Building Up to This

Guten Tag from Marburg! Spring is in full bloom here (for now, as Germany’s weather is completely unpredictable) and with classes starting, a little sunshine is just what we need. Coming from San Diego, I was sure that I’d become homesick for the weather, beaches and Woodstock’s Pizza, to name a few things. However, this hasn’t exactly been the case.

A wise woman once said, “Homesickness isn’t a big deal when you’re taking trips during the semester and meeting new people; but during finals week, that’s when that **** will hit you.” (That wise woman was my friend Gabbie, who studied at Massey University in New Zealand through ISEP last fall.)

I have to agree with her on this one, as I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have settled so well into my new home. This may be due to the fact that I began my travels in early February and didn’t have time to feel sad as a novice nomad, or due to the fact that Marburg has met and surpassed every expectation I had. (The freshly baked Käse-Schinken Croissants don’t hurt either, of course.)

Universität-Marburg was founded in 1527 and boasts such alumni as Otto Hahn, the “Grandfather of the Atomic Bomb,” Emil von Behring, who discovered treatments for diphtheria and tetanus, and the Brothers Grimm – yes, THOSE Brothers Grimm. The architecture throughout the city reflects its extensive history, cobblestones and all. This is true for most of Europe, providing quaint scenery everywhere you look.

Some of my favorite photos from this trip have been of buildings, alleyways and bathroom stalls that caught my eye – all mundane, everyday sights to locals, but you know what they say: One man’s local pharmacy is another woman’s favorite photography subject … or something like that.

The Long Room at Trinity College Library in Dublin was one of my favorite places to visit. In addition to the countless leather-bound first editions lining the shelves, busts of featured authors, as well as some of their personal effects, are on display. I wish I had had more time to sit and take in the views, but I will be back.

How could I leave out the iconic blue Parisian rooftops? This photo was taken from the balcony of my AirBnB, which was located in the 12th Arrondissement.

This photo of a ceiling in the Musée du Louvre is one of my favorites. Such intricate detail, from the paintings to the moulding, to the gold enamel, was awe-inspiring. This is only a small portion of the Galerie d’Apollon, which showcases the stunning French Crown Jewels, tapestries and sculptures.

What’s a trip to Paris without a visit to the Tour Eiffel? This photo was taken in a fairly secluded area of the park surrounding the structure. I was delighted to find out that it sparkles for five minutes at the top of every hour.

The Grand Place in Brussels gleamed beautifully in the twilight hour. Though I only spent 36 hours in this city, visiting the square was definitely a highlight. I enjoyed a Belgian waffle along with this view before catching a flight to Amsterdam.

This is Marburg’s “Old University.” There is a university church as well as the theology and philosophy departments.

These gorgeous alleyways and cobblestones are typical of Marburg’s Oberstadt, or “upper town.” The Oberstadt has tons of great restaurants and pubs. My personal favorite is Sudhaus, where I like to have a pilsner and Bratwurst mit Pommes every so often.

Marburg’s castle, Marburger Schloss, is visible from almost every part of the town, but the Aschenputtel (Cinderella)’s shoe is lesser known. Sculptures dedicated to the Grimm Fairy Tales decorate the town, but I’ve yet to find them all!

“Just get up and go. Leave. Forget everything you left behind. Focus on you. Be happy. Survive. Thrive. Be you. The best you ever. Because you, YES YOU, are worth it. 19.9.16”

Ahh, yes. I told you I’d get to the bathroom stalls. This was written on the stall of a bathroom in Amsterdam. I don’t know who this person is, but I can only put my gratitude for their message out into the universe and hope they receive it somehow, some way. I think this is something we all need to hear, whether or not we choose to believe it. Moving to a new country, with nothing but a suitcase and the knowledge of three German sentences (and the word for “potato”), after an especially difficult year made stumbling upon this beautiful adage all the more special. Thanks, kind stranger!

If you’ve made it to the end of my post, I hope you enjoyed sharing the sights that some might find rather boring. And if you didn’t enjoy, I’ll see you back here in two weeks for another boring blog post 🙂

Until next time. Tschüss!

Julia Jaramillo is a junior majoring in public relations and double minoring in English and international studies. She is studying at the University of Marburg in Germany in Spring semester 2017.


One thought on “Building Up to This

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  1. What an exciting adventure! I’ve always said traveling is very educational. seeing different cultures, people and food has always been a very pleasant and inspiring moment meeting new friends and experiencing new things along the way! Enjoy! and love reading your blog!


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