• Posterity

    Not all digital platforms stand the test of time, but I can always hope that those I create will.

    Uploaded below is my summary video of our Heidelberg 2014 adventure. You may download it (254 MB) to your own device, in case someday I too fail the test of time.

    And if you’d be so kind, leave your response in the poll so I know if anyone still visits this page.

    Why did you visit this website today?
  • Heidelberg – Week Four (the Adventure is over)

    On July 27th, I landed for the first time in Germany. One week in Berlin and four weeks in Heidelberg flew by, and on the evening of August 30th, I was back home. It has been an incredible adventure, and one I was fortunate to share with plenty of great people from around the world.


    This blog has been tremendously helpful in keeping track of all the things I did over these 5 weeks, and I hope it can be a good reference in the future for others who participated in it all. After this final journal entry, my remaining work is to sort through 60 GB of video, in order to produce a short film about the trip. Now that classes have resumed, finding time for this may be a challenge…

    Let us proceed with this final week’s installment.


    On Sunday, the very last excursion offered by the University took place. It was a trip to the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), and you can read up on my experience there.


    The main feature of every Monday this trip was the Ballroom Dancing workshop. This week we had our final class, which reinforced last week’s new dance (Weiner Waltz), and introduced one more: the Tango.

    Sadly, my coordination was suffering and I was not able to truly get the feel of it. More practice is called for!

    As usual, after the regular class there was 1 hour of rehearsal for the final performance. We continued to improve our stage entrance and exit routines, and also learned the dance moves for the finale.


    With an exam rapidly approaching, Tuesday afternoon was spent reviewing and studying what we covered throughout the Ferienkurs. Although the first two tests went relatively well, we had no idea what to expect on the final.


    And just like that, the final exam was there. Our class had 1 hour to complete it, and many of us left it feeling really uncertain about how well we did. Regardless, no one in our class failed, and we all received our certificate of success!

    Right after the exam, I had to rush to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station), in order to catch a bus with several other Memorial Students. We were going to visit our previous German exchange professor, Marc, in Frankfurt! The bus we took there was amazing. It had WiFi with movies and Internet access, comfortable seats, power outlets, and it only cost 5 Euros.

    Frankfurt was the biggest city we’d seen since Berlin, with plenty of tall buildings and cranes. We visited a few touristy places, including the statue of Goethe, and the Opera house.




    While we were there, we climbed the tower of the Imperial Cathedral, and enjoyed a great view of the city.


    For a few moments we were able to rest on the public bean bags, though the jack hammers in the background didn’t help us relax.


    After plenty of walking and sightseeing, we sat alongside the river and enjoyed some refreshments.



    After a relaxed final class, excitement was building for the Abschlussfest, our “graduation” ceremony. It was a big party hosted at the University, complete with performances by the students, either with their classes or the various workshops. After these performances, the dance floor inside opened up with a live band.

    It was at this ceremony that the Ballroom Dancing performance was finally unveiled. Before the rehearsal, we posed for a group shot while all dressed up.

    Group Normal Pose

    Although the last minute rehearsal gave our instructor terror instead of comfort, we all put on a great show that left her completely ecstatic.


    The above still was snagged from video footage that will eventually be released – bear with me!


    On our final full day in Heidelberg, our class got together for breakfast at a French café. Excessive numbers of photographs were taken here, and some even had me in them!


    Photo credit: Gloria

    Afterwards, many of us went home to begin packing and cleaning up our apartments.

    Later that evening, much of our class also met up for Sushi. I had hot saké for the first time, and rather enjoyed it!


    As the evening closed on us, we bid our final farewells. For good measure, here is a shot with my class’ instructor for these 4 weeks, Thorsten.



    Bright and early, the trek home began. After countless security checkpoints and long hours in flight, I made it home. The adventure was over.


    This was my first time outside of North America, and it was an experience like no other. 5 weeks still isn’t long enough to truly experience a culture, especially when so much the experience is schedule and organized. Much of a culture is defined by the regular, organic interactions one has with service providers, neighbours, cashiers, clients, the government, and so forth. I believe the best way to experience culture is to be completely immersed and dependent on it. That is the type of adventure I hope to go on next time.

  • Flight by Night – Train by Day

    Our flight from Halifax to Frankfurt was delayed by almost an hour, but we arrived with time to spare to catch our train to Berlin.

    This was my first flight out of North America, and I found it to be fairly comfortable on our 767. That being said, I was also fortunate that I didn’t have to share my seat with anyone!


    My dreams of free beer on the flight were proven false (€3), but liquor was still available. In nothing but German, I was able to order my first drink: vodka and apple juice.


    It was well mixed, but even with double the pillows I couldn’t manage a restful sleep.

    Frankfurt airport is huge. It is the West Edmonton mall of airports. There are so many services and stores and people, the landing strip even goes over the autobahn! Frankfurt, with the S-Bahn and airport, reminds me of Montreal.

    Once we made it to our ICE train, it was time to make up for over 28 hours of being on the go.


    After some train delays, and a slightly difficult taxi ride, we made it to the hostel, baxpax! We set up our rooms, and the students that had arrived got together for supper at the restaurant downstairs.


    First beer in Germany – check.

  • Overnight to Frankfurt

    The Boeing 767-300 that will be taking us to Frankfurt has landed in Halifax! image In another half hour we will be on-board, hopefully enjoying complementary beverages shortly after take-off. This will be the last post today. After what I hope will be a good night’s sleep, our next leg of the trip is by train, from Frankfurt to Berlin! Bis morgen!

  • We are on our way!

    Julie, Jonathan, Jescinda and I are trying to keep entertained during a 12 hour layover in Halifax. I think a good nap will be needed later, since we had to get up around 4am. Our flight to Frankfurt doesn’t leave until 7:45pm tonight. It will be a simple overnight flight, and we land in Frankfurt at 7:15am Sunday morning.

    Fish Tales

    Turns out, I was able to find the best source of entertainment! Not quite as clean as the ones back home, but I still managed to get a free game :). If I had more change on me, it would surely start to get expensive.

    You can actually follow our flight across the Atlantic here: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/CFG63. There is a small delay for this data, but it will still show our progress across the Atlantic tonight!