Summary from the Professors

Everyone made it back safely.  Most have found that their perspective on life has changed a little.

Feel free to read through these blog entries. Please realize that like most blogs, the entries are in reverse chronological order so you may want to start at the end of the blog… [scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the last page number]

You can also click on the menu item “Blog Questions” to see the list of topics that the students blogged about. There is a link at each question that will show you the blog entries related to that particular question.  We recommend reading the answers to the final question #8.

Thanks for following along with us!

Regards,
Prof. De Rooy
Prof. Nielsen

Reflections on Bremen

Although our short excursion to Bremen lasted only for a day, I still took interest in going to see yet another German city and how it was unique to itself. In the case of Bremen, the way of life was somewhat different due to the fact that Bremen is a port city that connects to the North Sea. Thus, there are many factories and docking areas that line the river flowing through the city with many container vessels that transit through it.

In the boat tour we took that took us through this area, the most interesting sight for me was a large concrete bunker that turned out to be an old U-boat pen back from world war two. It turns out that  during that time, Bremen was a heavily defended, highly strategic city that served as a base for both German submarines and a port for shipping materials for the war effort. As a result, Bremen witnessed a lot of destruction during the war as it was often a target of allied bombing raids.

Despite the history, Bremen had the accents of all the other lively German cities we had visited up to that point. Because the city itself was so small, the major scene was the area along both sides of the river where there were cathedrals, squares, restaurants, and food stands. We were even able to see the former residence area of Calvin students when the engineering summer program was first launched almost a decade ago. At that time, Calvin engineering students studied at the TU Bremen rather that at TU Berlin where the program is now done.

 

Your Sunday Best

After visiting several different churches in Germany, it is interesting to note the differences between churches here and churches in America.  We visited the American Church in Berlin, the Kölner Dom, the Castle Church in Wittenberg, and I and several other students visited a small church in Erfurt.  With the exception of the church in Erfurt, all of the churches we visited, regardless of whether they were Catholic or protestant, were much more liturgical and much more traditional than the churches I have attended in the United States.  The church buildings were also far more ornate and a great deal older than American churches. Continue reading