From Brussels Jack, Anna and Alexia flew back to California. My flight back home would be out of Rome, but not for almost another dozen days. I hadn’t planned my route to Rome, but I wanted to visit at least Paris and Zurich. Before heading out to Paris though, I decided on a whim to visit the city of Cologne in Germany. It ended up being a convenient side trip. It’s not too far away from Brussels, and it’s on the Thalys high speed rail system, which linked up Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, and Paris.
I arrived at the Cologne train station completely famished. Almost immediately I spotted a hot dog stand, this one specialized in Currywurst. They take a sausage and slice it up and pour curry over it, and serve it with a piece of bread. I’ve never had curry and sausage before, but it was actually quite tasty.
From the station you can see the Cologne Cathedral, which is apparently the most visited landmark in Germany.
Since it was raining, I decided to head to my hotel first so I could drop off my bags. I stayed at der Lowenbrau, a hotel and restaurant, although in my opinion it wasn’t that great as either. The main reason why I stayed there were convenience (it was a short walk to the train station) and price.
My room was very tiny, and the bathroom was a separate room down the hallway, the size of a closet. In fact when I sat on the toilet my feet were in the shower. But it was cheap and comfortable enough.
The food at the restaurant downstairs was pretty decent. I ordered a schweinshaxe, which was a huge hunk of meat on bone, washed down with a huge glass of kolsch, the local beer in Cologne.
Afterwards I sort of just wandered around town. My hotel was near the river. Cologne is apparently a very bike friendly town– despite the rain I saw tons of people biking.
The Romisch-Germainisches Museum was located close to the cathedral. I stopped there for a while to get out of the rain.
My favorite part of this museum was the various floor mosaics.
Since it was raining most of the day I ended up buying a subway pass and spent a lot of the day wandering around on the subway and light rail system. I took the subway to the town gate and stopped briefly for a picture.
Then I wandered around the shopping district. They had some nice camera stores, with a decent amount of used Pentax lenses, which are somewhat hard to find back home. At the camera store I saw a picture of the Cologne Cathedral with a bridge from the river, so I decided that I wanted to try to take that same picture.
But by the time it got dark, I started to get lazy, and so I decided I didn’t wanna cross the river. So instead I took a picture of the Cathedral with the Modern art museum in the foreground. It’s not as cool a picture, but I like it because it reminds me why I like Europe in general. It’s a mix of the old (construction of the Cathedral began in the 1200’s) with the new (the Cologne cathedral is near the very modern looking train station and modern art museum).