Travels in Köln

The Kölner Dom
The Kölner Dom

Every morning I wake up, eat my two hard boiled eggs, drink grapefruit juice, and bike 8.8km to my language school in Köln (Cologne), Deutschland. Pretty solid routine, if I don’t say so myself. It’s been just over a week in Köln where my days are spent learning German and discovering what this fantastic city has to offer.

I’ve done the main sightseeing places (Kölner Dom, der Rhein, the Fußgangerplatz, and the Altstadt). I’ve never felt so European in my life- whether it’s that my life is mostly in German from my host family and my school or that I bike on my commute and regularly have water “mit Gas”. As Hannah Montana would say, it has been the best of both worlds.

Vegjoy (Vegan Cafe in Cologne)
Vegjoy (Vegan Cafe in Cologne)

Of course there are differences- so much bread (naturally) in the stores. But on a more lifestyle note, there is a lack of phone time. What I mean by that is that people aren’t on their phones 24-7. Taking the DC metro, you’ll see almost every passenger listening to music or surfing the web. In Germany, that phenomena isn’t really present. People talk. People actually socialize instead of spending time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s a bit daunting at first, but just something to get used to (as are most cultural differences).

Life otherwise has been, as usual, a struggle between staying healthy and wanting to socialize/go out. Because class starts at 8:45 every morning and I leave by 7:50 by bike- I’m not the most enthusiastic advocate of running and yoga improv at 5:45am. Still- considering the very German-like quantity of bread and beer I’ve been consuming, I feel healthy enough. As long as I walk more than 15,000 steps per day, I consider myself cleared to eat some extra dessert or bread.

The garden of my host family :)
The garden of my host family 🙂
Speaking about movement, one of my personal fitness goals is to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. Yeah… Granted that my lack of running is not helping in the slightest- but I have slim hopes that the biking and walking is somewhat good for the endurance aspect.

What little yoga I’ve done has consisted of continuous Sun Salutations, warm-ups and counter poses to my favorite pose *cough cough Half Moon*. A new routine I also have gotten into is doing yoga outside under the sky. It might seem a little spiritual wonky but there’s something uplifting about seeing the sky every time I rise up between Sun Salutes.

Summertime wanderings in Koeln!
Summertime wanderings in Koeln!

My cooking routine has unfortunately been abysmal. I’ve been living on Skyr yogurt, muesli, cucumbers and Nutella. The one highlight of my eating routine is a great vegan restaurant that I found near my school which serves Mini-bowls full of protein, healthy grains and greens. Delicious!
(And though it may seem so- I actually am not quite yet vegan)

My reading has also not been the greatest. I’ve been hesitant to read anything in English because I don’t want to confuse my poor brain anymore than it has to deal with day by day. Unfortunately my German reading level doesn’t quite match up to my normal English books. Regardless, I have read a few chapters of “Er ist wieder da,” a satire piece about Hitlers reawakening in 2011 and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (in German of course). However- recent discovery: Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy was originally written in German, so I’m very tempted to go and find copies of it!

We won’t even go into writing…

The next couple months are going to be hectic- and that’s an understatement. I already know I’ll probably be in Maastricht on Saturday, Amsterdam, Munich, and Brugge in the next two months and I’m moving to Berlin in October. And I can guarantee those are only some of the many places I plan on visiting (not including east Europe- can you imagine?). I will try and update this as much as possible. Once I get settled in Köln, I’ll start with some yoga routines and maybe even running experiences (once I get reasonably good).

Bis nächste Wochen, liebe Leser!

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