Art in Düsseldorf: Tomas Saraceno In Orbit

Hey guys! How are you? Long time no see. It is more than one month since I posted something new.

Last month was a busy time for me but I am back and ready to tell you more about our expat adventures here in Düsseldorf.

A couple of weekends ago I had a really special visit. Some old friends came here to celebrate the bachelorette of one of them. I was so excited!! We wanted to prepare a perfect weekend for her and, at the same time, I wanted them to discover this incredible part of Germany.

Therefore I organized a beer taste evening at the Beer Craft Festival in Düsseldorf, a tour around Cologne (the sun shined the whole day :)) and another beer taste afternoon, but this time in Düsseldorf.

However, I was not satisfied enough. I wanted to offer my friends the possibility to enjoy something different, something unique. But what could I do?

Suddenly I realized about something; there is still one thing you can do in Düsseldorf that you can´t do at any other place (and it is not beer related 😉 ).

To carry out my plan I convinced my friends to spend some time in a museum. Although that weather was perfect, I mean, we had more than 20 degrees and a splendid sun shinning above us, they accepted to make some indoor activity.

The exhibition

The museum chosen to experience something unique was the impressive, well known K21 Museum.

One of the main exhibitions of this awesome museum is called In Orbit, an enormous installation suspended at a high of more than 25 meters, created by the argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno.

The physically accessible work is constructed of steel mesh that interlaces three levels. Five air filled spheres are located within the net structure.

Visitors are welcomed to enter the installation, during 10 minutes, and explore it by climbing it from the inside. Those brave enough to venture into this unique piece of art will experience a mix of feelings up there.

If you suffer from vertigo I would sadly not recommend you to enjoy this “floating in the sky” adventure, unless you feel brave enough to walk 25 meters above the floor.

Inside the installation

As previously mentioned, the installation is a construction of steel mesh that interlaces three levels. To access this art work you will be provided with a special suit to prevent personal things falling down to the museum visitors down below. Furthermore, the museum staff will also provide you with a special pair of shoes so that you can walk safety inside the net.

The entrance to the structure is located at the third level in order that the visitor can decide the path he wants to follow during his visit.

Usually I like to start at the third level to come down calmly until the first one. Personally, I think this is the best way to avoid the initial shock of being 25 meters high protected only by some steel cables.

I must admit that, although I have already visited this exhibition more than 3 times, I am still impressed by the height once I reach the first level of the net.

Price, opening hours & more

The museum opening hours are the following:

  • Tuesday to Friday from 10.00 am until 18.00 pm
  • Saturday, Sunday & holiday from 11.00 am until 18.00 pm

The admission price is 12,00€ (9,00€ for children)

Here you can find more information about the museum.

I hope you are brave enough to enjoy this unique experience! 🙂

 

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The Expat Tag

A couple of days ago I discover the blog “Going American“, written by Sandra, a girl from Zurich who has just moved to Boston.

Among her interesting posts I found out one called “The Expat Tag“, where she threw together a few questions, inspired by an expat tag she saw somewhere around, as a way to keep in touch with other bloggers. I found it a great idea, therefore I thought I might also give it a go.

So, Sandra, following you can find my answers:

1. Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I was born in Spain and after living in different countries I ended up in Germany

2. What made you leave your home country?

Actually, I left my country due to curiosity. I wanted to see the world, to discover other countries and to meet new people. Some adventure is good from time to time 😉

What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?

Usually people tend to tell me something in spanish; “hola”, “sangría” or “paella” are the most common words people say.

Another usual thing is to ask me about the weather; “do you miss the sun?”. They get really surprised when I explain them that the sun does not always shine in Spain.

3. What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?

Thanks to all the people I have met since I arrived here I got a fast and easy integration. I attended to german parties, I lived and met german people, I worked with germans… All this non-international atmosphere helped me to learn and to get used to its culture and traditions.

However, it took me a while to get used to german food. People here use tons of sauce when cooking, and, at the beginning, I found it really hard  since I am used to the mediterranean diet.

4. Images, words or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.

expat tag
Discover an amazing country

 

Expat Friends´ Trips
Expat Friends´ Trips

 

New flavors
New flavors

5. Your favorite food or drink item in your new country?

I love their cakes. I think germans really know how to prepare good cakes and to serve them good a huge cup of warm tea or coffee.

Regarding the german drinks, I must confess that I really like the Altbier (the traditional Düsseldorf beer). My favourite one is brewed in the Schumacher Brauerei.

