this weekend, at least not yet. I'll wait to see what develops.