We are one day away from going to Nürnberg and moving into our apartment! Tomorrow will be the last train ride with the BIG suitcases, at least for a while anyway. But of course, life stuck us with two transfers, just to mock me and watch me try and carry that stupid suitcase.
Anyways, Matt and I both went to Köln for 3 days, Matt to complete his job orientation and me to tour around by myself.
Overall, it was a good experience.
I learned how to not only read and follow a map, but to plan my own excursions as well based on their location on the map. Fortunately for me, everything I wanted to see in Köln was within walking distance and I did not need to attempt the metro on my own.
I noticed that the German drivers are much kinder than those in Canada. Traffic always yield to pedestrians. You step out a crosswalk only indicated by the lines on the street, the cars stop. You're on a green traffic light/ cross walk, traffic turning in your direction will always pause mid turn so you can walk across.
I learned my student card (valid until 2014) is also valid in Germany, at least for museums and the like so I managed to grab a few discounts, which brings me to an important point, the ISIC: International Student Identity Card. If you are still a student when you intend on going abroad..and by still I mean even in your last semester as long as you are full time, get an ISIC card. You need to provide your tuition receipt as proof to get it. I missed out on getting this, but Matt was able to get one before he left and he is able to by a half price card in order to get 50 percent off all train tickets! Still with me? Yes he had to purchase a card to get 50 percent off, but if I want a 50 percent off train card...I have to pay double what he did. Think about it.
I learned that I need to practice speaking and listening to German much much more. When the menu was in German or I wanted something simple like coffee with milk, I could attempt to speak proper German, but when the menu is in English and the cashier only speaks German, how do you go about translating those items for them? All I wanted was a mcflurry..
Köln has probably the coolest museums ever, or at least that I have come across so far. They don't just have art museums and history museums which I could personally do without, but a chocolate, a wine, and an olympic museum! Very cool and worth every penny. The chocolate museum also held the Lindt factory and sold Lindt products. I also did the triangle tower to get a panoramic view of the city, a cable car ride across the rhein, the zoo and some cool sight seeing, but many cities will offer things like those.