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.
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.
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).