This week Germany yet again received praise, as it was heralded as the most energy efficient country in the world, the Guardian reported.
Their eco-friendly nature is something evident in the citizens themselves. In Heidelberg for example, bikes are the favoured mode of transport for many people. The city has dedicated cycle lanes and traffic lights installed on major roads for two-wheeled travellers, which makes cycling a relatively easy and safe option.
The city’s culture is definitely one that enjoys the outdoors. Heidelberg has a number of green spaces, most notably along the grassy banks of the River Nekar, which runs parallel to the city centre. On the weekend, groups cluster on the grass, enjoying picnics and barbecues.
And as proven by the World Cup (too soon?), the Germans are quite sporty. Volleyball and Frisbee are popular activities, and the swimming pools are hot-spots when the weather reaches above thirty degrees Celsius. Like today! For the more adventurous, mountain biking and hiking are a great way to explore the city’s impressive hills, which provide a quiet retreat from the busy shopping district.
Recycling is also popular in Germany. All households sort their undesirables into plastics, paper, bio-waste for composting, and general waste. Here, keeping the environment clean and safe is the responsibility of the community at large, and in this light it’s easy to see why Germany’s environmental habits have been heralded as an example for other countries.
This week, I was able to enjoy the sunshine by spending a couple of evenings relaxing with friends along the Nekar River. Playing group sports like volleyball and frisbee, are great ways to de-stress after a hectic week of studying.
On Monday, it’s back to the library for the final week of classes. My study abroad experience is almost coming to an end. Where has the time gone?