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Halfway through my stay

18/05/2012 - 12:53-0 Comments by | ireland flag

In this post I wanted to update you all on my stay and how I’m coping with living in Germany.

At this stage I’ve been living in Bonn for about three and a half months.  I arrived in late January while it was still very cold. Now the sun is out and the weather is getting a lot better! And because of this there are more thing to do and enjoy here.

Rhine in Flames.

One event that benefited greatly from the good weather was the Rhine in Flames or Rhein in Flammen. This takes place throughout the summer along the Rhine in different cities. Lucky for me it starts in Bonn during the first week of May. Around 60 lit-up boats sail along the Rhine from Linz to Bonn, where they stop to watch a big fireworks display. I was lucky to find a spot right in front of the fireworks show, overlooking the Rhine. The show lasted about 20 minutes and then the boats sailed back down the Rhine. You could buy tickets to go along the cruise and the boats were like nightclubs on water!  It seems that Bonn is full of unique events throughout the year.

A 20 minutes fireworks display takes place over the Rhine.

Another holiday in Germany recently was Ascension Day. However it’s Father’s Day / Maennertag on this day as well. Father’s Day is celebrated all over the world on different days of the year while Maennertag is a Germany tradition. Maennertag translates as “Men’s Day” and on this day men (friends or relatives) go on trips together without any women! Often these are outdoor activities and involve a lot of beer! I didnt see that many groups of men walking around Bonn but I guess this was because they had all left to go somewhere else on their day off. I really like learning about all these unusual German traditions and the more I learn, the more I find the German people a lot more interesting.

The view from the UN tower. Click to see full size.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to visit the UN Campus. The heart of this campus it the UN Tower or Langer Eugen as it is known. It is the second tallest building in Bonn, the Deutsche Post tower is the tallest. I knew a few interns who worked in the UN and they were able to arrange a visit for me to visit the UN. It was an interesting experience to learn about all the different branches of the UN and how they work. Its very different from my internship! The visit also allowed me to see Bonn from a vantage point. I could see for miles in every direction and could almost see Cologne.

The UN tower on the left with Deutsche Post tower on the right.

One thing that unfortunately had improved as much as I would like is my German skills. I have learned some German here and I don’t feel so overwhelmed now about not being able to speak German well. I can say the basics and I know enough to get by with everyday life. Due to the amount of time I spend working, I don’t have time to take a language course so I’m learning at a much slower pace. Hopefully by the time I leave Germany I will be able to have a conversation in German!

So that just a quick recap on how I’m doing in Germany. I’ve enjoyed the first few months here and meet some cool people. I’m looking forward to the summer and relaxing on the Rhine in the sunshine (hopefully!).

Tags: English Blog Post, German Language, Holidays & Events, Leisure Time

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