16 December 2008

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.

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