Friday, September 11, 2009
My day trip to Wittenberg was a good one. It's a quaint little town but the weather was nice and I am (finally) starting to get the hang of the train system here!
I got into Wittenberg around 11:45 and asked the lady at the info desk for a map. She said to me in perfect English, but extremely loudly, "Not in German! You have to go to the town," and pointed toward the town. Ok I said and smiled. Then she yelled "Please" at me as I walked out the door. (The Germans use the word "bitte," which means please, for various things so it makes sense and is not completely random, but it was funny.) I wandered into town and after making it to the complete other end I finally found the information office. I bought my map for 0.50 Euro and quickly discovered that a map wasn't really necessary. Oh well!
The Castle Church, where Luther nailed his 95 Theses, was across the street. The church was rebuilt in 1770 after a fire or two, so nothing is original anymore. The doors that they have up are bronze ones that were donated to the church (by a king I think?) when they rebuilt it. Luther is burried inside as well as a Queen who died in the 1300's or something. Anyway, I didn't take any pictures of the church interior becasue they charged you to do so, and it wasn't original so eh, whatever. :) I did climb the tower though and got some good pictures of the town from above.
After I visited the church I wandered through the market square and the church where Luther was pastor after the Reformation. I took lots of pictures there and it was a pretty cool building. It's still the town church that is used today and they meet every Sunday at 10am.
Last, but not least, on my Wittenberg path was Luther's House. It was originally the monestary where he was stationed in Wittenberg. Then after the Reformation and the Catholic Church pulled the monestary out of the town, it was given to Luther and his with Kathe and they rented out rooms to students. It was pretty interesting to walk through the place. Some of the rooms are restored and one room has been kept as it was when Luther and Kathe lived there. The museum has a ton of original artifacts - like a copy of the 95 Theses and Luther's Latin Bible that he used when he was a monk. They also have an original copy of his German Bible that he translated. So much stuff to see!
On my way back to Berlin I was thinking to myself about me being here, alone, and traveling solo. I'm kind of proud of myself for doing it actually. It's been hard and I get lonely, but I am thankful that I had people in my life who pushed me into action instead of just talking about taking this trip "someday." I met a girl on my walking tour the other day from Italy. She had been working in Berlin all summer selling ice cream at a little Italian restaurant. She was doing the walking tour on one of her last days in town - she hadn't been able to see much of the city because she'd been working so much. As we were walking around she kept talking about how she wanted to go to several of the museums but didn't want to go alone. I asked her why and she said she just would feel silly.
Her comment and candidness about her self-consciousness made me think. I'm so glad that I don't have this fear (in general). I go to movies alone frequently and am comfortable doing stuff on my own. Yes, it is a little strange sometimes, but why sit around and wait for someone to join you when the world is passing you by! Of course there are some things that are very difficult to do solo, but there are so many things that you can do, why focus on the negative? I don't mean to judge this girl or say that I'm better or anything, because we all know how much talk there was in my life about this trip before I finally got the nerve to do something about it. It just made me realize how far I've come and how thankful I am to be in the place that I am - to be on this adventure as challenging and difficult as it is sometimes.
Thanks for being a part of that journey with me. It helps to know that friends back at home are reading my blog and in a way are on the trip with me. It's a technological comfort that I wouldn't survive without!