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Published: December 28th 2010
I was glad to return to my cosy room at the Horizonte Language school, tucked away in the centre of the Medieval Town of Regensburg. It is situated on the northernmost point of the Danube River, where it turns south east. It was a very prosperous trading city during the Middle Ages.
These two weeks, over the holidays, the student numbers are quite depleted. Lots of people have gone home. Our class of 8 has dwindled to 3! But that makes for even more practice and individual attention. The pace of the class is really intense but very pleasant. The school is a smallish, independent one, started about 20 years ago by two men, one of whom still serves as director. It is very high quality and generous. The teachers are very caring and helpful. Staff are rostered every day to organise interesting activities. Yesterday we went to a Bavarian pub after dinner. Today there was a guided walking tour all around the town. It was desperately cold. Minus 6, perhaps.
One of my classmates and I had lunch in a tiny 1000 year old Bratwurst restaurant that served as the canteen for the workers on the famous stone bridge which is the symbol of the town. We had a tankard of beer and six small bratwurst on a bed of sauerkraut, barbecued in a adjoining room. Very welcome after the freezing cold outside.
It was deceptive today. The sky was blue and the sun shone quite a bit, but it was colder than ever. The narrow streets and alley ways are still covered with snow and ice and thus quite treacherous. One additional hazard is the great clods of snow and ice which, as they melt a bit, can suddenly descend on innocent pedestrians . They can often include quite long (30 cm) sharp icicles. So..the wise walker keeps in the middle of the road. Luckily there is very little traffic.
I have to give a powerpoint presentation on Thursday and so have been busy preparing it. I needed to print something off, but having no printer, emailed it to myself and went to the local library, which is only five minutes' walk away. Nothing is ever simple and straightforward. The computer there disapproved of my email from a Macbook. I could only print gobbledey gook. So I asked the nice young man behind the circulation desk for help in my politest German.
I came back to my room and was delighted to be invited to group dinner being cooked by a friendly young Malaysian Chinese student and the Italian girl who works as an interpreter between German & Italian.
I have just extended my stay till 8th January. I realise that by then, after 4 weeks I will just be beginning to feel as though I know what I am doing. An extra week's tuition is 130 euros and accommodation is 100 euros. Not bad at all!
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