So tomorrow I leave Germany, flying away back tae bonnie Scotland where I hear it’s actually warm and sunny! Overall, I think Germany has been good for me. I mean, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? And I got a lot of research trips done and (less) other research (than I wanted) and studied (a bit of) German. Besides, despite the (hellish) place I lived in for the first two months, this last month in the Evangelisches Stift — an Augustinian monastery turned Lutheran seminary — has been good.
There have been many lovely times I haven’t but could have blogged about — Berlin (Nefertiti, Iron Man 3, and Star Trek: Into Darkness), meeting a Dante scholar on the train back from Berlin, the fabulous Gasthof I stayed at in Wolfenbüttel (a cultural experience in itself), Jenn’s visit (incl. Bebenhausen, Heidelberg, Mosbach), Salzburg (Mozart’s house, Festung Hohensalzburg [the castle]), the train through Austria, the Benediktinerstif Sankt Paul am Lavanttal, the lovely garden at the Stift where I live, 1-euro ice cream, the Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart, Wurmlinger Kapelle, the jousting at Horb, and so on. And so forth.
I didn’t, and I likely won’t.
But those experiences, when combined with the loveliness of Tuebingen itself and the amount of research with manuscripts I was able to complete means that, for all the many pains of my time in Germany — the living situation, not knowing German, bureaucratic confusion, being away from my wife, etc — it has been a good experience. And I think I am both a better man and a better scholar for it.
Certainly closer to being done this PhD, which was the whole point.
Anyway, I’ll miss Württemberg to a degree, my delight in going home aside — pretzels, cheap beer, Gothic churches, late mediaeval architecture all over Tuebingen, the splendid holdings of Tuebingen Uni’s library, the Stiftsgarten, cheap beer. You know, that sort of thing.
Auf wiedersehen, Deutschland! Bis später!