Friday, 27 September 2013

Week recap: our last week in Cologne

This week has really been a bitter-sweet one, I think more for Malcolm than for me because he has a lot more ending and has more goodbyes to say. But, it's been a busy one for both of us! 

Monday was a happy day though, celebrating our 6th mensiversary! :D
Malcolm very carefully carved into the paint on the lock, and after all his effort I really didn't want to just lock it on and leave it, but that is sort of the point, right?
love lock bridge koln cologne
So we went off to the bridge, chose a spot we could remember, and locked it onto the fencing.

love lock bridge koln cologne

love lock bridge koln cologne
 Then, we each dropped our key into the Rhein, so that the lock can 'never ever be opened and we'll remain together forwever'. I'm a little cynical.
love lock bridge koln cologne

We feel that now our marriage is definitely legit, seeing as the Germans are said to be so practical, surely they'll accept these photos as proof that we're married even though we don't have our full marriage certificate yet? I mean, surely metal evidence is more lasting than paper?

From there we went to the Seilbahn (cable car) which goes over the Rhein. We've been meaning to do this ever since we changed our bucket list 'Rhein cruise' to 'seilbahn' and we finally got the chance. I hadn't though how scary it would be, but the website says it's the 'safest way to cross the Rhein' so I figured that despite the fact that we were in a box hanging from a cable, we'd be okay ;)

cable car cologne koln

The view was amazing, despite the grey weather!
When we landed in the Rhein park, we walked around a little before finding a spot to have a picnic lunch. Inspired by a lunch we had on honeymoon, we had ciabatta bread with various cheeses, and it was delicious.


Unfortunately, Malcolm needed to go to class after that, but it was a fun morning celebrating!

Tuesday, we went to Lifegroup, and although we'll see most people again at church this weekend, it was sad attending for the last time. Hopefully we'll visit and they'll remember us ;) :)

Wednesday Malcolm got his certificate from the language course - he's just before level B1 because they are one week short of completing it. But come on, that's impressive!!!

After class, we went to the Adtstadt in search of a souvenir of Cologne, which we didn't ed up buying. But we did find really interesting things at the bookstore, which was fun.


Then we had our last icecream - and my day was made when my icecream cone broke as she took it, so I got a double cone AND an extra scoop.

Thursday afternoon after the CDC had a farewell ceremony. I went a little early to meet Malcolm and because it was in the foyer, I attended some of it and heard some speeches. Outside, there was a movie being made, and a whole lot of people dressed as police walking around, which was interesting to see!

We then went to Margaret to say goodbye. It was so nice sitting outside on her veranda having coffee and cake, and enjoying sunshine which made an appearance now and again. As we were leaving, her husband came home and it was great to finally meet him! He's just as friendly and warm as her, and the invitation to visit for the Koln Christmas market was reiterated :) It was so sad to say goodbye until then, though!

After leaving her, we went to the station and had curry-wurst for supper, finally! It was a huge portion and although the curry isn't strong at all, the acidity of the tomato sauce got a bit overwhelming. But it was tasty anyway :)

From there, we went to another DAAD/CDC student's place for a party to which all the students from Africa had been invited. It was strange, being considered as an 'African' because in South Africa we've hardly been considered as 'African' but often as foreigners. It was fun, making friends and connections, and speaking to students from all over the continent. I was especially interested by what a Kenyan had to say about the situation there, because so often big news overwhelms reality.

On the way home, I finally let my rebellious streak take over and we went onto the traffic circle - there's a path over it, but no zebra crossing to get across the road, so one has to j-walk! ;)

That brings us to today, Friday. Malcolm's final day at the CDC as a language student. He has learnt so much and I am beyond proud of him - his diligence and perseverance with this crazy language has been inspiring, and his quest for excellence is something that I admire. We're so grateful for the opportunity he's had to focus on learning the language for 4 months; it would have been so difficult for him to pick up while he was busy with his PhD. Plus, the Carl Duisberg Centre is one of the best places to learn, and it was a privilage for Malcolm to go there.
cologne CDC students language German
L: Malcolm and Henok.
Middle top: the class, the photo taken during the summer.
Middle bottom: Some of the students would go for a walk every tea-time; this photo was taken on a day when more than usual went.
R top: the girls
R bottom: the guys
It's kind of surreal that these 4 months of his lessons are over now, and now he needs to use German in real life, but he's well equipped and I'm sure he'll continue to learn!
Malcolm on his way this morning... (and yes, the circus is in town!) 
So... that was our last full week in Cologne! This weekend will be spent packing and cleaning and hopefully seeing a few things a last time before we leave on Tuesday. I look forward to writing about it all on Monday, which will also be my 99th post! Woohoo!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

18 comments:

  1. Wow! That lock is so cool!! I wish there was something like that over in the states! So so awesome, what a great memory!

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    1. They're starting to pop up all over now, so I'm sure you could find one there, or start your own :)

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  2. erica! that picture of the two of you in the park is too precious. you need to frame it in your new home :0

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    1. Aw thanks! It's a pity that it's actually not very clear, because I'd love to print it big, but it would be really grainy... Oh well!

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  3. I love the idea of the lock. What a great remembrance and a fun thing to get back too!
    http://liveitinerantly.com

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    1. I thought it was kind of lame at first, but it was actually really fun :)

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  4. Aw, farewells are always so bittersweet but it looks like yours was also very beautiful! And I'm so jealous you got to lock your heart to a bridge. That is my dream--one day, one day :)

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    1. Is there a love-lock bridge near where you stay? You could always start your own, although some cities see it as vandalism ;)

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  5. AHHHH! i want to add a lock! what fun!!

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  6. Awww... I want to do that lock tradition!!! Also, what is a mensiversary? Also, goodbyes are so hard! I'm sorry you're both having to go through so many!

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    1. It's a pretty sweet one, and it's all over bridges now... I guess they need to remove the locks eventually though :(
      The mensiversary is just our word for a month-anniversary, seeing as the "anni" part refers to a year it doesn't make sense to say "6 month anniversary" so we changed the prefix ;)

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  7. What a lovely way to commemorate your last weekend in Colonge! The lock was too adorable! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!! :)

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    1. Thanks, it was a pretty sweet ending :)

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  8. Awww, I'm going to look for your lock the next time I go to Cologne!

    Kate | Diaries of an Essex Girl

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  9. aww I love that you got to do the lock deal! So cool!

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    1. Thanks, it was rather romantic and silly and fun :)

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