Getting to know one’s city

«Well, you know. Fine Art. It’s just men paintin’ pictures of young wimmin in the nudd. The altogether,» explained Colon the connoisseur. «The caretaker told me. Some of them don’t even have any paint on their brushes, you know. Shameful.»
There must be a million stories in the naked city, thought Vimes. So why do I always have to listen to ones like these?
«Guards! Guards!» by Terry Pratchett

There is a funny difference when visiting a city as a tourist vs. moving to it. As a tourist, I find the best attractions of the city that appeal to me and try to visit them as soon as possible. After all, I am only there for a short time. As a new citizen of that city, I postpone it. After all, I am there for a long time. But the funny thing is, I often do not visit them at all.

So I recently started to get to know the city I am living in as a tourist. Partly on my own, just walking to interesting looking spaces on the map and taking the scenic route.

And partly using guided tours. And yeah, taking part in guided tours reminded me of doing a first aid course out of interest. All others were there because they wanted to get their drivers license or were in danger of losing it. Well, not as worse, given that first aid courses have dropped their standards and there were actually other citizens at the city tour as well, although usually with visitors from out-of-town.

Anyway. It’s fun to get a guided tour, you see the city in a different way. Like some narrow streets:

Or from a church roof:

Speaking of the roof, it’s an interesting construction. Not sure that would give the building another century, perhaps not even a decade. Shame, interesting building, thick walls, but overall, got a bad feeling about it.

And speaking of time, it’s also interesting to learn about the city’s history. To know where it came from and how we have changed. I mean, we went from this:

to needing a certificate to use a step-ladder, which is covered with warning stickers. I think we went a bit too far in the «safe» direction.

Oh, and depending on the tour, there are also opportunities to try out the local food. Or the food offered in the city, here a mixture of potato, cheese and, hmmm, some creme (not something I usually eat, so no idea what it was, only that it tasted very well).

(And yup, would have looked better if the spoon would be sticking out away from the camera, sigh.)

Overall, I found the excursions and guided tours highly stimulating and well worth the time on a weekend.

So, why pay a lot to leave the city when you can explore it like a tourist?