March 15, 2011

“Spring Break” in Cologne: Part I

On Friday, March 11th I traveled to Cologne for a weekend trip with my friend, Fionnuala, which was my first official inter-German travel adventure. I've been to various places within Bavaria (thank you Bayern ticket!) but this was my first trip away from Munich to another major German city. Fio's childhood and university friend, Katherine, (who'd I met for Fio's birthday in October) lives and works in Cologne so we made the trip to visit her and see the city through the eyes of a worthy "resident."

Fio and I boarded our plane in Munich around 11:30 and endured an oh-so grueling flight (50 minutes!) to northwest Germany. We landed in Cologne around 12:30 and then found our way from the airport to the city via S-Bahn. Our first stop, Cologne Hauptbahnhof and the famous Dom cathedral to meet Katherine.


The Dom, at first sight, is absolutely breathtaking. We don't have churches nearly this big in Munich so I think I stared at it, slack jawed and in awe, for a good minute or two before I started enjoying the rest of the city around me. The plaza surrounding the Dom was full of tourists and fellow travelers and street entertainers - one in particular, a very strange man dressed as a Dalmation in a dog crate. Weird.


Fio and I laughed at American tourists and some German rap artists filming a music video. Finally Katherine showed up and we began our trek to her apartment, stopping first for McDonald's where we caught her up on the Munich gossip.

After lunch we walked through the shopping district towards the trams where we could catch a ride down to Katherine's apartment. On the way there, we ran into a curious crowd outside of a Douglas perfumerie. Katy Perry's song Ur So Gay was playing in a suspiciously loud loop and half naked pictures of her stood on prominent display. It became clear to us then that Katy Perry was probably in there and so we joined the crowd and discovered that she was! Apparently, she was launching her new fragrance line, Purr. We found out later that she was having a concert in Cologne that evening, too. It was cool to see a fellow California girl and super famous celebrity within the first hour of my traveling weekend!

DSC08309See her, right there in the middle? Haha. I know… it’s a stretch!


We wandered through the city from there - Cologne has an amazing shopping district AND two different Dunkin Donuts shops. We don't even have those in California! We went back to Katherine’s apartment for a bit and then hit the city again and wandered around, taking pictures of some of the scenery and architecture. It’s a gorgeous city! I was very impressed.




This is the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne. It has “Love Locks” up and down the pedestrian walk on the right side which is supposed to symbolize the love of the couples who place their locks there. There are millions of locks and they’re all really cool. I got so many great pictures of them.


We also ventured inside of the Dom and even though I’m not Catholic, I lit a candle for my mom because I was thinking of her – and good thing, too, because I found out the next morning that the tsunami waves from the recent earthquake in Japan had reached all the way to California. It was, of course, nothing of a serious nature but it’s scary to hear things like that when you’re so far away from home. So I’m glad that I thought to light that candle for her, I like to think that it kept her safe (from no real imminent danger, anyway!). Haha.


On Friday night we made fajitas at Katherine’s apartment and got together with her neighbor, a lovely girl from Australia named Caitlin, who came over and did some pre-drinking with us at the apartment. Word to the wise – don’t try to pre-drink with wine. It’s effective but really hard to do. Haha. Gross. We tried to go out on Friday night but met a bit of a lack luster crowd. No one was out in Cologne because Karneval had just wrapped up the Tuesday before. Everyone was resting, no one wanted to go out! So, we called it an early night and went back home, promising ourselves we’d go out on Saturday night. Besides, we had a big event ahead of us for Saturday – a three hour bike ride along the Rhine river! More on that later…

DSC08389Me and my first non-Bavarian beer!


Anonymous said...

what adventure will you get up to next, i do wonder!!!! really makes me wish i was traveling right now, just like you :(

Anonymous said...

wow! i really admire your drive! you're so lucky you dont live in america anymore. i wish i was you!!! Where will you go when you're done in Germany?

Post a Comment