Wednesday, 13 May 2015

One Month In {In Pictures}

Think I might be aiming for one blog post a month at the rate we're going, tsk tsk!

I haven't had much to write about in all honestly. I've been living in Jena for just over a month now and I can safely say that there is not that much going on here. Jena is so small that it makes Bangor feel huge - not an easy feat, if you know Bangor. It's bigger than Bangor, but there's a lot less here (though there is a cinema here, which Bangor does not have).

The city (no come on it's really a) town centre is relatively nice, quite open and there's numerous Bäckerei that smell just fantastic when you walk past them. I've also been introduced to Backwerk since being in Germany - Brits, think of a nicer version of Greggs, that nearly entirely serves sandwiches or bread products.

The uni itself seems pretty good - spacious and quite modern to look at, and for the most part pretty organised (this is in comparison to life in Italy, and not including sorting out your Erasmus documents which is just plain awful).

Once you've paid your semester fees to the uni, you get your student ID card and with this you can travel anywhere in your region for free - be it by tram (I love trams), bus or train. I think in a lot of places you can't go everywhere in your region with your student card, but since Thüringen is so tiny they let you off and you can go all over. I've been to Erfurt twice and once to Weimar with this so it's pretty nifty - the problem is that there's little else in this region to see. I've planned to go to Eisennach as they've got a castle there, and maybe eventually we'll find a way to get to the Thüringer Wald (supposed to be extensive and lovely) as well.

Erfurt Domplatz
Schnitzel in Erfurt
* Always excited about schnitzel...

So not much, not that I'm adverse to another trip back to Erfurt (loads more shops and at least one good source of schnitzel already located) or Weimar (tiny but pretty, especially the gorgeous Park an der Ilm).


Park an der Ilm, Weimar

Something that you can do round here, as I've discovered, is to go walking in the hills that surround Jena. I've been three times now on two different routes and it's always been well worth the effort put in!

The route I've done twice goes out of Jena West and up to the Napoleonstein (a memorial stone dedicated to I think when Napoleon was in Germany, the field it's in hosted a big battle too), round the Landgrafen (it's a communications tower from way back when, my housemate reckoned possibly even from WWII but don't quote me on that, we're not sure) and back down again.

Looking to Jena from the Napoleonstein

The second route involved walking 20km and was definitely more of a hike. Had I eaten more and slept better I'm sure it would have been a lot better, but after the first three of five hours I began to lament going on it in the first place...but don't get me wrong, the scenery was stunning.


I've been on a few evening walks to, just to get out of the apartment (I spend quite a lot of time there it seems). The area of Jena that I live in is basically a maze of apartment blocks and they're not the prettiest site, despite all the trees. Luckily, if you walk five or ten minutes out of said maze, you end up in the green, which is nice!

And when I get bored of Jena, I'm lucky enough to three friends from Bangor studying in Leipzig for their own year abroad - I went to stay with them again last weekend (thanks again guys!). We spent the few days I was there by one of the lakes on the edge of the city; rented bikes and cycled through the city and round the same lake; eating in and eating out.


It's really nice how much closer I've become to a lot of the Bangor languages people over the course of this year!

So that is basically all I've been up to, bar lectures and being addicted to watching The Tudors via Netflix (I know I'm a few years behind, but WOW it's good!). Next weekend I'm going to Prague which is really bloody exciting!!! Maybe I'll even write a blog post about the trip...

Ciao for now!


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