Sunday, May 14, 2006

Freiburg: 1st Friday - 1st Saturday

1st Friday

Well, the “preconditioning” you people all thought I was crazy for actually did work. I managed to get up (and be “functional” if you use the term loosely) at 4am on the Friday we left. At about 6am I started taking my piles of stuff that I’d set out for the trip and my extensive checklist of things to remember (if I didn’t have that I’d never remember anything for a trip) and started packing. My packing strategy was a huge success because I can’t think of any significant item I forgot (or any minor ones, for that matter), used all but 3 or 4 items of clothing I brought, and fit it all into my smaller-than-average rollerboard (with the duffel bag that goes with the rollerboard folded flat inside so I could bring stuff back) and backpack without too much trouble.
After meeting some Cru people for lunch, I drove over to Tark to pick up one of the guys on the team and bring him to the airport with me. We had been given a strict 1pm show time at the Purdue airport, but lunch ran a little late so I showed up to get him at about 12:55. As soon as I reached his room I discovered that he had not yet packed at all. Seriously, he had a couple of small piles of things sitting out, but not a single thing was packed and the piles were only a fraction of what he intended to bring. Because we were on a relatively tight schedule to get to the airport so Liz’s dad could bus us to Indy for our flight, being late was bad news. In short order I had Chip on the phone appraised of the situation and this guy was frantically throwing his stuff together. We ended up leaving Tark at 1:24 and when I called to let Chip know we were on our way I generated the first entry in the Freiburg Trip Quote Book (as kept by Liz): “We are Tarkington inbound, ETA six and a half minutes.” (I think we made it in 4).

The good news is that we made it to Indy without much traffic and had no trouble making our flight to Cincinnati. I was able to go up front while we were boarding (as I later did on every flight during the trip) and meet the crew of our Embraer 145, so it was very enlightening to ask the Chautauqua Airlines crew about their experiences in the industry so far. Our flight was uneventful and after a short layover we were soon boarding a Boeing 767-300 “across the pond” to Frankfurt (the cockpit crew weren’t very nice to me on that flight, the relief pilot didn’t even know Purdue had a flight program). I wasn’t able to get a lot of sleep (~3.5 hours) enroute despite how tired I was, but it was enough to keep from feeling like a zombie the next day.


We arrived in Frankfurt Saturday morning, and after a painless trip through customs we met up with Aaron and the IU team. For those of you who don’t know, Aaron is one of two Purdue people on STINT in Freiburg and the older brother of Bekah from Mer’dith. I never really got to know him while he was here, but he’s a good friend of Chip’s and they were really excited to see each other. We trekked through all sorts of tunnels, stairs, and escalators and eventually got to a beautiful glass building to wait for our bullet train to Freiburg.

It wasn’t long before our train came, most of us got a little extra sleep on it, and we got our first look at a rainy, chilly Freiburg:

A look from the Strassenbahn bridge going to the train station:

Bertoldsbrunnen, the Strassenbahn stop that was our main stop in town:

After meeting up with Courtney (“Corndog,” our other Purdue Freiburg STINTer), we got on the Strassenbahn (a streetcar system that makes for an excellent way to get around the city) and rode out to the stop for our hostel. From there it was about a ¾ mile hike with our luggage in tow that we’d repeat every time we wanted to go to or from the hostel. We had a small briefing from the STINT team, checked in to our rooms, and then headed back to downtown via the Strassenbahn for dinner. I ended up going with Corndog and a bunch of IU girls to a local place called Tackles that was known for their Schnitzel. I had the house receipe (Schnitzel with sherry cream sauce and a side of Spätzle noodles) and it was AMAZING. I now officially love Schnitzel. Then we headed back to the hostel and went to bed early to get some much needed sleep.

The girls at Tackles (left to right: Jaime and Shauna from IU and Corndog):

My roommates (Chip, me, Travis, and Shane):

Freiburg Table of Contents
Freiburg: Intro and the Team
Freiburg: 1st Friday - 1st Saturday
Freiburg: 1st Sunday - Monday
Freiburg: Tuesday
Freiburg: Wednesday
Freiburg: Thursday
Freiburg: 2nd Friday
Freiburg: 2nd Saturday
Freiburg: 2nd Sunday
Freiburg: The Quote Book


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