Somewhere Over the Rainbow

07/04/2011

Happy 4th of July! I’ll tell you all about my plans for tonight next weekend, now however, we have all of last week to discuss.

For the first time, I’m writing this blog not from my desk in StuSie, but from a table in Europa Cafe, the University’s cafe. I just finished my Monday class, had lunch, and am now writing from a table outside. The weather is wonderful today.

I have what will probably be the most colorful blog (in the literal sense of the word) that I’ll write while I’m abroad. First however, I just wanted to briefly apologize for the fact that this blog is a day later than normal but seeing as I didn’t get back to Freiburg until 10pm last night, it just wasn’t possible.

I don’t want to spend too much time going over what I did last week, just because I have so much to say about the weekend. However, last Wednesday I had two presentations for a discussion section, and while they weren’t the most amazing things ever, I didn’t leave feeling like I wanted to curl up in a ball and disappear into the floor. I have pretty low standards of success here in Freiburg, I’ve gotta say.

Thursday evening we went to Karaoke and Yi Qing and I sang Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. The thing about Karaoke here is that a lot of people sing rather slow, sad love songs and so we always try to sing songs that get people excited which is why Lady Gaga is always a good choice. If you have any good suggestions for songs (we’ve done beyonce, ymca and such) please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Friday morning I was up at 8am because I had a train to catch.

Yi Qing and I took a 10am train from Freiburg to Mannheim, and then another train from Mannheim to Cologne where we met up with a friend of hers from Mainz. It was hard enough trying to figure out how to get from the hauptbahnhof to our hotel, but once we finally got there, everything got much, much worse.

Don't stay here

We had booked a double room online because the picture showed it to have two queen size beds and since there was four of us, we were just going to share. Not so much. Not only did the hotel apparently not even have rooms with two queen size beds, they were very not happy when they saw that more than two people were planning on sharing a room. After about an hour of fighting with the front desk, we finally just ended up giving up and paying for an extra room. What was supposed to be 35 euros per person turned into almost 70 for two nights.

After putzing around with the hotel for so long, we finally made it into the city center at about 6pm. Perfect timing too, because that’s when Pride started.

That’s right folks, Pride. I thought that this year I would just have to suck it up and not go to a pride parade, but the universe was apparently on my side because not only did we get to go to the parade, but there was a street fair going on all weekend too. Good thing there was too, because there wasn’t much else to do.

It was freezing in Cologne. I had looked at the weather, and because it was supposed to be in the high 60’s all weekend, I just brought a sweater and assumed I’d be fine. Not so much. Luckily Yi Qing had brought an extra sweatshirt that she let me wear all weekend because otherwise I would’ve had to buy a jacket there. It felt like early October, not the beginning of July.

We basically just spent Friday evening bumming around the city center and then went out clubbing later in the evening. We ended up waiting almost an hour to get in, but once we did it was a lot of fun.

The club we went to was pretty much right next to the Cologne cathedral. This cathedral is ridiculously big. It’s so huge that there is no way to get it all into one photograph, it’s really rather impressive. We didn’t go in however, because as gorgeous as it is on the outside, all churches look rather the same on the inside.

Saturday morning we went into town, picked up Mari at the train station and then went back to the street fair to wander around. We had lunch at a small cafe, and because it was so cold I ordered the tomato soup expecting something resembling Campbells. Not so much. Instead of creamy soup, it was chunky and tasted pretty much exactly like pizza sauce. I couldn’t bring myself to eat much of it at all.

We bummed around and window shopped for a while (cologne has some amazing shopping compared to Freiburg) and then headed back to the hotel for a quick nap before getting ready and heading out for the evening. We met up again with Mareike who had gone to a church service and then went to go see what was going on at the main stage. It was an Abba cover band. Ever since I was in Mamma Mia in 11th grade, I’ve had a soft spot for Abba so I was more than happy to sing along for a while.

After a moment of silence for aids victims, we got a drink at a cafe and then decided to go back to the hotel and just hang out instead of going clubbing again. After so much walking all day, it was a nice break.

The whole two rooms thing worked out pretty well actually. Both rooms had two twin beds so Yi Qing and Mareike took one room, and Mari and I got the other. I wish I could have taken that bed back with me to StuSie; it was so freaking comfortable.

Sunday was parade day.

After locking up our luggage in the station, we went and found a spot to watch the parade. I’ve gone to the Twin Cities parade three years in a row, and while they are mostly the same, there were definitely some differences. First of all, the twin cities absolutely cannot compete with the amount of drag queens in the parade here. It was fabulous.

The outfits were also rather intense

Another big difference is that here, the majority of the parade wasn’t groups on foot or in small cars, but huge trucks blasting pop and techno music. Love it.

There were so many people lining the streets, it was insane. It seemed like a quarter of Cologne had turned out to watch the parade which made it even more fun.

I love pride parades, it’s one of the things I look forward to every summer along with going to the beach and the state fair. If you’ve never gone before, you really need to next year. It’s like no parade you’ve ever been to before.

We went straight from the parade to the train station where, after a quick coffee, it was time to head back to Freiburg. We managed toget seats with a table on our train from Mannheim to Freiburg and got to chill and play cards for most of the way. After all the walking we did over the weekend, sitting down for a couple hours was pretty nice.

I guess I’ll leave you with a very rainbow photo of us four that we took Saturday night. Between Mareike’s rainbow umbrella and my friend’s flag that she had bought for the parade the next day around my shoulders, we were pretty much as decked out as you could possibly be.

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One Response to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”


  1. […] the way up for it and it was one of the better weekends of that time abroad. You can read about it here if you want […]


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