Sunday, May 14, 2006

Freiburg: Wednesday

Wednesday morning we had a Free Bike Wash outreach by the entrance to the Main Mensa to try to promote English Café, one of the main events of Campus in Freiburg. The idea is kind of like a free car wash, but so few people have cars it wouldn’t make much sense. We got there about 11:30 in the morning and half of us stood outside promoting the bike wash while the other half went inside to witness over lunch as usual, then after about an hour we switched places. Sadly, the Germans didn’t know what to make of us (that type of event is sorta unheard of over there, they don’t know what to make of it when you say you want to wash their bike for free), so I think we only washed 2 or 3 bikes the entire time we were there. We were able to pass out a lot of English Café fliers though, so it wasn’t a complete loss. Here’s Mindy and I holding one of the signs to promote it:

I paired up with II Tim when it was time to head inside for lunch and we sat down by a student who barely knew any English. After talking with him for a little while, we learned that he wasn’t a German at all, but a student from the country of Georgia (no Tiller, not your Georgia; contrary to your Confederate delusions of independent grandeur, this one is actually a country). What we quickly discovered was that his English was almost as bad as our German and his German skills weren’t much better. We struggled to communicate as best as we could, but the language barrier was pretty significant and he wasn’t as interested in talking as normal for Germany.

When we got back outside after lunch, we realized we already had enough people outside that there wasn’t really anything for us to do, so I split off from the group and stepped a little out-of-sight of the group to pray for a while for the outreach. I told 3 or 4 people where I was going so they’d be able to let me know when they decided to pack up and leave, but everyone I told either forgot or left early (assuming someone else would tell me). So by the time I decided to reappear and see what was going on, I discovered the only ones left were the last of the IU people and they were just leaving. We walked back to the Office and they split up to do whatever their individual plans were for that afternoon. I realized that if I decided to just stick at the Office, I’d get bored fast and it would be hours before I’d seen anyone again (one of those times I really missed being able to pull out my cell phone “hey, where are you?”), so I decided to just go exploring on my own a little and hope I’d run into someone I know. In short order, I found myself at Bertoldsbrunnen, randomly picked a direction, and said “I’ll just go this way until I get bored, then I’ll turn around and explore in another direction.”

I started walking south toward Bellas (the Italian restaurant) and eventually walked roughly this course (map from Google Earth)(legend below explaining some of the key points):

Blue dot = the Office
Yellow circle = Bertoldsbrunnen
Red = roughly the path I walked
Aqua dot = the “other” cathedral (you’ll see pictures in a minute)
Orange circle = the train station
Green circle = the Münster
Purple circle = the tower we climbed Tuesday morning

I started going south and eventually went as far as another cathedral that I saw from the top of the tower. I went inside, but there was a large gate of metal bars blocking me from going into the sanctuary itself because there was no one there. It was beautiful, not as big or as old as the Münster, but beautiful nonetheless.
The sanctuary:

I tried to make a vertical panorama to show the architecture and despite my pictures being centered down the middle, my stitching software decided to skew to the side a little bit:

The outside (undergoing construction/renovation):

On the way back I decided to go a few blocks to the east and come back through more of a residential area instead of the one of the main streets. Here’s a nice picture from the bridge I took over the river:

Nice, quiet neighborhood:

I think this beautiful building was a school:

A little canal going through one of the streets:

Street performers (they were all over the city):

I wandered back to Bertoldsbrunnen, west to the train station (the only people I ran into that I knew were some Illinois girls by Portofinos), then north around the Münster as far east as the base of the tower hill and then headed back to the Office. This was a couple of blocks from the Münster (and yes, that’s the last of the snow from a couple of days ago):

I got back to Bertoldsbrunnen just in time to meet up with everyone else and head to dinner (apparently my afternoon-long absence had gone entirely unnoticed). I ended up joining the group headed for Schlappen, a local restaurant that serves a lot of food from the Black Forest region and has a bit of a reputation among everyone I’ve met who’s been to Freiburg. There is a pit in the middle of the sink area of the men’s restroom that has a mock dungeon (complete with skeleton) covered only by a grate in the floor. But that’s not the real reason for this restaurant’s infamous reputation; the real reason (which I won’t share here for space and decency reasons) is also related to the men’s restroom. It’s not really gross, but it is weird (ask me about it if you want to know). Anyway, here’s that dungeon:

Christina (aka, “Teenie,” one of the STINTers), myself, and Aaron from IU:

Regina (wearing black) is one of the key student leaders for Campus in Freiburg. She actually grew up in the same town (and I think she even went to the same school as a kid) as Martin Luther:

After dinner we all met up back at the Office to hang out for a while:

After stopping at Milano to get some really good ice cream, a bunch of us went over to the Münster to get some night pictures of it. Lacking a tripod, I had to lay flat on my back on the cobblestone pavement and try to hold the camera still enough against my chest to get a sharp ¼ second exposure. In case you’ve never done that, it’s really hard! (If it boggled your mind how I was able to take over 900 pictures this trip, it was stuff like this that made those numbers so high) The others also thought I was about to get run over by a car at one point while I was laying there. One shot failed when Liz decided to walk over and stick her head in the frame to talk to me:

But, I eventually did get a nice one:

Then we headed back to the hostel and hung out for a while because we couldn’t get into our room. Shane had headed back earlier in the evening to continue to spend time with those high school students I’d mentioned earlier (he’d been down there until all hours every night since we met them). He’d taken our room key so he could get Chip’s video camera and do some interviews with them about what they believed and hopefully use that to transition to the gospel after the camera was off. My understanding is that the night went well; several of them heard the gospel again (he’d already shared it once or twice in bits and pieces during the week) and some were even close to trusting Christ, but it was their last night in town and they were more interested in partying than praying. Because he had our room key; Chip, Travis, and I couldn’t get into our room, so we hung out with some of the girls in one of the classrooms on the main level:
Michelle, do you feel surrounded?

Naturally, Liz and Emily, the two most photographed people on the team (aka, the two that craved the attention of the lens and would pose whenever one came out) had to get a couple pictures together:

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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