The worldwide Augustana College experience

Castles, Doors, Pottery.

Sorry, once again, for not updating as often as I should. This week has been crazy busy, which means that life is pretty much normal. I’ll just cover the noteworthy days.

I last left you saying that was I going to a castle, which I did. The Rabenburg. It was delightful! Anke and Dirk bought Missie and me coffee (tea for me, since I don’t drink coffee) and Kuchen.

The common room was cozy on the chilly, rainy Sunday afternoon. But the tower was closed, and I was bummed. I have always loved castles, and, if it were up to me, I’d have free reign at any castle I visit to explore. It seems, though, that those who work at castles think the opposite. You see, I have a thing about trying to open doors. I do that all the time in churches, museums and castles I visit. My friends here ask me why I open doors. I tell them that doors lead to unknown places. And if one opens a door, he or she is accessing knowledge. If a door is locked (which is often the case), then the mind has room to wonder.

Anyway, we walked around the little fortress and through the forest, which was gorgeous. I have some pictures for your enjoyment.

This is the room where we ate cake and drank coffee (tea for me!).
This is another room where one can have a reception: family reunion, wedding, festival, what have you.
This is the courtyard. When it’s busier and warmer outside, there is more activity. But I was glad there weren’t a lot of people there. It didn’t feel as touristy as it could have been.
The entrance of the fortress.
A glance at the tower from the courtyard. Sadly, this tower was already closed.
The tower. It’s so beautiful. It’s so historic. It’s so cool! Have I mentioned that I love castles?

***

Last Wednesday was my twentieth birthday, so my Gastfamilie and friends celebrated me moving out of my teen years and into my twenties, which sounds really weird, still, but I guess that’s just how life works. I had a lot of fun, and the food was delicious, especially the cake my Gastoma baked me. That day was also successful in the fact that I finally got my picture in front of the Theses door, as in the door on which Luther supposedly nailed the 95 Theses. It had been under construction when I first arrived in Wittenberg, much to my dismay. But I told myself that they finished the door for my birthday–even though Reformationfest is the true reason, considering it’s about a month away. And it’s not the original door, but I still can appreciate being in the same place where Luther once walked and talked.

Here it is. One of the things I was looking forward to the most!

A lovely picture of a lovely door and your lovely blogger (if I do say so myself).

***

Saturday was also a noteworthy day. There was a pottery flea market in Wittenberg! There were a ton of stands with different styles of pottery. Expensive, but handmade. Pretty, but impossible to bring back to the States. You see the inner conflict. And my friends and I combed through the Marktplatz, imagining the look on our loved ones’ faces when they opened that cute tea pot or that gorgeous mug set or that nerdy goblet. Alas.

But I saw this German woman I met at that one surprise party I attended with Anke and Dirk. Her name is Margrete, and she’s an English teacher. She was delighted to talk to me about America and what it’s like to be learning German. We ran into each other on Thursday, and she told me about the pottery market. She was working one of the cake and coffee booths. Of course I visited her and ate cake that was made by a wooden stove. The stand had people making food like they like way back when, and they were in their peasant garb.

***

Today I attended the service in the Stadtkirche, you know, the church where Luther preached. It was amazing. Even though I didn’t have a hymnal and it was a little hard to understand, I really liked it. They have kept the litergy in tact (which, nowadays, gives some Lutherans, as well as other Christians, some angst). I went by myself, which was fine. There were a lot of older people there, but I did see some people my age come in last minute. I know that it can be a trend for young people to not go to church until married with children, so it was encouraging to see other youths there as well. I guess my perspective comes from being a pastor’s daughter.

It was a humbling experience, being there to witness human history being upheld. The music was beautiful. They had a potter making a vase to help give people a visual about the day’s theme (something about how one’s hands tell something about him or her). I can’t believe that I attended the church where Luther had resided. Growing up, I heard all these things about what Luther said and wrote, and today I was there, hundreds of years later. It’s amazing.

***

Classes are going well. Lots more to do today, still. But that’s okay because 1. The Brewers clinched the division title for the first time in my life! (The last time they had gotten that was in 1982) and 2. The Packers play the Bears, even though it will be late at night here when that happens. I miss watching the Pack, but, since I’m coming home in November, I will get to see the second half of the season. I have yet to find a soccer team here to
support, but that might come with time.

2 Responses to “Castles, Doors, Pottery.”

  1. Thanks for sharing the photos. I feel your pain about the pottery — when traveling I always am attracted to shopping for things I cannot HOPE to get home in one piece.

    However, you are bringing back experiences and memories you will always have. So there’s that!

  2. I too have always loved castles! Thanks for this post and the great photos.

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