We had three free days without class to recover from all of the walking we did in Berlin before we would be heading off to Essen. For this free weekend I stayed local in Berlin, trying out different restaurants near our apartment. I got some vegan pizza with olives, and some amazing Pho soup. I also went to the Beach with some friends and relaxed some more. I had the sniffles and some congestion, so it was especially nice to sit and relax. We made our way to Essen after the travel weekend of relaxing.
This first week in Essen has been an adjustment. To a new city, new living accommodations, and new weather! I really liked the rugged grunginess of Berlin. Our new hotel is an artsy musical gathering spot, and it has been interesting to stay here so far. I got to play a show with some German bands spontaneously in one of the music halls, and had a great time doing it!
We visited some cool sites in Essen and the surrounding cities this past week. Here are some highlights:
We visited a water capture system community where the entire neighborhood is built around a water basin that is designed to collect all of the rainwater. It is 80% effective in collecting all of the water.
We got to walk through a park and past an untreated portion of the Emscher River, a sewage river, and smell it!
My favorite spot we visited was a former coal factory. We saw the former working conditions of workers, learned how coal is extracted, and got to visit a coking plant. It was overall fascinating to learn about the processes of extracting coal, as I have always enjoyed “how it’s made” videos (ha ha).
Tomorrow we start the design process by visiting our project site. Can’t wait to start designing in a new landscape!