Thursday, 6 October 2011

Köln (and an important point about the ISIC card)

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.

1 comment:

  1. How can you hate on history museums? Also, you're in Germany and you got a McFlurry?