Thursday, July 29, 2010

Traveler Spotlight

Intern Lauraly chats with Karin at the Ice Cream Social:

Where are you from, Karin?
I'm from Germany.

Are you a student there?
Yes. I'm studying Human Biology at the university in Marburg.

What an interesting subject! What inspired you to study Human Biology?
Biology was actually a big fear of mine because it is such a mysterious and challenging topic, but I think that is part of what inspired me to learn more about it.

And what brings you to Chicago?
I am on my way to visiting a friend in Nebraska who went to my university in Germany, and I decided to stop in Chicago on the way. I know that Nebraska isn't really a tourist destination, but I'm really looking forward to seeing my friend, so I don't care where it is.

Will you be visiting any other states while you're in the US?
I wish that I had time to see more. I think we might go to Minnesota or Missouri, but I want to see more major American cities. It's my first time in the US, so hopefully I'll be able to come back soon and see everything I will miss this time.

How long have you been here in Chicago?
I have been here for two days.

Since Chicago is the first American city that you have experienced, is there anything striking about what you have seen here so far?
The population here is huge! I'm not really used to there being so many people in such a small area of land. It's a little crowded compared to what I'm used to, but it's definitely interesting to people-watch here. The city also seems so symmetric and carefully planned. I noticed that because I have been spending a lot of my time looking at maps. Most of all, I think that I'm shocked by the diversity of the architectural design. Where I am from, most of the buildings all conform to a specific style and height, but here, every building calls attention to itself. There is some amazing architecture here.

That's one of my favorite things about Chicago as well. So, is there one thing that you are looking forward to doing most while you're in the US?
I have always wanted to go to a baseball game, so I think that I'm going to do that on Saturday.
Fun! Cubs or Sox?
I want to see Wrigley Field, but my American friend is a Sox fan, so I think we'll probably go to a Sox game.
You can always visit Wrigley Field another daty. It will be exciting to see a baseball game for the first time no matter which team you choose.

Do you have any suggestions for fellow travelers?
I have been spending so much time looking at maps and planning (points to her large collection of pamphelets spread out all over the table), but the best experience I have had in Chicago is when I decided to put away my map and just walking around the city. I just started walking and went wherever I felt like going. I wound up seeing so much more than if I had been looking at a map the whole time. Besides, there is so much to see in this city that, no matter where you go, you are going to find something interesting to see or do.

I completely agree. So what are the plans for today?
Well I spent most of the day yesterday at the beach because it was so hot, so I think that today I want to see more of the city. I think I'm going to the Sears Tower because I love seeing the city skyline and the view is probably amazing.

You should definitely visit one of the tower observatories before you leave. The Hancock building has a great view too. If you want to see some other really great views of the skyline, you should pick up an Itinerary from the hostel bulletin board. There is a guide that lists the best free views of the Chicago skyline! Enjoy!

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