As I mentioned it on my last blogpost, only couple hours after I published the blogpost about Barcelona I was on my way to Düsseldorf. My cousin Katharina who is the same age as me and I had decided to spend some time together. Lucky us, after convincing both of our parents for a while they agreed that we could stay home alone while my aunt and uncle would go on vacation to GB. First they were against it because of “all the things that could happen” but in the end our argument that both of us were abroad for almost one year so we should be fine to be without parents for a few days was stronger.
So on Sunday when I arrived in Düsseldorf my cousin and my uncle picked me up and then we went to the grocery store to get food for the next couple of days. My uncle was like “get everything you want” so we did so. Especially at the sweets and goodies section.
When we arrived at their home we played some badminton with Leo (a friend of my cousin), ate dinner, made (lovely) jokes about Katharina and watched a movie.
At the next day my other cousin Charlotte and my aunt and uncle had left for GB and we finally had the house to ourselves. And of course we used this “freedom” and slept as long as possible. Since the weather was just beautiful we had decided to take the bike and bike to the forest climbing park “Tree2tree”. And that’s basically all you do. High up in the trees there is an obstacle courses and you wear an harness to be safe. Each course has many challenging obstacles between the trees. Those obstacle components include swings, balance beams, ladders, wobbly bridges, tight ropes, and more. But especially the zip lines are so much fun.
There we spent the entire day climbing the courses. We even did the “Extreme Parcour” which obviously was sometimes extremely difficult.
That evening we made some fancy flaky pastry with zucchini, feta cheese, mozzarella, and pesto in it and watched two movies.
On Monday morning my cousin got up early because she wanted to take her driving theory test (which I had encouraged/convinced her to do oups…). After I had woken up and was eating my breakfast she called me and told me that annoyingly she was not able to take it because she has to be 16 ¾ to take it. She turns 17 on July 11th and guess what day she was there? April 10th haha! So she was one day too young to take it and was unnecessarily so stressed out about it. After her call I got ready and met up with Katharina in the city so we could go shopping. As for my part there are only two options when I go shopping. Either I literally find nothing or I’m quite successful. Luckily I was quite successful that day and bought a new and badly needed pair of sneakers, a jacket for the spring, a really cute blouse and a sports bra. While walking to a restaurant to eat lunch we walked along the famous Königsallee also called “Kö”. After we had lunch Katharina was so tired that we decided to go home and take a nap. The nap in the sun was amazing and I noticed that I surprisingly got some tan.
Oh and then we went for a run because I have to run 2670m within 12min in gym class soon. And I just wrote this to let you know that I HATE running. Actually while doing track during my exchange year I was in quite good shape but oh well I’m not in that shape anymore.
For dinner we just had some pasta with sauce and then I unfortunately convinced Katharina to watch a bad movie with me.
At the next day Katharina was finally old enough to take the test and passed it. Again, we met up in the city and walked to the Rheinturm which is a telecommunications tower to see Düsseldorf from above. Usually when I visit cities I always try to get a chance to see it from a bird’s view because I love seeing many of the tourist attractions at once without walking that much and it’s fun to compare how different the cities look. Speaking of birds, since Katharina got up very early we were in the city around 10am and paid the “early bird” price. Even though it was cloudy at the beginning the view was really cool and at the end even the sun came out. I was surprised that Düsseldorf isn’t that big. Or at least it doesn’t look like a population of almost 600k. Although I do climbing and I’m used to heights leaning against the window and looking down 240m was scary. Fun fact: there is a light construction on the tower shaft which tells you the time and this light construction on the Rheinturm is the largest digital clock in the world.
While heading home we found a little red zero plastic figure (It was an advertisement of a bank) and took some “King Kong pictures” with it.
Back home Leo came over again and we played a board game called ‘Zug um Zug’ which I fortunately won because when my cousin and I play together the competitive rivalry is real. For dinner we made “Resteessen” and used most of the things which were in the fridge. After oiling the entire kitchen floor by accident (who would have thought so that it was my fault?!) we ate a very delicious vegetable stir-fry with rice and tomato-mozzarella. Because we decided we need to take a break from cooking and cleaning we watched a series and a movie. After Leo had left it was past midnight and we still had to clean up the table and the kitchen. It all looked like a mess. So we turned on the music and started cleaning. It took us a while doing the dishes I realized while that while you’re on your own you can’t get up saying “oh I have to do my homework” or something. No one is going to clean up for you. Finally a little past 1am we had finished and went upstairs to start packing or suitcases because we knew we would have to get up early in the morning. Yup you can call us smart because by the time we went to bed it was almost 2am in the morning.
A little tired because of the cooking, cleaning and packing work we got up, ate breakfast, and worked off the “what to do before we leave the house”-list. By the time we had to leave I couldn’t find my phone anywhere and we were running a little late. So Katharina called it and my suitcase started to make noises so we knew it must be in there. After we rushed to the train station I opened my suitcases and found my phone between my pyjamas. After Katharina and me said goodbye to each and had decided to do something like that more often she was heading to her grandparents house and I was heading home back to Karlsruhe. Almost the entire train ride the train was alongside the river Rhine and its beautiful landscape with castles, little islands, vineyards, etc. But unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of it because I had to study for my driving theory test.
Back in Karlsruhe it was proven to me once again that Karlsruhe is the sunspot of Germany. Because when I arrived the sun was shining, the sky was clear blue and I had to open my jacket because it was so warm. Oh how I love warm weather and Karlsruhe. After taking the tram and walking home I saw that the tree in our front yard had already started to bloom. Normally it blooms around my birthday at the end of April so I was quite surprised but it doesn’t matter because it just looks so beautiful with its pink blossoms.
At the end I’m just going to summarize the pros and cons about being all on your own/without parents in Düsseldorf and also in general. For me it was very interesting to notice those pros and cons because I haven’t thought of some of them and also didn’t really appreciate some in the past.
- You can do whatever and whenever you want to do it/feel like it
- No one tells you to clean up or go to bed
- For my part because I love to be independent it’s just fun to do and organize things completely on your own and succeed. For example changing trains on my way to Düsseldorf, getting ingredients at the grocery store so you can make dinner, and just pretending to be an adult in general.
- I just said that organizing things is fun but sometimes it’s also not that bad when parents do that part. For example finding the train connections or make sure that you have everything you need. Sometimes as a kid you just follow your parent which makes life pretty easy but not challenging. I mean it’s nice if you don’t have to worry that much about everything working out because you don’t feel that responsible for it. But in the end it’s good to know that you’re able to do those things by yourself without any help and it still works out perfectly fine.
- Definitely that you always have to clean up after yourself
- There is no one to drive you around so you always have to take the public transportation which I have to say is at least pretty commendable compared to the US for example
- You have to pay for everything (lunch, clothes, activities, etc.) with your own money
By the way I added “Fav Pictures” to the menu which I was planning on to do for a longer time now. Take a look at it!:)