Walla Walla summer in Freiburg

The last stop on my AmsterdamBerlin-Freiburg travel trifecta was (surprise!) Freiburg im Breisgau, a sizable town near the borders between France, Switzerland and Germany.

If you go to Whitman and associate with people who are interested in Germany, it’s nearly impossible not to hear about Freiburg. The city houses two of Whitman’s study abroad partner programs, both run by trusty old IES. So it’s far from shocking that I found myself there visiting a Whittie studying through one of them.

The last time I saw Karah, she had nudged me awake at 5 a.m. on an already-hot early Walla Walla morning at the end of July. For her, summer had come to an end and she was headed home for a month before fleeing the country for a semester abroad in Germany. I gave her a groggy hug, told her to drive safely and said, “See you in Europe!”

Three months later, I shed my travel fatigue, bounded off a bus into a drizzly autumnal evening (with Patz hot on my heels) and rushed to attack Karah with a much less groggy hug.

Karah and I first met working for The Pio, Whitman’s fabulous student-run newspaper. After a journalism conference in Florida, a year of late night production nights and a smattering of editors’ parties, we’d become good friends (subtext: I thought she was really cool and forced my friendship on her).

Then we lived together over the summer and that’s when the magic really happened—in part because we feed gluttonously off each other’s crazy but also because summer in Walla Walla is a magical phenomenon.

There’s still work to do, but not nearly as much of it. And for this reason, you get to experience and explore the best that Walla Walla has to offer. For me this always meant hokey down-home “cultural” events and hitting up every restaurant in town.

Though summer has long since come and gone in Germany, visiting Karah in Freiburg was like experiencing a bout of Indian Walla Walla summer. There was minimal work to be done (Karah’s study abroad homework) and maximum adventuring to be had.

We explored Freiburg’s cultural offerings:

The Alter Friedhof (or Old Cemetery) in use from 1683 to 1872

The Freiburger Münster (Freiburg’s cathedral)

Stolpersteine (literally “stumbling blocks”), small cobble-stone-sized memorials to the victims of Nazism

We tasted Freiburg’s culinary gems:

Every day is a sausage festival: Würst from a market stall

Schnitzel with gravy and frites

Bier und brezel

We avoided falling in a bächle:

I bought the most incredible hat (and came to realize that something in Karah’s essence brings me to wear incredible hats, much to her chagrin):

5 euros from a second-hand shop that also sells dirndl

I knew it was fate when I saw this inside the brim.

And in our off-time, we got up to the usual late-night YouTube shenanigans:


Click here for more photos from Freiburg.



  1. What great pictures! Looks like you had a good time and enjoyed some local treats. The stumbling blocks are very touching. (I have to say that utube thing was on the scary side!)

  2. […] mere four days after completing the Amsterdam-Berlin-Freiburg circuit I found myself once again packing up my Porter 46. This time, I’d be lugging it to a […]

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