Our very first field trip!!!

Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
Trip End May 08, 2008

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday brought a day filled with fun and "knowledge" since it was our very first field trip as MCTS 2008. This was the first time that our entire group traveled together, so it brought excitment to all from the beginning! The MCTS program promises one field trip per block, so our first field trip happened at the end of block one. We have two more days of class and then the first block is over! I cannot believe how fast time is flying!!!!

We took our first field trip to Cologne, Germany, and I was very excited for this because I haven't been to Germany yet. The bus left campus at 8:15, and it was about an hour bus ride to Cologne. I wanted to stay awake and check out the country side....but it was too tempting to take a snoozer...so I fell asleep until we arrived in Cologne. The plus side of this situation is that it literally took a snap of the fingers and we were in Cologne :) When we arrived, Dr. Schorn (the director of the program) handed us maps and told us to do as we please for the entire day. The only rule we had was that if we wanted to get back on the bus to go back home...we better not spend the entire day in the pub! The purpose of the field trip is so that the teachers can get their students in a surrounding that is unfamilar to them...because I guess Maastricht has become familiar to us :)...and see how others interact. Since I am taking Intercultural Communications this block, our job as students was to place ourselves in a situation, and see how groups around us were interacting. I guess this is called ethongraphic research...but to me it seems just like hanging out :)

The first place we visited in Cologne, was the Cologne cathedral. This cathedral took some 600 years to build, and was one of the only things that stayed standing when Cologne was a victim of the attacks of World War II. This cathedral is enormous....and pictures would never do it any justice! You had to stand at least two blocks away from the cathedral to actutally get a full shot of it! We went inside and looked around the church for awhile, and then somebody told us we could climb to the top of the towers. You know what this means....more stairs! There is a very dangerous pattern that we have developed in our climbing adventures, and that is increasing the amount of stairs we climb with each landmark. Number of stairs we climbed in the Cologne Cathedral...509...for a total of climbing 475 feet! For this climb we didn't have our backpacks on as we did in Brugge, but we added another 150 steps! Like always though...the view made the trek up the steps completely worth it! Cologne is a beatiful city not only from the ground, but also from in the air! After getting our fair share of fresh air....because I personally think the air is fresher the higher you go (or maybe that's just me getting mental justification out of climbing 500 steps!)...we made our way back down....and as been before, the descent was much easier then the ascent! We decided after doing sooooo well on the stairs we deserved a treat so we headed to the Lindt Chocolate factory!

I didn't realize the Lindt Chocolate Factory was located in Cologne, but man was I excited when I realized we were going for a visit. When we arrived, we went through the museum portion first, which told us where chocolate come from and how it was made, then we made our way upstairs. Upstairs, they had the actual machines that made the chocolate, and they were in process! It was cool to see how all of the chocolate making was done, and it smelt sooooo good! After wandering through the museum for a while, we decided it was time to buy chocolate of our own so we headed to to the Lindt Chocolate store! I bought a couple of the Lindt truffles...and like everything else...they really do taste better at the Lindt factory. Kelsey and I then wandered over to the restaurant portion of the museum for a piece of Lindt cheesecake. It was strawberry cheesecake, and didn't have any chocolate in it...but still tasted absolutely amazing! After getting our fix of chocolate for the day...we went on to our next museum. We were supposed to visit museum's all day since it was technically a "school-sponsored" field trip...so we decided to abide by some of the rules :)

The next museam we visited was another impressionist museum...similar to the one we visited in Paris. Kelsey has a tendencey of getting yelled at by workers in the establishment that we are visited (think the tourism man in the tourism office from Paris) and this held true at this museum! She and I were looking at a painting and she was pointing someting out to me, and the security guard wasn't having this. He started yelling at her in German...and after this incident we pretty much wanted to leave! We went up to the next floor to avoid the guard...and checked out some of the paintings up there. The one thing I have noticed about impressionist work, is that a lot of it has to do with the time when Jesus was alive. A lot of painters portrayed Jesus's life through their painting...especially his cruicifixtion. Most of these painting were pretty gruesome...and it is a real reality check on how much he did so that our sins could be forgiven. I didn't know how to react on some of the painting...because I knew I should be looking at them, and appreciating them...but most of them were gruesome and I just wanted to turn my head. Even though I am not a big fan of the impressionist work, it sure makes me appreciate what I have in my life, and how lucky I truely am to have all of you to share it with!

After the second museum, we only had about an hour left until the bus left, so we walked down to the walking quarter...and walked :) After seeing the walking quarter, we decided that we deserved at least one beer at the pub for a days hard work of walking...so we went to a pub near the bus station, and had ourselves a German brewski. It was nice to just unwind, and hang out with some of my classmates. After our delicious German beer...it was time to load the bus and head home.

Cologne was a very fun experience, and probably one of the coolest field trips I have been on. I learned many new things on this field trip...and got my fix of Germany for this European vacation! When we arrived back to the dorms...Kels and I got to cross off one more country on our list and we were pretty excited about that! Our trip got the best of us, so when we got home we went down to supper, enjoyed each others company some more, and then went upstairs to relax. It was a great day...a great field trip...and I can only hope that the other two field trips are just as good!

I count my blessing everyday that I was given this opportunity to experience another culture and the lifestyles here, and know I am sooo blessed! I mean come on...who can say that they went on a day trip to Germany...not many people :)
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krthom on

Chocolate fix
What an exciting field trip! You're right, can't do anything like that in a day around here. I hope you have Kelsey's back, sounds like she's a magnet for the grumpy guards. Keep having fun, Roberta

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