This week we had a special little trip to Cologne, better known for Germans under the name Köln. So what brought us down to Middle Germany, the babaric part south of the river Elbe? My wife had some business to attend there so we decided to make a quick three-day holiday in Cologne. As my mother’s birthday was at the same time we invited my parents to come with us (of course we paid everything ). Somehow luck was on our side and I was able to get a good deal for two rooms and two nights at the Hyatt, let’s just say the breakfast is really good at least for people like me and not so special for people like my Chinese wife…
First some background info about Cologne. It is the fourth biggest city in Germany with a bit over 1 million inhabitants. The city has many famous landmarks with the Cologne Cathedral being probably the most well-known. During the Second World War 95% of the city was destroyed and the population had been reduced by over 90%, no wonder it was even called “world’s greatest heap of rubble”. Even though Cologne had been reduced to basically nothing it was rebuild again with reconstruction work lasting until the 1990s. You can check out pictures of how the city looked like after the war on any search engine and it is really amazing how people were able to rebuild it all again.
Our journey started on Tuesday morning but we wouldn’t arrive in Cologne until late afternoon due to terrible weather and several traffic jams. Under normal conditions the drive would usually take roughly five hours but in our case it took more than seven hours, no joy…really. Especially Nathan was a bit odd during that trip as he did not fall asleep at all and was full of energy until the late evening hours. Our hotel was located in a just perfect location as it is just few minutes away by walking from the city center. All you have to do is cross the Hohenzollern Bridge and you are standing right in front of the Cologne Cathedral. The Hohenzollern Bridge itself is one of the landmarks of Cologne and also famous for the thousands of love padlocks placed on the fence between the footpath and the railway lines.
The second day my wife had to be at another hotel already at six AM for her appointment and as it was still dark I walked her there. On my way back to our hotel I took a route through the still empty city center and could take some nice pictures. Later that day we all went once again to the city center and walked by few famous landmarks, the main shopping street and went into the Cologne Cathedral. The Cathedral is just huge, walking around the insides reminded me on the Halls of Moria from Lord of the Rings due to the giant pillars. Visitors can also climb a spiral staircase to a viewing platform at 98m above the ground. I don’t know if it is possible for visitors to climb also the towers which reach up to 157m above ground. Even though we had a wonderful and very filling breakfast we were getting hungry at some point and went to eat at Oma’s Küche (Grandmother’s Kitchen) which is known for its Schnitzel dishes. Though it is very simple food it is still very delicious and more than just filling as the portions are pretty big. In the evening my wife and I went to the Spring Funfair just few minutes away from the hotel. Perhaps you remember one of my blog posts about the funfair at my hometown and how disappointing is was for me to see how small it had become. Well, the funfair in Cologne was so full that it was sometimes impossible to move around. It seems that at least in bigger cities the funfairs are still well visited.
On our last day we left Cologne right after breakfast as we were afraid to be stucked in multiple traffic jams again but to our surprise nothing major happened and we arrived in the afternoon. All in all it was a very nice trip and I recommend going to Cologne in case you are for some time in Germany. We had planned to visit some more places in Cologne such as the Chocolate Museum and other landmarks around the city but the weather was first of all not the best during those days and we just had too little time.
Have you been to Cologne before?
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