Flensburg, if you didn’t know, is a town in Northern Germany that is basically Denmark. It’s 7km away, to be exact. The architechture, however, looks like it’s straight out of Denmark. There is Danish writing in many of the shops (Many of which claim to be Danish themselves). The reason for this Danish influence in a German town in Schleswig-Holstein is that is WAS Denmark until the mid-1800s. It was here that my new school in Germany, Theodor-Tast-Schule, took me and the other exchange students on a day trip. We met in the Husum Banhof (Train station) and took a bus together with 8 German students and 2 teachers for an hour long ride to Flensburg.
In Flensburg, we walked together around the city and admired the beautiful Fjord and its many ships before splitting into 3 groups of 2 Germans and 2 exchange students. My group walked through the many shops and streets of Flensburg, exploring the many courtyards that are iconic for the city. I ate my first Pide, which is basically a fancy, elongated pizza, and my first Rumkungal in a Danish bakery, which is like a chocolate donut hole except bigger, softer, covered in sprinkles, and rum-infused. Quite rum infused. My walked down to the water to admire the old ships and found, in addition, Quallen (jellyfish). This type of Northsea jellyfish doesn’t sting, so one of the German students climbed down a latter to the water and scooped a Quallen out for me and the others to hold and gawk at. I would never have expected to have that experience so far north of the warm, coral infested waters of the South. Overall, Flensburg is a beautiful place for a day trip, although it was rainy and cold for the duration of our stay.
I came home for a brief moment then biked with my host father (who biked with me to show me the way) to my AFS survival meeting at an ice cream shop in the center of Husum. Most of the students didn’t come, but I found out some important information and had some great ice cream. It’s not as scary as it sounds. I biked home again (this time from downtown Husum, the farthest from my home I have biked, and didn’t get lost! woo!) and gathered Molly for an evening walk. I love walking Molly, as it gives me a chance to explore Husum and go places I can’t with my bike. Oh yeah, and to see some pretty stunning views.
My best advice for exchange students and travelers in general: walk. Don’t drive, don’t run, don’t bike. Because then you get to see more things and more people. For example, on this one walk, three people spoke to me (in German, of course) and this not only tested my language skills, which need improvement, but also got me up close and personal to Husum natives and gave me insight into Husum’s culture. I learned how people with dogs react to other people with dogs, whether it’s appropriate to say hello to a stranger, and how general, everyday conversations in Germany unfold.
In conclusion, alles gut.