This first week has been kind of a blur. The first day we walked from the dorms all the way to the down town area where we will be taking classes. There is a reason that we will normally be taking the bus, it had to be every bit of three miles. The steep downhill slope was no fun on my knees, but I made it there. We had biometric photos taken for our student ID cards and visas. We also waited in line to apply for our visas and in between we had a walking tour of the down town part of the city, because apparently we hadn’t walked enough. By the end of the first day I was exhausted and sore, but still very excited. After all of the walking and paperwork and orientation we headed back to the dorms. I got lost trying to find a bus stop to get back to the dorms, then when I did find the bus stop, I got on the wrong bus and had to wait for it to make a complete circuit of the city to get back. The upside is I had a nice, unguided tour of the city and I didn’t have to walk anywhere.
One of the first things that struck me about Tübingen was the apparent age of the buildings. Most were built in the 14th and 15th centuries. The City hall was currently undergoing renovations to ensure that it would last another 600 or 700 years.
I asked one of the student teaching assistants how old this wall was and her response was, “It’s not really old at all, only about 200 years.” There are a few buildings in the US that predate the founding of our country, but darn few, and any building that is 200 years old is definitely considered to be old.