I forgot to mention some things about the DIS study tours in my last post: they absolutely spoil you. These trips to Sweden and Germany weren’t just full of lectures and tours on sustainable development projects, but they also have a great deal of cultural activities as well.
|Normal Sustainability Meal|
In Sweden, we had nearly three hours in Lund to explore the Cathedral and get a feel of the town. In Malmo, we went to the most bizarre modern art exhibit I have ever seen (which is probably saying something, seeing that the intrinsic nature of modern art is bizarre in general). Just to give you a taste of how weird it was, the exhibit was entitled “Action Painting Baby Splash!” So yeah. Google it. Or don’t. Either way, it’s at your own risk.
We were also treated to one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever had at the Malmo “Chocolate Museum”. I put that in quotes because it was literally just a chocolate shop with a video on cacao beans playing on the back wall. I’m certainly not complaining though because free chocolate.
Lastly, we were given curling lessons. I am absolutely abysmal at curling. It was one of those things that I thought, with absolutely no evidence backing me up, that I would be a pro. These are the same misguided feelings I had about archery (which I’m also terrible at), so I don’t really know what I was expecting.
|On top of the Reichstag. |
Also seen: back of friend's heads.
Also, another thing to mention is the food. Since we’re on a sustainability trip, most of the restaurants we ate at were organic, some were strictly vegetarian (yay sustainability!), and, maybe it’s because I have been cooking for myself with food from Netto (one of the crappiest grocery stores I’ve ever been to), all were the most incredible things I had ever tasted. Also, free wine. So that was pretty cool of them.
In Germany, our days were jam packed with cultural events. Honestly, it was more of a cultural visit than a sustainability tour. The food was delicious, if not more so, and we got to eat in the coolest places. In Hamburg, we ate at the most German place I could possibly imagine. It was in a long cellar and we all sat at these old wooden tables, the meat (because it’s not uber German unless the meal is strictly meat, potatoes, and sour kraut) was served on wooden planks and the beer was served in barrels. In Berlin, we ate lunch in the dome on top of the Reichstag and had a view overlooking the park.
|Sign at Checkpoint Charlie|
We were also taken on a fat tire bike tour of Berlin, got free entrance into the DDR museum, toured a modern art gallery that was located in a former Nazi bunker and that was just on our scheduled time. We were given hours of free time each day to explore the city (made super convenient by the metro pass, also courtesy of DIS) and the nights were our own as well. With friends in my class I saw the gates of Ishtar at the Pergamon Museum (inwardly crying with art love), went to the East Side Gallery which is a large section of the Berlin Wall still in its original placement and decorated by artists (this was probably my favorite of all the things we saw)
|Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe|
|East Side Gallery|
I feel like there’s so much to talk about from Germany, and I feel like I’m rushing through it all. It’s so hard to choose one thing to focus on, since all of them were incredible. Needless to say, Berlin is a really amazing city with so much culture and diversity. I think I’ll probably post another blog soon to talk about some of the sustainability tours I went on and a little bit more about my experience in Germany.