Week 4/5.2

Trip Start Mar 19, 2008
Trip End Jul 01, 2008

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Friday, April 25, 2008

Today we visited the North Rhine-Westphalia Department of Commerce and Business. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. I was impressed by how much business Koln does; They have a larger GNP than Australia and Canada, they host many of the largest business conventions in the world, and somehow 37% of their GNP is from the manufacturing sector; amazing for a 1st world country. I really enjoy these "fieldtrips" taken to the business sectors of Koln and Germany; so we can actually get a better glimpse into how the country works. After our meeting, we all went out to a biergarten to take advantage of the great weather. Four or five Kölsch's later, and we all went our separate ways. I was really tired for some reason (I dunno, maybe from the bier??) so I took a nap; naps are overrated. I woke up more tired than when I went to sleep; bah. I just did a little bit of homework and waited until...yet another frei bier nacht! Ja! How can unlimited bier go wrong? It couldn't. And to make the night even better, my train actually ran as scheduled! So I didn't have to walk home for an hour tonight, yes! A little side note, my street car is notoriously unreliable for some reason. No one has any other problems with theirs; its crazy.
Well, since I got home at around 3:00 or so, I ended up crawling out of bed in the 2:00 range. Well so much for going to the Nurburgring today; I'll just actually commit to going during the last weekend of May. Since I couldn't go to the race track I just ended up riding my bike through town, walking through Neumarkt, and just taking advantage of the great weather. Although I didn't really do anything substantial today, I had a great time just riding all through Koln, and along the River Rhine. No one really felt like going out this evening, due to our city bike tour with our activities coordinator Maxi. I caught up on a little bit of homework, and just hung out at home.
Today we had a bike tour, and thankfully the weather was awesome again. We met up at the train station at 1:30, got our bikes and went out. We started out riding along the river for a short time, which is always nice. We then headed up into the city to check out a rose garden built on top of and around a WWI memorial and fort. It wasn't open yet, unfortunately, but I'll definitely have to check it out once its in full bloom. After this park, we went out to another nice park; pretty large in size. I've ridden and walked all over the city, and had no idea these parks even existed. We then rode up to the Koln technology and media park where we took an elevator up to a 30th floor café to get a amazing view of the Rhine Valley; we could see everything from the Eiffel Mountain range, the cities of Bonn, and Düsseldorf, the Seven Mountains-everything. We were also informed that Koln has the largest brothel in Europe; huh. Maxi pointed out a 8 or 9 story red/orange building on the other side of Koln. Good thing Koln has lots of other great calls to fame, I can't imagine they'd take lots of pride in having "the largest whore house in all the land!". After the awesome views we went out to a favorite student park, sat down and had a bier to relax for a little while. We continued riding for another hour or so, visiting various parks and attractions. That was pretty much it for today.
Today was just a normal ole' school day. I really didn't do much after school, besides just riding around on my bike. We actually got out really early, which was nice; I SHOULD have gotten started on my project due next Monday, but I didn't. That's what train rides are for!
I was really excited today, because guess what? Tomorrow I'm leaving for Munich! Hells yes. School flew by today. After class today I signed up for a local gym and finally lifted some weights for the first time in nearly two months; thankfully I haven't regressed too much. Not even my dumb shoulder gave me problems before or after the work out. This evening a few class mates and I went out to free beer night, again. I really like this cheap and excellent tradition. A couple hours into the festivities we all hit the dance floor, and actually ended up dancing up on this stage deal for a little while; it was pretty much the gayest thing ever, but it was still fun. Well, I ended up getting separated from my friends a short while later due to some female distraction. I really hope my friends took my sweatshirt home with them; because when that girl and I left, my sweatshirt was gone.
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