Friday, June 2
Friday morning, we ate a quick breakfast before walking to campus to get on the bus by 8am. The ride wasn’t too long, but I almost fell asleep because of how tired I was. We drove to Erlanger Fraunhofer and headed inside, getting our name tags and going upstairs where some really cute notebooks and pencils waited for us!
The company does a lot with things audio, virtual reality, and other media production, so we had a lot of speakers talk to us about those things! The virtual reality presentation was really cool, we even got to try it ourselves! I had never tried VR before, so I was pumped. I watched a music video that had been made specifically for VR, and the singer popped all over the place with some really cool scenes like a forest and a church, the sound following him. At one point, he disappeared in front of me and then I heard the sound like he was right beside me, so I looked over and there he was! It felt like I could have reached out and touched him, it was so weird but cool.
After a couple other presentations about sound, we checked out a few rooms with 3D sound demonstrations. In one room, the speakers were surrounding us, 360 degrees, and it really felt like we were being transported to different places- under the sea, a drag race, a rock concert; it was incredible.
Then it was lunch time! They gave us pretzels which I was really excited about, but then I realized there was butter in the middle of them. I’m not a huge fan of butter, so I didn’t really eat until I was full, but they still tasted okay. I sat downstairs with some people in some really comfortable chairs Deshayne found until the break was over, and then we headed to a few more demonstrations/presentations! We went upstairs to their cinema room, and I was dozing off the whole time because of how tired I was and how dark the room was, I felt really bad. We also got to check out their radio station, which seemed very high-tech and awesome!
Then it was time to load up on the bus again! We drove to the Erlanger city center and had free time to walk around, so Shelby, Deshayne and I did just that! We stopped for gelato first, and I got vegan chocolate, which tasted really good. We found a cute fountain where we stopped for some pictures, and then we found a bird that was just chilling on the sidewalk that looked like he was melting. I WAT (what are the odds) Shelby to touch it, which she ended up having to try to do, but he ran away from her.
Then the three of us (not including the bird) headed back through the city and headed to the mall! We walked around some and I ended up trying on a traditional German dress just for fun! I also bought a shirt from New Yorker (a store that seems to be everywhere in Germany), and then we headed outside and sat with Mar and Javier until it was time to walk back to our meeting place and then the bus.
Then Marius showed us the way to Bergkirchweih, a big German festival! It was a long walk and there were tons of people there, it felt like it was never ending.
Shelby, Deshayne and I walked around, trying to soak everything in before buying food. I got a corn on the cob and later some kettle corn! We sat down to listen to a band play, then walked around the festival some more! There were already so many drunk people at 6pm, but we didn’t want beer so we spent almost the whole time there searching for still water that wasn’t too expensive. At this point, we were really missing the free ice water that anyone in the States will give you. At one point, we decided to ride the giant Ferris Wheel! Deshayne was scared and screaming the entire ride, I was dying laughing. The view from the top was breathtaking, pictures don’t do it justice. It was hard to take it all in, but we got to go around multiple times so that was really good! A few times when we passed the bottom, a worker spun us (the cart could spin like the teacups at Disney parks) and I’m pretty sure everyone at the festival could hear Deshayne screaming XD
After walking the length of the festival, we finally found bottles of still water, then headed out because they charged you to go to the bathroom there. On the walk back, the three of us sat on a bench for a while, resting our feet and watching the stream of people walking to the festival. It just kept coming, I don’t know if it ever stopped. We also had a few drunk people say stuff to us in German that we obviously couldn’t understand so that was fun. Walking back to the city center, we searched for a free bathroom for a good thirty minutes. We finally found one at McDonalds, then met up with the rest of the group to head back to Ansbach. I sat by myself so I could lay down and somehow fell asleep even with the noise. I went straight to bed when we made it back to the hotel, exhausted but ready for another full day in the morning!