Today was the last day of official program events. The day’s events started with a city tour, wherein we took a bus to both of the hillsides surrounding the city valley and later took a walking tour of the city’s center, which is one of the largest pedestrian areas in the world. From the hillside, we could see down at the city’s surprisingly low skyline; local ordinances restrict the construction of buildings exceeding 100 meters in height in order to prevent alterations of local wind patterns. In the city center, we walked past two castles and visited the indoor city market, which was originally built during the 19th century.
In the afternoon we visited the Mercedes-Benz museum, which recounts the history of the automobile from the very beginning in 1886 when Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler independently created the first two automobiles within one year of each other. From there it tells the history of Benz and Daimler’s companies, which later merged to create Daimler Benz AG, now Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and others. In addition to automobile history, the museum also recounts other important historical developments and events in order to frame the automotive developments occurring during the same time period. The combination of this information makes it very easy to take a peek into cultural history of Germany all throughout the last century.
Tomorrow we go our separate ways, some extending their stay in Europe to enjoy the sights and wonders of other cities and countries, while others return home to the U.S. We all enjoyed our time here, and we’re sure that the program will only continue to get better.