Today we had a proper tour of the city with a great tour guide, and got to learn about the multitude of fantastical buildings in the city, but also the historical context behind them. Here are some notable places and moments:
I remembered passing the town hall last night (though I didn’t know it was the town hall) and didn’t think I would end up back there, but that was the first thing the tour guide led us to in the morning. I didn’t know what to expect watching it, but I appreciated the tour guide explaining how it worked. I hadn’t thought about it much, but I guess I would have assumed that the entire thing was automatic, but nope, everything was done by hand. I loved seeing the puppets move, and the music was fantastic. It was almost as if I was looking at and listening to a music box, just 100x its size. I wanted to record the entire thing, but my phone ran out of space about halfway through. I also missed the golden rooster moving and it making noise, so that was a bummer. If I were to ever see the glockenspiel again, I’m catching that bird in the act.
The Market (Viktualienmarkt)
I heard the term “farmer’s market on steroids” attributed to it by Dr. Scott, which is a very accurate statement in my opinion. There were stalls and stalls of fresh fruit, meats and cheeses, bread, and even a stall for herbs. There were flower and souvenir stalls, places to order food, and even a beer garden, which is new for me. I probably barely scratched the surface of what was at that market, but it was so cool just to walk around and see what people were selling. I wanted to buy a bratwurst, but the stall didn’t take card, so I had to find an ATM. One of the buttons was broken, and, coincidentally, that button happened to activate the English translation. Luckily a kind lady helped me translate a bit, so I was able to finally get my money and get my wurst, which I was only able to eat a bit of before I had to leave to go with the group and eat on the go. It was still tasty.
BMW Showroom and Olympic Village
I have never seen such a gorgeous showroom, or such gorgeous cars. Even though we couldn’t tour the factory itself due to COVID, it was still nice to be able to walk around the showroom and ogle the cars none of us can afford. I especially liked the cars that had more unusual colors like purple and light teal, which made them stand out a lot more than just being a BMW (or Rolls Royce for the light teal one). I also saw and took a picture of a life-size LEGO model of a motorcycle, which I intend to show my brother since he loves LEGOs. After that, I walked with a small group over to the Olympic Village, which was completely abandoned but still impressive to look at. It was last used in the 1976 Olympic Games, which Germany was set on showing the world that they had moved beyond their past. Well, I learned that apparently a hostage situation happened and several people died, which included two Israeli athletes (Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village, killed two athletes, and took nine more Israeli athletes hostage). I don’t remember much else from that topic, but what I do remember was that the deaths of the Palestinian terrorists and some officers became known as the Munich Massacre. The Games still continued though.
Later on in the day we met up with a student at a local university, who gave us a really quick tour around the campus. It might have been less aesthetically pleasing than Purdue is, but I liked the tour overall, especially the places we walked through. Apparently the architecture department was donated an airplane walkway, and so they used it to create an upper level walkway between two buildings. Besides being dark, it was quite an ingenious way to use it. We also learned about a couple of majors I had never heard of before, one of them being commercial engineering. I’m not sure what it is or even if I heard it correctly, but I don’t think we have anything like that at Purdue. there was also a major that dealt specifically with water, whose name escapes me but was pretty unique as well. Another thing that was unique was learning about how the university worked as compared with our own. College there lasts three years, and people take an average of 20 credits a semester. Seems crazy, but it really isn’t. Their classes are usually worth around 6 credits each, but they only meet once a week. No tests, quizzes, or homework, and the deciding factor of whether they pass or not depends on a final exam. You can take the exam however many times you want to pass the class, but you have to wait an entire semester before you do so. I can’t even wrap my head around a structure like that, since its so unlike the one I know. I liked learning about it though, and it helped that our tour guide was great and really nice.