Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lecturing across Germany - Day 1, Freiburg

I am doing a series of lectures in Germany this week, sponsored by the US Embassy in Berlin. I started Monday in Freiburg, and will be going to Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Kiel and Hamburg.

I arrived in Frankfurt Monday morning, with about an hour to catch my connection to Basel, Switzerland. I figured I had plenty of time, but little did I know the maze I would have to go through to get to my next flight (at least I didn’t have to worry about getting my workout in for the day!). First I had to go through the passport check, which wasn’t too bad, the line moved fairly quickly. Then it was a trip down an escalator to the next terminal. I swear by the time I got to my gate I must have walked about a mile, it was one long corridor after another, up a seat of stairs (I didn’t want to wait for the elevator) down another set of stairs, another long corridor and finally when I get to my gate, down two flights of stairs to wait for the bus that would take me to my flight. After about a 10 minute wait, the bus arrived and we were the last 3 people to get on the flight – it took about 15 minutes to drive to our plane, across the whole length of the airport. Next time I’m going to insist on taking the train from Frankfurt. Once I got to Basel, I had to take a taxi to Freiburg, which took about 45 minutes. In all, it wasn't a bad trip, I'm glad to have this opportunity, despite the travel issues...

Freiburg is one of my favorite towns, this is my third visit here, the first was in 1995 and the second in 2006. It is a university town with lots of students, bikes and a nice downtown shopping area. Here students are enjoying lunch outdoors at the Uni-Café on a beautiful spring day.

 Hanging out in the park is also another favorite pastime.

I walked around the Muensterplatz, remembering the previous times I had visited Freiburg, not much has changed, but it seems like there is always restoration work to be done.

Freiburg has a nice series of canals and little waterways that go along the streets.

The architecture in Freiburg is an interesting mix of new and old, but I prefer the old style buildings, and I always have to take a picture of the city tower, which has a McDonald’s under it, so I call it the “McDonald’s Tor”

And there has to be something related to politics – I was amused to see this sign as I walked around town, not everyone is in favor of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership:

My talk at the University of Freiburg went very well, the audience was very engaged and we had a great discussion around issues of equal rights, immigration and immigrant integration in Germany and the US. Hopefully I’ll get some pictures of the talk soon.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures! It looks like the weather is sunny and pleasant. What a treat for April in Germany.
    Immigration is such a pressing issue at the moment with all the refugees coming across the Mediterranean. I hope this is generating some interesting and passionate discussions at your lectures.