China was a blast and I am looking forward to revisiting. To my surprise, I really got into the rhythm of the different cities I visited and feel as though I could go back comfortably. My visit to the Xi’an Jiaotong University of Architecture and Technology was very welcoming and I am grateful for Professor Zhang and her students’ hospitality in welcoming me to the city of Xi’an and their beautiful campus. We enjoyed a delicious meal together, and then I was off to Berlin!
After a ten hour plane ride, I got to an AirBnB in Berlin, and was welcomed to a nice dinner of Bratwurst with my host, Ingeborg. I explored the city a bit to get over jet lag and surprisingly felt fine the next day in time to meet up with my study abroad group.
The first week of Berlin has been really amazing and I’m glad I have a tour guide, Geza, who lived here for 20 years. He knows the city like the back of his hand, and so much history about it. So far we have seen so many interesting examples of architecture and landscape architecture in this city and have been walking A LOT. I haven’t felt this great in awhile, and am happy to be walking over 20,000 steps a day!
One trip I want to highlight is the Wald. Berlin. Klima. Park in the Grunewald Forest in Berlin. The Grunewald Forest is 7,400 acres of forest on the western side of Berlin. There are exhibitions throughout the 2.5 mi path in the forest explaining the history of the forest, efforts to protect it, and the future of the forest and what is really needed to sustain the city of Berlin. At the end of the trip, we climbed a tower and experienced the whole forest overlook.
I look forward to visiting more sites in Berlin, and moving to Essen in a few days. Auf Wiedersehen!