A Lot Can Happen in Three Weeks

9 minute read

I’ve been slacking a lot on writing anything for the blog lately, and that means that there’s a lot of stuff to talk about now! Last weekend I spent my time in Spain with Nick Scott, and the weekend before that I got to see a crazy boat race in Tübingen. This weekend I got to see some of the Reutlingen Stadtfest, a festival centered around music, and I also ran a 10k race in Tübingen.

Punting Boat Race

A few Thursdays ago was a holiday in Germany, and there was a huge event going on in Tübingen, the annual punting boat race. Apparently the race is made up mostly of students from the local university, and most of the fraternities usually enter a team. It was a pretty crazy event, with the winning team taking home 100 liters of beer, and the losing team being required to drink fish oil. Sadly I didn’t get to see either of these things actually happen, but I did get some pictures of the race itself.


An impressive whale themed boat

Another impressive boat theme

The turn around point of the race, where all the boats had to pass through a narrow gap

Even the relatively wide Neckar was crowded at some points

And we got to see Claus again!

This race was started in 1956 by one of the fraternities in Tübingen, and nowadays it attracts over 15,000 spectators that come to watch!


This was the view as we were leaving, absolutely packed with people

Spain

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to visit Spain and stay with my friend Nick for a long weekend. He was a great host and tour guide, showing me around Burgos and Bilbao and explaining a lot of the historical significance of the architecture. My flight to get to Spain went from Stuttgart to Zurich, and then from Zurich to Madrid. After that it was a 3-ish hour bus ride to Burgos.


I had a whole row to myself on the flight from Zurich to Madrid!

Views from the plane

Spanish landscapes are quite different than German ones

Inside the Madrid airport (terminal 4 specifically)

Burgos

Nick is living in Burgos, so that’s where most of our time was spent. We got to see all of the main highlights of the city, all by walking around.


Some buildings near the university campus

The entrance to the faculty of law, apparently one of the more prestigious areas of study at the University of Burgos

The Burgos Cathedral (see section below for more photos)

An entrance to the cathedral

A bird made its nest on top of this arch

A scenic view of the cathedral

A very old wall

Hard to see, but there are poppies growing in the grass!

These trees grow and form natural archways when their leaves are fully out

An impressive work of art

I thought these were cool - rounded garbage containers for glass (bottles mostly), that are found everywhere in the city

Bilbao

We made a day trip to Bilbao on Saturday, which is on the northern coast of Spain. We mostly spent our time walking around, and saw as much as we could. I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the town, and would definitely come back again in the future to experience more of it.


Jesus

Skyscraper

Dog made of flowers outside the Guggenheim

Another view of the flower dog

The exterior of the Guggenheim

Me and the Guggenheim

HUGE graffiti (see cars for scale)

Colorful building

A typical street sign in downtown Bilbao

A typical street in downtown Bilbao

The seafood was delicious

Seeing palm trees was a nice experience

Football stadium in Bilbao

Cliffs on the bus ride back to Burgos

More cliffs

And more cliffs

Burgos Cathedral

On my last day in Burgos, we toured through the Burgos Cathedral. I have a terrible memory for history, so I won’t try and explain too much about it, but I do know that at one point in its past, it was about half the size it is today, and then a whole new cathedral was basically added on to it. There were incredibly ornate decorations inside, and we spent around 2 - 3 hours walking through all of it.


There were lots of vaulted / ribbed ceilings

There was also lots of gold everywhere

Another impressive ceiling

And more gold again

I'm starting to realize I took a lot of pictures of the ceilings

A crowded piece of artwork

They couldn't fit any more decorations on there if they wanted to

Portraits everywhere

Food and Drink

Another highlight of the trip to Spain was getting to try Spanish food. One of my favorites was a very simple dish called “tortilla” in Spain, and which I just found out is called a “Spanish omelette” by non Spaniards. It’s made of eggs and potatoes, and it’s incredibly filling, tasty, and cheap. You can also eat it warm or cold, but I think I preferred it warm. I’m planning to try and recreate it for myself sometime in the future, especially since the ingredients are so simple.

Another unique part of the trip was seeing what all of the youth in Spain choose to drink. There was a festival going on the first day I was in Burgos where we walked around and tried lots of food (mostly meat, including a pig snout!), and I saw a lot of young people carrying around big, 2 or 3 liter containers of what looked like juice. I asked Nick what it was, and apparently its called Kalimotxo; a cocktail made from red wine and coke. I didn’t try any, since I’m not a fan of red wine or coke. In my opinion, I think German teenagers and their beer are light years ahead.

Return Flight

The only negative part of the trip was that my flight leaving Madrid got delayed by an hour, so I ended up missing my connection in Zurich and getting put on a flight the next morning at 6 am. There were some issues with our transportation to the hotel, among other things, so long story short I got to sleep for 3 hours before getting on a 6 am flight back to Stuttgart. Once I got home I napped for most of the morning, and went in to Bosch to have lunch and worked for the afternoon.

Germany vs. Mexico

This Sunday I attended a public viewing of the Germany vs. Mexico world cup game, which did not go as expected. It was a lot of fun to watch though, and I’m going to definitely attend public viewings for Germany’s upcoming matches (where the crowd will hopefully have more to cheer about).


There was a large screen and plenty of people watching in Tübingen

Running

Since it’s been three weeks since my last post, there’ll be three weeks of running updates here.

Week One

Monday - Easy run.

Tuesday - 5 x 400m, 5 x 200m workout. Hadn’t done any 400s in a while, this one hurt.

Wednesday - Another easy run.

Thursday - Shorter easy run which was cut short by stomach issues.

Friday - Rest.

Saturday - Fartlek workout, 5 x 3 min on, 2 min off. Last summer (July 29th) I did 12 of these out by Tea Hill (so an hour total of fartleks), in one of the most memorable workouts of that summer. My fitness isn’t back at that level yet, but hopefully I can build back up to longer workouts like that.

Sunday - 90 minute long run in the heat.

Week Two

Monday - Easy run.

Tuesday - 7 x 2 min on, 1 min off fartlek.

Wednesday - Easy run with Josh, another Bosch intern.

Thursday - Easy run in the morning before I traveled to Spain.

Friday - In Spain, no run.

Saturday - In Spain, no run.

Sunday - Traveling back from Spain, no run.

Week Three

Monday - Easy run after getting back from Spain the day before.

Tuesday - 1 to 1 fartlek gone bad, stomach acted up.

Wednesday - Easy run where my stomach was feeling terrible again.

Thursday - Rest.

Friday - Short shakeout before the 10k race on Saturday.

Saturday - Soundtrack 10k race. My goal was 37 minutes, and I went through 5k on pace for that, but very quickly after that I blew up. My fitness isn’t where I wanted it to be at this point in the summer, but that just means I’ll have to be more consistent with my training going forward. It was also a really hot and sunny day, which probably affected the time a little as well.

Sunday - Long run, which was my longest in a while, and which felt pretty good.


In other news, I finally booked my flight back to Canada! I’m arriving in Halifax on August 31st, so I have a month of free time in Europe after the work term ends on July 31st. I’m super excited to be able to have that long to travel, and I’m also super excited to see everyone from home again!

Thanks for reading!

Jeremy