Due to my inbuilt British response to the slightest shard of sunlight (wear as little clothes as possible and go find a deckchair to sit in) and general lack of organisation, I now have a little over two weeks to write a 20 page essay in German about Scots law. My research so far hasn’t exactly been extensive, and so this week I’ve mainly been forcing myself to stay with the laptop and study my socks off.
The main incentive to spend a weekend home alone is that on Thursday we’re heading to Prague for a few days. On ERASMUS, you’ll be lucky if you see half of the places you’d like to – I had dreams of visiting friends all over Germany and in Paris but alas, lack of funds, course work and of course living in a great host state have meant that these didn’t materialise – but it’s still a great opportunity to travel. We found a family apartment in a hotel for £50 each over a cup of coffee, and are hoping that our collective experience of German trains will get us there eventually.
I took a study break yesterday to visit Neuschwanstein, the ‘fairy tale’ castle a couple of hours outside Munich. Our group managed to score cheap tickets out of the city via the ‘Bayern Karte’ deal – a single ticket which allows between 2-5 people to travel for 30 euros. Whilst I don’t really see the logic is allowing 5 people to travel for the same price as 2, I’m starting to just ignore these little quirks of German life. The last time I visited the castle, it was so foggy we could barely even see it’s walls. Yesterday it was sunny I I learned that visiting Neuschwanstein when it’s foggy is one of the most pointless things you could ever do – the scenery surrounding the castle is stunning. However, the highlight of my day was the promotional posters with an Andy Warhol- style representation of King Ludiwg which looked like a very frightened Sheldon Cooper.
There’s a few touristy things that you HAVE to do in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein being one, but if you’re a student the pressure’s on to cover some of the most famous bars and clubs as well. My track record with this side of ERASMUS hasn’t been great so far (I know the beer gardens and coffee shops though!) but on Thursday we made a pilgrimage to P1 (‘pay-eins’ auf Deutsch), which is meant to be a big deal but seemed pretty standard. It was free entry and an outdoor bar, but it seemed pretty unremarkable. I enjoyed out trip to Sehnsucht, a dive bar near the uni, a lot more. The main selling point of ‘Sehnsucht’ was that they give you free Jaeger if you give them your bra. Although after a quick calculation of how many shots you could buy for the price of your average bra dissuaded us from scoring the free booze, we had a good night.
I’ll be home (touch wood) 9 weeks today, and whilst it’s pretty depressing to realise that the German/ ERASMUS was of life I’ve become accustomed to will end soon I’m trying not to think of the goodbyes at the end of July. I now have a long night of Seminararbeit ahead of me, so I’ll not dwell on this – all I’ll say to those considering ERASMUS is that 9/10 months seems like a long time before you set off, but it goes unbelievably quickly!