The study portion of my study abroad has finally commenced. My first week of classes has come and gone without much incident, and after so much time feeling like I’m on one long vacation, it’s nice to get some structure and routine.
The way class registration and how they start at the beginning of the semester is a bit different than what I’ve gotten used to in Gainesville. There is no “main campus,” but has a bunch of buildings scattered throughout the city that house classes, and while I think it’s really neat that the university and city are so integrated, it’s something I didn’t take into careful consideration when planning out going from class to class. It won’t pose a problem for most of my classes, but I do have a tight window between two of my classes on Wednesday. I can make it work, but I definitely get my daily cardio in.
Along with the beginning of classes, the university’s clubs and student organizations have started up again, too. I have joined the international choir. Our first performance is on Thursday morning, and we’re performing for the German President (no pressure). Despite having absolutely zero choir experience and the crazy long rehearsals I endured this weekend in preparation for Thursday, I enjoyed myself. It’s extremely rewarding to hear how the songs get better with each run through and after being dissected into the different parts. I spent the lunch breaks with my friend Carson on the nearby green-space, soaking in the sun and wishing that winter will stay away for just a little while longer.
As much as I love Bonn, I didn’t spend my entire week in the city. Just a short subway ride away, there are extensive hiking trails up and around a mountain. At the top is ruins of an old castle and the site is called Drachenfels.
The hike, while steep in some places, isn’t a hard climb, and only took my friends and I 40 minutes. They view at the top was well worth feeling like I was horribly out of shape for the entirety of the climb.
There was a little cafe at the top, and we spent so much time sitting at the top and just soaking it all in that when we started our decent, we were lucky enough to see the mountain during the golden hour. Just when I think I’ve seen the most beautiful thing Europe has to offer, I get thrown for a loop and end up sitting back in amazement that I was lucky enough to end up in such a beautiful place.