Monday, August 22, 2011
Being in Germany is a cool enough experience in its own right, but being in Germany during GamesCom (the biggest gaming convention in Europe) makes it so much more epic. I was super excited to hear that we would be able to make it there, and doubly so that Mariko was going to put up with me for that long! There really aren't many gamers in the Fulbright group here with us, but we had one other person join us for our excursion!
We opted to use the Schönswochende (Happy weekend) ticket, which is an awesome deal if you have plenty of time to get where you are going. Our train from Marburg left at 7:26 and we were right on time! The next stop, Gießen, we had about an hour to wait for our next connection. So we decided to grab some breakfast. We grabbed some food from the only place open at that time, a small bakery, but before I could start eating my pretzel we saw McDonalds open up. Now I'm not one to usually crave McD's, but the I suddenly really wanted some. Fun little fact about train station McD's in Germany.... no breakfast menu. So at 9 in the morning I had a Double Cheeseburger for breakfast!! And it tasted amazing!
The trip from Gießen to Köln was relatively simple trip, though the 4 minute connection was only slightly worrisome... we had to go from track 3 to track 54. They were almost next to each other... bizarre. We finally got to Köln, with a bunch of other people, and followed the herd to the convention center. And there were definitely a lot of people on there way in.
Once we got in we could tell that the amount of people outside was a small percentage of everyone attending. Knowing that my primary focus was one game, we made our way to the GuildWars2 booth... which was awesome and epic for me! I hopped in line while Mariko and Amie waited off to the side. After about 10-15 mins both they and I decided that it would be better for them if they walked around while I waited ..... I didn't want them to be bored just for me. And that was a good decision, because I was waiting in line for 4 hours. Yes you heard correctly, 4 hours of waiting... that was 6 people in line ahead of me. Yep only 6 people and it took 4 hours. Each demo was 40 mins long. I am both happy that it was that long (since I got to play for so long) but also sad that it took so long to get through such a small line.
The demo itself was awesome. For those of you who are familiar with the GuildWars world, I played a human Elementalist. It was nice to see the changes from GW1 that are implemented in GW2, and there are a lot of changes. Don't worry, I won't bore you all with the details. Mariko was able to tour the rest of the convention while I waited. She was able to see some good booths, and enjoyed a few of them too! They were both done touring everything before I had gotten my turn, so Mariko went to try and get some free swag and Amie went into the proper city of Köln. Mariko was a good sport about waiting for me. Once I was done with the demo, she was able to show me some of the cool booths that she had seen. We walked around the convention until closing, trying (and failing) to get free swag. The people there were crazy and made it really difficult to get anything free. But that was ok with me, I wasn't there for t-shirts and hats... I got my demo done and I was happy.
The train ride back to Marburg was shorter, we had a shorter wait time in Gießen, though was much fuller than we had hoped. A quick dinner in Gießen was nice though, and I got to have the same thing that I had for breakfast! A small cab ride from the train station (we were tired and did not want to walk) and we were back home. Over all it was a long, tiring and hot day.... but it was totally awesome and worth it!