Yay! We are moving to our next city which is Essen, Germany. The study abroad program I am in is like no other. We are traveling as a class to a city that is 4 hours away from Berlin and moving there. That means that yet again we have to adjust to a new environment, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Essen is a lot different than Berlin. Essen reminds me a lot like home. It is very modern and up to date. Most of the buildings are newly built mainly because of heavy destruction from World War II. Essen is very industrial and has a lot of coal and steel industries which is known as the Ruhr region. We have a lot of tour guides for the next week and a half.
Landschaftspark is one of the most known places for Landscape Architecture students. This is one of the places that is in textbooks for Landscape Architects because it used to be a coal and steel production plant that was shut down and abandoned in 1985. After all the years of production from the factories, this place was highly polluted and was looked at as a useless area. In 1991, Peter Latz decided to “heal and understand the industrial past, rather than trying to reject it” (Wikipedia) and created a public park out of it. This is amazing to me because if it wasn’t for Peter Latz, this huge piece of property would probably still be vacant and abandoned. Peter designed with the intentions of preserving as much of the existing factories as possible.
Going to this place was breathtaking. Taking old and rusty steel and transforming it into a place where people can visit and enjoy the space is very inspiring as a designer. Here are some photos of the park.
This weekend is travel weekend! We are able to go and travel wherever we want to go! Seven of my friends and myself decided to go to the Netherlands. It was only a 3 hour bus ride and we were in another country?? And get this, it only costed 15 euros! (~$17). How crazy is that. In New York, going to another borough costs $15 just to travel over the bridge!!! Amsterdam was beautiful. Seeing the boats going through the canals was breathtaking.
Everyone uses bikes in Amsterdam!!! It is so nice to see how sustainable a city could be. The roads have bike lanes with bike traffic signals. To see how efficient and convenient it is to ride bikes gives me hope that one day major cities like NYC and Miami will one day also do this. The next photo is a parking lot solely for bikes in Amsterdam.
LOOK HOW MANY BIKES THERE ARE!
Since we had to travel alone, we had to find our own housing. We booked an Airbnb and I was a little nervous. Living in someone else’s house is a little intimidating and scary. It turns out that it was the best experience ever! The house was a 3 floor building all for us for a weekend! Who would’ve thought the experience would be so great. After this experience I would definitely us Airbnb again. It is so safe and so reliable.
Going to Amsterdam really made me grow as a person. Even though I traveled to Germany on my own, I was able to meet up with my professors which made me feel comfortable. Going to Amsterdam and having to plan out everything including the travel, housing, food, events, etc. I was able to get comfortable with traveling, and it made me realize that nothing can stop me from seeing the rest of the world.
Check out my youtube channel here. I have been vlogging my entire study abroad trip: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo_aOKWAOZkKHz2EI4_42m