What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?

I think this is a tough question. Actually I am not sure about the asnwer. I think I have always tried to be myself regardless of where I live, however, I know I have exeperience an inner change since I live here but, sadly, I can´t give a particular example…

6. Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?

I know I shouldn´t say this but… Waiting for the traffic light signal to turn green. I have already get used to it, but my first months here were a chaos. I wanted to cross the street and keep walking all the time.

Nowadays the opposite happens to me. Everytime I come back to Spain I am the only person who waits for the signal to turn green… Upsss…

7. What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?

I enjoy discovering it.

Germany is a country full of contrasts. Each region has different food, cakes, beers and even a different way to talk German! I found it really enriching as an expat.


8. Do you think you will ever move home for good?

I don´t know… I do not like to think about it. If one day I feel I have to move again I will do it. If I never get that feeling I will stay here.

The best plan is to have no plan 😉

#expattag

And now what?

Regardless of the economical and financial point of view, the European Union was born to remind us that we can live in peace together. The EU is based in peace and collaboration agreements.

UK joined the EU in 1973 sharing its principles of stability, respect and prosperity. Furthermore, being part of this alliance allowed the UK citizens to work, live and travel freely all around the EU.

Until four days ago.

Four days ago UK decided to leave us, its citizens surprisingly voted for the renowned “Brexit” causing an unprecedented uncertainty on the whole EU.

There were two fact that impressed us the most regarding this decision. On the one hand, Google reported that searches for “What does it mean to leave the EU?” and “What is the EU?” peaked after the referendum. Does it mean that UK citizens did not know the consequences of their votes?    

“Many people are regretting about what they voted. They did not know the real consequences of the Brexit” – N.C Spanish expat in Oxford

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On the other hand, mostly elder people voted for the Brexit while young people voted massively to remain. Does it mean that elder people decided the future of my generation and the upcoming generations without being aware, as we previously saw, of the consequences of this decision? 

“The older generation over 50 voted mostly to leave. Most of them will be dead in time for the next generation to suffer” – G.M. Northern Irish expat in Montpellier 

And now, what’s next? What’s going to happen with Scotland and North Ireland (which massively voted to remain in the EU)?

“We will probably become independent and join our EU neighbors. We’ve just caused a recession for ourselves and upset our European neighbors” – G.W. Scotsman expat in Düsseldorf

And how will this decision affect expats? How will this vote change the way the next generations understand the freedom of movement of workers and citizens in the EU?

“No one was expecting this result in my company. They still do not know what is coming next since most of the employees are foreigners. There are trying to figure out how can they manage this situation” – N.B. Spanish expat in Manchester

One important principle of the EU is freedom of movement for workers and citizens, allowing the social and cultural enrichment of the member countries. How will this decision affect all the UK citizens living abroad? And the foreigners living in the UK? We should not forget that 1.2 million people born in UK live abroad placing the UK fifth among the EU countries for the size of their expats in other EU countries.

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“Many people are thinking about to leave England. They feel there are not welcome here right now. I will stay until they kick me out, then I will move to other european country where I feel welcome” – A.L. Spanish expat in London 

What comes next is still a mystery for all of us. While some governments stand up for a fast and immediate exit others, like the German one, are willing to concede the UK a period of time to fix all its internal emerging problems (Scottish independence?, The establishment of borders in Ireland?).

However, it is clear that something is changing in the EU: People want to feel part of the EU, people are raising their voices, they want to be listened, they want a better Europe. Then, why instead of following arising nationalism ideas do we not stay in the EU to try to change it from the inside?. As EU citizens we have the tools to express ourselves and to generate the institutional change, then let´s do it! Leaving is just the easy way, working from the inside can be tough but it is the right way.

“We can be patriots, why not? But not nationalists. Nationalism brought us many conflicts in the past. We are facing lots of problems as europeans right now, we should stay together” – O.T. Spanish expat in Köln

 

Let´s face the nationalism that tries to destabilize what our ancestors started building 70 years ago and let´s be united in this uncertain period. There are so many challenges we have to face right now as europeans… Let´s work on them together! 

“The worst part is the not economical one, as most of the people think… it is moral! We fought to be free from nationalism, and we are now allowing it to coming back in name of…freedom!” – A.B. Italian expat in Essen

Do you feel European? What is your opinion about the EU? What do you think about the UK decision? Did you vote in the referendum?  Which is your expat point of view regarding everything what is happening right now in Europe?

Share your thoughts with us! We are happy to read your opinion!