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Moving to Cologne in June!

Hello all! I wanted to introduce myself to the Cologne InterNations forum. It is an exciting time for me and my wife, as my offer for a job in Cologne has just been finalized. We will be moving to Cologne from Calgary, Canada at some point in June. We are both looking forward to meeting locals and expats alike, and hope to meet some of you once we arrive. I'm particularly interested in hiking and the outdoors, skiiing (a shame that the alps are a bit far from Cologne), boardgames (my fairly large collection of games is making the trip with us), and beer (I worked for a brewery for nearly five years, but now I am simply a retired professional beer enthusiast!) Are there any groups on the Cologne forum here that meet up regularly for drinks and conversation?

I had one question to pose to the group as we begin preparations for our move. My company is arranging to have a real estate agent show us some flats and assist with signing a lease, but they will only cover viewings of up to six places. I'd like to make sure I can target our search, so that we have a good chance of finding a place we will enjoy in those 6 viewings. My work will be near the Hauptbahnhof, and I am hoping to have about a 30 minute commute one way, via transit, walking, or some combination of the two. Can anybody recommend which areas I should suggest to my estate agent that would be within this 30 minute trip to the HBH, while also having a nice selection of shops, restaurants, and pubs around? I really appreciate any local advice you may have! Thanks everybody!

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