Friday, September 30, 2016

First Week in Munster

We left Marburg in the morning and were in Munster by 2:45 that afternoon. The train station is a little over a mile from our apartment, but we decided it would be best to take a taxi that first time since we had the bags with us. I'm pleased with that decision. We were tired from so many late nights that week leading up to it, so I'm almost certain that walking would have led to angry, tired, pointless arguing. We skipped that and instead got tourism details from our friendly driver. I understood almost none of what he was saying, and Carson understood only a little, but I'm sure he had some good ideas. 

We settled in and were going to go out and explore, but this whole trip my ankle has been hurting since I twisted it in Savannah one week before we left the states. I don't think I really seriously damaged anything because I can walk on it, but it's a nagging pain that happens when I walk a lot, and I had in the past few days and the night before we left, I missed a step in the dark on the walk down from the castle and tripped and hurt it again. All of that, plus being really tired, led to taking naps, enjoying the wifi that we now have (!!!), and getting a pizza (from Dominos, my least favorite chain but the only pizza place C could find where he was walking). 

Because we'd stayed in on Friday, we didn't get a chance to see anything. This was our day! We set out (after sleeping in, a luxury we hadn't given ourselves often in Marburg) to see what this town had to offer.
Here's Carson in front of our new apartment building.

 We live very close to the Aasee Lake. There are sailboats on it and lots of runners doing the 5 kilometer loop around the lake. While we're here, we should use that distance and train for a 5k!

On warm days, people sit on the grass and picnic.

Carson's new office is in this building, part of the faculty of Protestant Theology, for the Institutum Judiacum (an institute of Judaic Studies at the Westfalische Wilhelm-Universitat).

Here is a map of the area we were in. We didn't understand it so well this first day, so we didn't really go where we wanted to go, but that's okay. We saw some great stuff anyway.

The Munster Schloss. This building is right across from where Carson works, and is owned by the university and utilized as an administrative building.

Behind the Schloss are the botanical gardens. Carson HAD to touch the cactus.

We also found part of the Promenade. The middle lane is for bikes only and on either side of that are two walking paths. Munster is super super bike friendly (for a population of around 330,000, there are 500,000 bikes registered, more bikes than cars!).

Making dinner in our little kitchen while Netflixing away.

We google-found a church that's not quite a mile from our apartment. It took us about 15 minutes to get there (we budgeted 30 so we were super early). With the exception of one song in English (Amazing Love), the whole service was in German, so we just really listened closely for words we knew. It was helpful when the words were projected, because I could get some of the words and meanings on context, and Carson filled in the blanks in my knowledge when I didn't know the words. When the service started, the pews were very full. I should mention here that the service began at 10, and probably started the exact second the hand ticked to the 10. Everyone filed in right away and right on time. At 10:01, there was no one milling around.

This building is on our walk home. It's a big insurance company. 

Carson went in to check out the new office and meet the faculty in his department, and I walked down in the evening to meet him and explore more of the city.

We found the market area, which is the area I'd seen on Google Images when I was trying to figure out what sort of a place we were committing to for a year. I think this Altstadt is a lot more grand than Marburg's, and maybe a little prettier. Marburg has a certain quaintness to it that I love. It's a very charming city. This area in Munster just has a very different feel. Munster's Altstadt was bombed quite heavily in the war, so I wonder if it looked like this before as well, but a lot of it has been rebuilt since the 50s, whereas Marburg really didn't have a lot happen to it.

Muesli seems quite celebrated here. These stores are in lots of places, and grocery stores have a wide selection of options as well.

We ended our self-guided tour with a tour of Carson's new office. It's on the third story and is big enough for two people. If asked about his office, he'll exclaim with much excitement, "It has TWO printers".

Carson headed out for more time at the office while I worked on setting up house a little. In the evening for me, I FaceTimed with Morgan and Grayson in Tennessee. He's huge and my heart hurts a little that I won't see him until he's two. 
Carson, meanwhile, Skyped into a session where he talked about his work and answered questions in his undergraduate advisor's CWC class at Moody-Spokane.

After my chat, we decided it was time to walk around the lake. The light was just beautiful and it was a perfect evening.

Our apartment is to the right of those silvery buildings on the left.

A crowd gathered to watch these people reel in a fish bigger than I would have expected to come from this lake. The man who caught it seemed rather surprised (but pleased) at the size as well.

On this day, I finally fully unpacked our bags and set up the closets and shelves. I discovered that I may own way too many shirts with very little color diversity. I have a feeling that some of these will not make the trip back with me because I definitely need to simplify.

We went on a mission that evening for a crockpot. We were unsuccessful in this venture, and we think we've decided that we will probably buy a toaster oven instead. Oktoberfest is a Bavaria thing, but North Rhine Westphalia has gotten into the commercialism a little bit and offers dirndls and lederhosen for those who wish. They can be purchased inexpensively, but these ones were the average price I've seen which is well over 100 Euro. Also, Oktoberfest begins the second week of September in Munich (it started the 15th), despite the obvious name. I looked it up, and I guess they moved the festival forward a little bit in hopes that it would have better weather. It ends the first weekend of October.

These cookies are also an Oktoberfest thing. They're designed to be worn around the neck by the little ribbon attached and were traditionally given to one's sweetheart. The messages are written to all kinds of people now, although I can't picture a huge cookie being a very desirable accessory.

A beautiful sunset that evening!

We stopped by the store for some essentials and also picked up this plant. I'd love to say that I'm going to keep it alive, but I rarely have luck with plants. I am thrilled though to have an apartment with natural light, so at least I can offer that to this poor, probably short-lived plant.

On Thursday, Carson didn't go into the office. The semester won't start until the end of October, and he's on his own schedule anyway. We had a relaxing day and enjoyed some spaghetti for lunch. I wrote a little and we tidied our little space and Carson worked and I painted. 

And that was our first week in Munster! We missed our friends and part of us regretted coming to Munster right away when our lease in Marburg ended the 30th... we could have gotten a week out of our semester tickets! But oh well!

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