It seems like I can’t get away from music, even though I left my flute behind in America and haven’t played in an orchestra in years. No matter where I go, music continues to be this constant force in my life (usually a positive one). How does this topic come up currently? Well, I’ve recently “rediscovered” the joys of classical music. It’s easy to forget about the simple comfort of listening to music without words and remember the chords that were once practiced until my muscles knew each sequence by heart. Ever since listening to The Pines of Rome, however, I can’t stop listening and appreciating the music I once loved.
Beyond classical music, I’m starting to remember relaxing “electro” music, and how comforting it is to simply let music wash over you (without attempting to remember every single word). This is partially because I’ve attended two concerts in the past two days, the C/O Pop Festival and Electro Swing Night. They definitely aren’t my usual music, and I won’t even pretend that this music is in my wheelhouse. Nevertheless, while dancing to music I didn’t have the faintest clue about – I couldn’t help but be captivated by the beats and very German style of dancing. Definite new favorite “electro” artist: Broken Back.
Despite the fact I’ve been out and about at concerts and listening to more music wherever I can (whenever I can), I took some time out to visit the NS-Dokumentationszentrum Museum, which doubles as the home of the former Gestapo HQ in Cologne. There’s really no way I can describe the museum, except that it was difficult. Granted my friend and I started in the cellar, which was the home of the cells and preserved writings on the walls of past prisoners. Nevertheless, walking around and reading about not only the terrible strategies used on prisoners, but also the devastatingly effective propaganda tactics of the Third Reich is no walk in the park. Considering Cologne is not a part of the former German Democratic Republic, it can be all too easy to forget that there is, in fact, an ugly past buried under the beautiful churches and plentiful biergartens.
Thankfully the museum only caused one afternoon of moping and feeling as though the whole world’s weight rested on my shoulders. I was sufficiently distracted by double hot yoga. Yes, I’ve finally gotten over being lazy and am hard at work trying out different yoga studios. As of yet, I’ve tried two: Yoga 39 and Better Yourself. Now, before I give a little review- it’s probably important to know… that I misunderstood exactly what I was getting myself into. I saw “hot yoga” and immediately assumed that this was a 80-90 degree Fahrenheit class. Alas, both classes were 39/40 degrees Celsius – which is around 105 F. Moving past that slight misstep, I began with the Yoga 39 class. The length of the class of 90 minutes (finally!) and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Bikram and the extremely direct teaching style here. There was no downward dogs, no music, and no vinyasas, only poses performed on both sides (with claps to initiate the pose) and then some shaking out.
Better Yourself was an entirely different experience, because I took a 7:30am class, and was more prepared for the heat. There was some gentle music running in the background as we went through a fairly simple but enjoyable sequence. There was definitely downward dog and some lunges, and overall- I really enjoyed it as a good way to start the day. Luckily, I have unlimited 7 and 10 day passes to really test out which studio I enjoy more. I do have… three or four more studios to try, but after that – I’ll probably be out of Cologne and on the way to Berlin to try out even more studios.
That’s all for this week – Bis später liebe Leser!