The Trip So Far
Greetings, all! Our time over the last three days has been fantastic; we've already done so much. The first full day here in Germany consisted of a walking tour of Berlin and the group powering through jet lag. We experienced sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews, and the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe. We all went to bed very, very early. Yesterday we began our day with some wonderful free time experiencing Berlin in the morning! The group split up with some of us grabbing some coffee at a local cafe, others visiting the Olympic Park, and the rest finding different parts of Berlin to explore.
Time for class!
When we reconvened after lunch, we traveled via train to meet a representative from the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Rebecca Bertram presented an interesting presentation on the energy transition in Germany, called the Energiewende. This first official time for coursework was a great way to begin the month of furthering our knowledge on sustainable initiatives in Europe! Not only has Germany been successful with its plan to phase out nuclear by 2022, but they are also impressively improving their energy productivity through renewables.
Part of the course work includes different students writing journal reflections after the various presentations throughout the month. I was lucky enough to be one of three students who got to write the first reflection, and it thankfully went very smoothly. Afterward, we were able to enjoy the night venturing out into Berlin for the evening.
A Day Trip Celebrating 500 Big Years
Today we spent the day in Wittenberg, the location where our beloved Martin Luther resided! The train ride was an hour long, which allowed us to see some of the beautiful German areas around Berlin. We walked through the town of Wittenberg to the castle church where we saw the door. Our Luther pride beamed as we took numerous pictures of the door where Luther nailed his 95 Theses five hundred years ago to spark the Protestant Reformation. The architecture of the churches was incredible, and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour given to us by our spritely guide, Mathias. We were led through the brisk streets of Wittenberg between the locations where Luther and other reformers established their legacy. It was an amazing experience. We return now to enjoy a Saturday evening in Berlin before touring the Reichstag building tomorrow morning. More exciting adventures lie ahead.