My second week of internship was full of new information and adventures. I will be posting about many of my experiences outside of work as well, and living in Germany in general.
My flat is only about a 20 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride from work. Transportation in Germany, as I’ve said before, is impeccable, but I enjoy walking most mornings. This week in particular has had record-breaking heat, but the morning is relatively cool.
Speaking of warm temperatures, there is almost no air conditioning at all in Germany. I have become used to this by now, and I think it makes a real difference in carbon footprint. Instead, windows (which are rather different here) can be open wide to let some breeze in, or heavy-duty blinds can block sun out, leaving rooms cool. Sleeping at night was something I had to get used to, but my body is completely used to it now. Many people here not accustomed to air conditioning, so exposure to this will actually give them colds, which happened to my roommate. Living more sustainably really isn’t so hard or inconvenient.
In terms of work, I learned many native species to the Ruhr region during the second week. I have also been exploring many areas to find and identify the species as well, and will be working on a visual of the Ruhr Native Meadow Species. This is for preparation of planting an area in Castro–Rauxel.
After work on Thursday, I went with a few friends to Baldeneysee in Essen. This “beach” is on the Ruhr river – once a very contaminated river used for industrial waste. After years of restoration, the river in this area was deemed safe enough to swim in. A fake beach, or area of sand, was constructed next to the swimming area, and you can also rent paddle boards or kayaks, or hang out in the grassy park right next to the beach. We enjoyed getting some sun in the +100 degree F weather. And I enjoyed seeing some native species by the water!
On Saturday, I met with some friends in Wuppertal, a beautiful city in the southeast or the Ruhrgebiet. It is home to the Schwebebahn, the oldest electric suspension railway. Unfortunately it was not in use this time, but I plan to go back to ride it soon when it is running!