Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.
I’ve arrived at the end of my time studying here in Germany. I’m having a hard time processing the fact that my next stop is England. Earlier this week I was so ready to get out of Heidelberg and be done with schoolwork. But while I was standing at the Mannheim Wasserturm yesterday, it sunk in that I won’t be in Heidelberg every day anymore. I won’t have the same view out of my top-story window. I won’t be able to walk to a castle on a whim during my free time. I won’t see the friends I’ve made here for a long time–and some quite possibly never again.
I’m going to miss the old school building and our 10 o’clock tea breaks. I left pieces of my heart on the Philosophenweg and the Heidelberger Schlossgarten. There aren’t so many convenient and tempting bakeries and Eiscafes back in the States.
Our beautiful teacher organized a big Frühstück for our class for last day together. Everyone brought something–highlights included fresh Brezeln and an assortment of special Swiss cheeses. Saying goodbye to everyone today was not easy. I got misty-eyed walking down Hauptstraße for the last time.
While it hurts to leave, I look forward to telling my friends and family back in the States about my experiences in more detail than I’ve been able to relate here. Cracking open my sketchbook will bring back memories that have a different quality compared to journal entries and photographs. I get emotional looking at the most recent ones already. I desperately hope that I will be able to meet my friends from my time here again someday. Until then, I have to be content with their email addresses and Facebook friendships.
I’m going to miss meeting so many interesting people here every week. I am happy that my past-self chose to volunteer to help international students at WWU this coming school year. The same international atmosphere exists at home if you look for it.
Sketching: July 20-28
Cambridge, England, happens to be sister cities with Heidelberg. So last week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid us a visit. I did not come to Germany expecting to see British royalty with my own two eyes. The ceremonies held in the city were very cute. I got to witness a rowboat race on the Neckar, and William tapped a barrel of local beer. After the crowds dispersed, I saw down to draw some of the flags that were specially put up for the event. The whole experience felt a little surreal, considering the coincidence that I’ll be in England this time tomorrow.
These sketches are from a day spent with friends on the Hauptstraße. We stopped for an ice cream break at a cafe while souvenir shopping and burning time until the Orgelkurzkonzert. We had front row seats to feel Johannes Bach resonating in our bones.
This last page was from a boat trip down the Neckar to the smaller town Neckarsteinach. The adventure with my two Italian friends included walking to 3 of 4 different castle ruins along the Kunstweg, Hawaiian pizza, stinging nettles, shining beetles, and fantastic views.
So far, I’ve haven’t even filled up half of my cheap little sketchbook. I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished so far–in my drawings and my language learning–but I feel the constant need to work harder and improve. I hope to keep it up over my luxurious one-month break from school and work. But for now, I have twelve days in England with a good friend that I get to soak up.
Bis dann, sage ich
Auf Wiedersehen, Deutschland