Playing Tourist: Cologne

It’s an expectation now that whenever someone finds out that I go to university in Liverpool, but am from a country known for sand, sun and sea, that their first question is: “Why Liverpool?”

If I’m to be completely honest, I don’t even know why I chose Liverpool except that I wanted to follow my gut. So, instead of choosing one of the universities that I originally applied to, I decided to enter into clearing and apply to LJMU at the last hour – a decision I haven’t regretted once. Because of this choice, I’ve been able to go to Shanghai for free, as well as Cologne, Germany.

Which brings me to the reason why this post exists. Along with a couple of people on my course and two of my favourite professors, we took a trip to Cologne for four days, where I had a wonderful time. Continuing my honest streak, I’ll admit that I knew nothing at all about Cologne before I heard about this trip – I didn’t even know it was a place. Nonetheless, I quickly jumped on the chance to apply, because who says “no” to an all expense paid trip? Most definitely not me.

Well, after some research, I learned that Cologne was pretty popular for shopping and for its bridges, however, the true star of Cologne is the cathedral. As someone who once considered architecture as a career, I am very interested in buildings, add a historical aspect to it and you can rest assured that I am intrigued. Thus, it was very important that I got to see it, and lucky me, the building is so tall that it is nearly impossible to miss it whenever you’re visiting the city.

Now, I don’t want you all thinking that LMJU sent us to Germany just to stare at a cathedral and go shopping (although I spent a significant amount of time on both activities), there was also an educational aspect to it. We caught the train to Bonn and visited the headquarters of two companies: Deutsche Telekom (aka T-Mobile’s parent company) and Deutsche Welle (an international broadcaster).

I was thoroughly excited to visit both of these companies, as I’ve interned at a telecommunications company before, and after I had gotten over my dreams of being an architect, I thought that journalism might have been the way to go. Both of the visits were so enlightening, and learning about the different company cultures and styles was interesting to see.

If you’re familiar with T-Mobile, you’d know the company has a reputation of being fun-loving, and their headquarters totally embodies that personality. There was even a room with a carpet where, depending on where you stepped, you’d hear a different beat. Also, we were there on International Women’s Day, so all the ladies in the office received a rose with a nice card. (It was in German and I really can’t remember the translation right now, but I know it was nice!)

The Deutsche Welle offices were also pretty cool. We even got to see people prepping for a show they broadcast all the way in Africa (we actually scared the presenter because she didn’t notice us looking in from the other room).

All in all, it was a fun trip. We got to do some exploring, and just take in the sites of the city, and Cologne is such a beautiful place with an amazing mix of modern, traditional, and yes, gothic buildings.

love, peace & happiness

the pink cheebra

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