21 Hours in Cologne

Trip Start Jan 07, 2011
Trip End Aug 01, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday afternoon I took the slow train to Hannover then the fast train to Cologne to visit my friend Colleen. She is one of the University of Rhode Island students I met back in February and we kept in touch after she moved to Cologne for her internship (she studied at TUB for winter semester).

I got there about 9:30 and Colleen met me at the train station. We saw the cathedral, right outside the station. The cathedral is amazing, although it is technically still not complete. Construction started 700 years ago and it's still not done. They say that the world will end if it's ever finished haha.

We walked from the old city to the "ring" district, full of bars, restaurants and shops, named because it forms the ring around the city where the wall originally ran. First stop was a sushi restaurant. It was one of the ones with a conveyor belt around the sushi bar with different things on colored plates (the colors were prices) and we split a few as a snack. We also had a Koelsch, the typical Cologne beer (only served in 0.2 L glasses, per tradition). We also went to Sausolitos for their 11:00 happy hour. They had different cocktails than the one in Braunschweig and I had a very yummy one. After chilling there for a while and a little window shopping at the closed stores, we took the S-Bahn back to the main station, then another train out to Colleen's house. She rents a room in a house on the north side of the city close to her work. We snuck in so we wouldn't wake up her housemates, made up the air mattress and got ready for bed. We chatted for a while, then slept. 

Thursday morning we got up, Colleen baked some premade bread and we ate it with sunflower butter, jam and juice. Then we packed up my stuff and took the train back into the city. We went to the Roman German Museum. Cologne was at one point the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and most of the artifacts were found somewhere in Cologne. The museum was quite cool. We also went to the Cathedral and saw the inside, of course gorgeous. One of the stain glass windows had broken back in the 1970s and it was replaced with a color block window instead of the biblical scenes that were originally there. I thought it was stupid and that seemed to be the general opinion.

We had lunch by the river, some sort of Turkish meatball or something, I forget the name but it was tasty. The scenery was gorgeous of course too.
We also walked across the famous bridge over the river with the "Locks of Love." The gate between the trains and pedestrian walkway are covered in padlocks with names on them. They are probably a thousand of them on the bridge. I of course wanted one. Colleen took me to a shop at the train station that sells little locks and I bought a little lock and scratched out Sarah <3 Blake with the key and put it on the bridge. 

We went to the gift shop in the basement of the tourism office and I got a Koelsch glass with the 10 slogans of Cologne. They're written in the local dialect which is so different it seems like its own language. 

We summed up the day chilling at an ice cream parlour. It was such a lovely time, even if I was only there for 21 hours. I'm glad I got to make it down there before we both went home :) 
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