Exploring the world's built environments and seeking sustainable solutions.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Arriving in Freiburg

Last Saturday, we departed from Copenhagen to Freiburg by train. Before we got to Hamburg, our train had to get on the boat. I was so excited because this was my first experience to pass through the ocean by boat but with the train. I think this was really sustainable idea that uses a right thing in a right place” The governments in Europe cooperated together and built railroads that connect to the boat. The European’ governments have not used other ways to let people arrive to the destination, such as build a bridge on the ocean, encourage people go by plane, or build a longer railroad which along the island. I think Eurail is really smart and connected transport design that transportation combine to another transportation. People not only easily arrive the destination, pay cheaper comparing to the plane, but also reduce their carbon footprint.

This is Eurail map that shows travel times for each trip. (Source: Eurail)

This view from the boat and this boat should be gone the opposite direction from Germany to Denmark.

After about 8 hours more travel time, we finally arrived to the hostel, Katholischen Lehrlingsheim. This hostel uses solar panels and heat pump as energy supplies, and has blinds outside the windows to help better insulate the building from heat.

Solar panels are built right in front of the hostel.

                                      The broad shows how many energy is being transferred by sunlight.

 The heat pump is installed in the back of the hostel.

The river’s water goes all the way down from the hill through downtown in little channels. It also flows behind the hostel, shown here.

The hostel also provides a garage for guests to park their bikes.

 The view from the hostel window.

~Chloe Cheung

On Monday morning we took the tram to the Fraunhofer Solar Institute and learned about many interesting technologies the institute is researching. We saw examples of flexible solar panels, electricity generating windows, and a solar air conditioning unit, but could not take photos of

We then picked up our rental bikes from the train station. This multimodal facility supports heavy rail, local light rail, buses, bikes, and cars. The bikes are the nicest we've had on the trip so far, but are much to big for many students. We all struggle to get on, which is quite a sight for people passing by.

After renting bikes, the class split up for a 4 hour break before lecture. I went to the car-free historic downtown with 4 other students. We found a large farmer’s market by the Cathedral, which had everything from flowers to fruit to bratwurst…lots and lots of bratwurst. The food was very good and relatively cheap. The prices here in general are much cheaper than anywhere else we've been.

Freiburg’s downtown has charming little canals, called bachle, on nearly every street. These canals are only a couple inches deep, but they provide amusement for children, and a refreshing place for adults to sit down or dogs to drink from. You can always hear the babbling of the streams in Freiburg.

~Sam Moffitt