Student Blogs/Jasmine in Germany

We start off from my last exam, which took place at the very end of February. I walked out of the exam and realised that I now had two months of free time ahead of me, but I had nothing planned as of yet! I will admit that I did not end up doing much travelling in March, as that was when I was planning my trips, which all took place in April. The majority of the trip planning was completed by my Vietnamese-English friend, who ended up being a natural!

Jasmine on a zebra crossing in Romania.

There were many very cool buildings in the city, all covered with interesting paintings!

I did manage to do a few trips in and around my city, which I quite enjoyed as I always enjoy learning more about Munich! We visited a few of the surrounding castles, such as Schloss Blutenburg, Schloss Oberschleißheim, and even managed to take a few hikes around the lovely countryside! We went to the end of a few inner-city train lines and explored around there, including a quaint town named Herrsching am Ammersee, which roughly translates to ‘Herrsching on the lake’, as it was very conveniently situated alongside the ‘Ammersee’. I actually used to live in this little town, although many years ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed hunting for things that I recognized from when I was a six-year-old child! Close to the Ammersee is an old monastery, named Andechs, which is a popular spot to get a nice view of the surrounding lands. I also cannot forget to mention the beer, and the delicious apple strudel.

I unfortunately don’t have many photos of these places, as I encountered a technical difficulty with my camera situation, which was thankfully resolved just before leaving for my trips around Europe!

March

We come to the end of March, where I was getting ready to depart for my very random (but amazing) trip to Romania! This trip was one of the most random things I have ever agreed to in my time here in Munich. It all was planned one night, where we were out enjoying a few German beers in the Biergarten, and my friend (who I mentioned above) just casually stated that she had booked flights to Transylvania, and then just as casually asked if I wanted to join! So, after a bit of convincing, I agreed to the trip, and we were due to depart within the week.

Something that I have realized: Flying anywhere from Munich Airport is the equivalent to selling your soul – it is unbelievably expensive. Therefore, in order to save all of our bank accounts, we found many amazing alternatives. First, the bus system. Flixbus is a bus service that typically runs everywhere in Europe, and it is usually the cheapest form of travel. If you have the time, and more importantly the ability to be able to survive being on a bus for six-plus hours, then this is the form of transportation for you. I have used it many times during my time here, and it has been probably the best way (other than a train of course) to be able to see the landscape while travelling for people like me, who love to look out the window. We also learned that the surrounding cities around Munich also have airports, of which have return flights for half the price of flying from Munich.

With this in mind, all of my trips were planned to leave from the surrounding airports, which in turn added extra travelling time, but also cut the cost of travel in half.

Getting on with the trips now, we start off on March 31st, bright and early in the morning, 5:00 a.m. to be exact. I woke up and hurried to the bus terminal, where the bus leaving for Memmingen Airport was planned to leave at 6:15 a.m.. We arrive in Memmingen, which is by far the smallest airport I had ever been to (or so I thought). We hopped on our flight and were headed to Târgu Mureş.

We arrived early that afternoon, in an even tinier airport. We had no idea where we were regarding the Airbnb we had booked, and at this point, the airport was shutting down for the day as we were the last flight coming in! As we were just about to phone a taxi company, and somehow explain to them that we need a taxi at the airport in a foreign language, these two girls, who were also on our flight came up to us and asked if we needed help. It turns out, these two girls were Germans, who were studying at the University in the city we were staying in! They offered to let us share a taxi with them, and that’s exactly what we did!

The journey was a nice one, as the two girls were giving us valuable information about what to do and what not to do here in Romania. Looking back now, if it wasn’t for their advice, I could see the trip panning out much differently! The advice included things such as where to and where not to go to eat, how to cross the street properly, and what areas to avoid at night for our safety. The advice about crossing the street was very random, but it turned out to be the most useful advice, as apparently in Romania, it is illegal to cross the street if it is not at a zebra crossing. The police are situated everywhere, and if you are caught doing it, they will stop you and you would have to pay a fine! Coming from a country where this law isn’t fully enforced, we would have for sure been fined if we hadn’t had known about this in the first place! The second interesting fact about crossing the street is that even though it is a zebra crossing, and pedestrians have the right of way, if you look before crossing the driver will think that you as a pedestrian would have seen him and that you would wait while he goes. One of the girls in the taxi told us to “cross with confidence”, as in, don’t look left and right before crossing and just cross, otherwise it will create confusion! Another interesting fact is that in Romania, if someone gets hit by a car, the driver would go to jail for life, no matter how injured the victim is!

The taxi let my friend and I out at a corner in the main square of the city, and we said our goodbyes to the two that we met, and our journey through Transylvania began!

Jasmine walking down the street at sunset.

The sun was setting during our little outing, and we thought the sunset and the surrounding buildings created a very artistic mood.

The journey began with just my friend and I, with the addition of another friend in the next city stop. The first night in Târgu Mureş was quite interesting, as I found the city to be very different to anything I had ever seen before. Also, with the warning from the two German girls about the wild dogs that roam around at night, we were both a bit apprehensive. We had spent the entirety of the day travelling, and we didn’t want to do so much that night as we had to be up quite early to head to our next destination the next day. We decided to just go exploring, and then possibly find a grocery store to buy a few snacks for dinner. We ended up taking a few very cool pictures of our little outing!

As the night became darker, we started to notice the wild dogs more and more, and we decided to pick up our pace, as we didn’t know how serious the two girls were about the dog issue! We ended up getting back okay, and then the next day we rose early to head to the bus station to journey on to our next destination, Sibiu.

An Adventurous Semester Break – Part 2 continues in Jasmine’s next blog post! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in , ,
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