I’m only exaggerating a little when I say I spent two weeks in a town as small as Muenster, Germany, and barely saw it. I have embarrassingly few pictures of the city, hit exactly zero historic sites – and that’s because for 14 days straight, I was in class from 9 am to 6 pm. When I left my Air BnB in the morning to walk the 20 minutes to the city center, everything was still closed, except for a few cafes and grocery stores. When I headed home in the evening, it was dark, and many shops were closing up. I was so busy I never even saw the main part of my university’s campus.
I saw the St. Paulus-Dom cathedral on the Domplatz, parts of which date to the 14th century, only from the outside. I didn’t go to the Pablo Picasso museum even though it was across the street from my school building.
I did indulge in the wonder that is Rossmann’s and Tchibo and German grocery stores in general. I did enjoy eating at several cafes and restaurants around the city center with newfound friends in my program. I did wake up early to go running along the promenade and Lake Aasee. I did manage to catch the weekly market at Domplatz a couple of times, where I enjoyed sampling all the cheese and various homemade dips and preserves, and ordered a hot plate of noodles for lunch. And me and a few other students became regulars at a Halloween-themed bar called Spooky’s, where we imbibed all of their Pumpernickel Porter beer and ate many a vegetarian pizza. That place is my jam.
My trip started and finished on the Deutsche Bahn – I flew in and out of Amsterdam – and since I’ll probably never be able to afford flying business class, I decided to splurge and book myself some first class train tickets. I did so mainly because I wanted to make sure I had my own seat because I needed to work on my laptop, and I didn’t want to be worried about my luggage the whole time. It was pretty grand.
On this trip, I booked an Air BnB – a small studio apartment about 20 minutes’ walk to the city center. I thought it would be important for me to have my own space at the end of the day to recharge after being around people all day. Plus I had freelance work to keep up with. I ended up socializing nearly every night, more than I ever do in my little introverted life. I guess that’s what happens when you find a group of people who are all passionate about the same niche interests as you. But this time, when I go back in February, I’ve booked a bed in the Münster Sleep Station hostel.