As I’m sure you’re aware, I’ve recently come home from Germany, where I visited my good friend who I met through the Comenius Project. This was the first time that I’d been on a plane all by myself and, to be truthful, I was so, so scared. But, I managed it!
I spent a whole six days in Köln with my friend, staying at her Grandma’s house and I’ll say it now; the house is so beautiful. I guess you could say it’s upside down because there isn’t an upstairs, only a ground floor and a basement, but don’t be confused, the basement is huge with bedrooms, bathrooms, a bar and everything. Even a second living room. You see, this is the thing that amazes me about Germany: the houses are wonderful. And each house is different. Like, over here, we have an estate of houses that are all the same design, all the same colour, all the same front doors and gardens etc etc, but in Germany (and I’m sure many other places across Europe – probably the world) each house has its own special identity both inside and out. What I love about German houses is the pure traditional feel that they have. I mean, it’s apparent that European houses have wood as a main theme running throughout, usually of the same type of wood, and it just feels homely. It’s amazing. And so warm all the time. I also love the staircases in Germany – give me a chance to explain what I mean – because they are marvellous. The houses that I have seen in Cologne all have spiral staircases, but not on a small scale, oh no. The staircases rather take up a large part of the house (even though the houses are huge to begin with) and spiral both up and down dependent on what house you’re in. And most of them are made of wood again; however, the house that I stayed in just recently it was made of stone. Amazing.
I realise I’ve been discussing German staircases for a substantial amount of time now, but, not to worry, I’m moving swiftly on to talk about my experiences this time in Cologne. Naturally, as we’re both young women, we were obliged to do a lot of shopping, regardless of my ridiculous shopping techniques but that’s a story for another time. She also took me to a theme park called Phantasialand, which was truly fantastic. I will admit that it did seem like a bit of a Disneyland wannabe, but it was really, really good all the same. Other activities included swimming, visiting the zoo, going to a lake (with a beach!) and going to the cinema to see the final instalment of Harry Potter, in German of course.
I am pleased to say that this experience overall has benefited me greatly, in the sense that both my German skills and my confidence have grown incredibly – I’m not joking when I say that I’m a different person because of all these visits to Germany, both with people and by myself. It was, however, a bit of a relief to get back home and not have to think about what I was trying to say, or what other people were saying to me. I think that my head hurt after all the concentrating that I had to do in order to understand German. But, I guess that’s what it’s all about. Experience and good old hard work and effort.
Thanks for staying with me prattling on, as I usually do, and I hope that you also have good experiences in whatever you like to do. With me, it’s travel. And media of course, not forgetting that 😉