This past week I have been pretty sick with what my host mom called the “summer flu,” so I don’t really have a theme of what I want to write about. I thought I could discuss both how to survive sickness abroad and my recent travels!
First, being sick abroad really stinks. If you’re anything like me, some extra Vitamin C and a short trip to the doctor will get you through the worst case scenarios. However, this “summer flu” gave me mild fever for a full 7 days. It didn’t bother me at first but after day 3 I was completely exhausted. My teacher sent me home from school and actually told me not to come back for the rest of the week. I thought this was really insane (and awesome) for 2 reasons: this would never happen in an U.S. school and I had an excuse to sleep without my host mom judging me. (Germans tend to think everyone should be really active from sunrise to sunset). My host mom confronted my sickness with A LOT of Chamomile tea. (Please excuse my hairbrush in this picture). This helped my sore throat, but it didn’t do much otherwise. I refused to go to the doctor unless it got worse, so I went to an Apotheke, which is like a pharmacy with hygiene and health-related items. In Germany, you cannot just buy Ibuprofen or Paracetamol (Tylenol), but you must ask the pharmacist specifically. After 5 days of sleeping, Paracetamol, and Chamomile tea, somehow I’m back and really feeling good.
Then, on Saturday, I felt good enough to get back out in the world. My friend Maggie and I went to the nearby town of Reutlingen! Reutlingen is actually a medieval city and was once a free city under the Holy Roman Empire. You can still see original walls (apartments have been built into them), a tower for housing prisoners, and one of the original gates.
There, we walked on the narrowest street in the world, Spreuerhofstraße. This cobblestone road was constructed in 1727, and it was commissioned as a public street in 1820. The road is about 1 foot wide, and signs advise not to walk through it since you may get stuck.
I love seeing historic churches, so we absolutely had to stop by Marienkirche, one of the most distinct gothic churches in Swabia. Construction on this church was from 1247-1343. Much of the church was destroyed in a town-wide fire in 1726, so the church was restored after. While we were visiting, the church’s organist practiced for Sunday’s services. The church as a whole, especially with the music, was really beautiful and definitely a must-see if you are ever in Southern Germany.
Also, I got to eat really good food this weekend. Maggie and I discovered a really quaint cafe, where I got a cappuccino and chocolate cake, and she got a cheese roll and coffee as well. (Side note: if you ever come to Europe, be prepared for being served coffee with every dessert.) Then, for dinner, I was determined to find Schnitzel (thinly sliced pan fried pork) since I’d been here for 5 weeks and had not found it. We found a restaurant and beer garden called Karz where we had the best schnitzel (SO GOOD), potato salad, and Spätzle (a type of egg noodle belonging to this region). Overall, I think my Saturday was more than I could have asked for, especially after being almost completely bedridden for the past week.
I can’t believe I only have 3 more weeks until I head home. The homesickness comes and goes, but I’ve made some of the most amazing friends here! I am so grateful for this experience and until next time- tschüss!