On the very first weekend of June I got to travel to yet another country, the Czech Republic. Click here for a look at what I did in Prague!
Because I'm studying abroad my senior year, my classmates in the U.S. all graduated on June 7th. Wisconsin is seven hours behind Germany, so I had to wake up at 2 AM on a school night to watch the ceremony live online. Although it was a little bit sad that I couldn't be there to celebrate and end my high school career with all of them, I am still extremely happy to have chosen to study abroad this year.
We'd been wanting to have a Harry Potter marathon for awhile, so when we had a long weekend that's exactly what we did. It took us about three days with pauses in between. We watched them in English to help prepare for our oral exams in English.
June has been extremely hot. Surviving those almost 100 degree Fahrenheit days without air conditioning at home or at school was a little bit of a struggle. Two days we even had shortened school because the temperature in the classrooms was so unbearable. I kind of started to regret not packing any jean shorts. Luckily, towards the end of the month it cooled off a bit.
While in Prague, I met Juliana. Because we got along so well, she invited me to visit her in Kassel, where she lived. I had never heard of it before. It turns out that it's pretty much exactly in the middle of Germany. The first thing we did is go to Michelkopfsee, a tiny lake. To get there, we had to hike for about an hour and a half. I unfortunately decided to wear flip flops, which didn't do me any favors.
Even though it rained on and off and the water was cold, we still went swimming.
I found a little frog there too!
Then after lunch we made our way into Kassel. Kassel is very well known as the "Documenta" city. If you don't know the story behind Documenta, a quick visit to google.com will fix that. Because of Documenta, there are all sorts of exhibits set up around town. This one is I believe The Parthenon, but made out of banned books.
I had even read lots of them. Just a few of the many titles were Twilight, Harry Potter (all 7), and The Bible.
Die Orangerie is another part of downtown Kassel. I was expecting orange trees, but it turned out to be a castle and grounds.
There are still remnants of the past Documentas all around Kassel. Even after Documenta ends, many exhibits still stay behind. This is just one example.
This was an installment from this year. Each tube was supposed to be a different room. There was a closet, library, kitchen, bathroom, a bedroom, and even more.
Herkules is also another big attraction in Kassel. It's high up on the hill, so it takes a little bit of effort to get there, but the view is worth it.
The fountains only run on special days and the day I was in Kassel wasn't one of them. There was also lots of construction, but it was still very beautiful. Lots of steps though!
To get back we walked all the way down the hill. On the way down we saw a waterfall, a castle, and ate some ice cream. I'm really happy that I got to see Juliana one last time before going back!
I sent out my last postcards this month. Walking to the village mailbox one last time was bittersweet.
This month I turned 18 at school, something that I've never done before. While it would have been nice not to do physics on my birthday, my host family made it worth it before I got on the bus at 7 AM with a cute little bread cake, complete with 18 candles!
After school we lit the candles and then I opened my presents before we went out to eat.
My host family got me the sweetest presents! My first one was this cool t-shirt with a family picture that we took in London. The second gift was a Germany necklace that was indented exactly where I was this whole year. The presents were so sweet and thoughtful. Turning 18 in Germany was great!
June was my last full month in my exchange journey. Believe it or not, I will actually be on our class trip to Berlin my last week. This means that most of my packing will be done the day before I leave. I've still got one adventure left! What's made me the most sad this month is knowing that I am doing many things for the last time, and while I have treasured my time here, I most definitely feel it coming to an end. I'm still trying to figure out how everything has gone so fast and yet so slow. I am taking the time to savor these "lasts" and preparing for my reentrance to my life before exchange, which will undoubtedly be much different than I left it.