06.15.2012 - 06.17.2012
Okay so Friday talks are finally here. I was to meet Sid, visit Cologne (Köln in German). Lots of things were making me excited. I had a really good train ride with a transfer at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (familiar territory by now) and the Deutsche Bahn ICE Trains are heavenly! They are so nice, I was definitely impressed by them! I walk right out of the Hauptbahnhof, and I see a HUUUGE structure in front of me. I was left speechless for a good 4-5 seconds, I go ahead to see more of it. And then I finally reach a place from where I can see the complete structure. First thing I do is, I take out my camera and click I-don't-know-how-many pictures of it. Yes, I am talking about the world-famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), a UNESCO world-heritage site, constructed between the 12th and the 19th century. It just surprises me how were they able to construct such a monument over the course of 700 years, with such highly detailed architecture (you need to check out pictures on Facebook for this) without the technology that we have today. Sid comes out of the station and has the same feeling.
We then headed towards our hostel which wasn't all that easy to find and when we found it wasn't all that pleasing to the eye, but hey that's what you get for trying to find a cheap place in such a highly visited city when you book 3 days before your stay! We go out for dinner late in the night, and with Cologne being very lively, everything was open till 1-2 AM so we were able to eat a nice Italian dinner and chill around the river. Tired earlier than expected, we returned back to the hostel and got some rest before the busy Saturday!
Saturday morning we rush to the city center and take a tour of the city! There's a lot of things to know, which obviously will take me years to write here. But it's a great city, lots of things to do and to see, and of course we weren't able to get enough of it in just 2 days! We ate lunch at Subway (yay American food) and quickly headed out. We did a trip to the Chocolate Museum, which is a heaven for chocolate lovers. Lindt being their official partners, we got to eat a lot of awesome chocolates. It was a great experience. Now came the big task of climbing the Cathedral tower. I did get tired from it, but it was a lot of fun! And the views of the city from the top were fantastic! I am probably sounding redundant by now because I'm running out of words to describe this structure. I would honestly call it the Taj Mahal of Germany. Apparently, the government doesn't allow construction of buildings of similar height around this cathedral so that it holds its stamp on the city. To me, that's a very smart move and something that other cities should learn in order to preserve the history! We headed off to Dusseldorf after this. I've heard a lot about things to do in Dusseldorf and it being a fun city, but call it a failed planning or bad advice from the local travel center, we didn't find a whole lot to do. However, the walk around the river was fun (although it was kinda chilly) and we got to see some of the old city! We came back to Cologne for the 2nd game of Euro between Czech Republic and Poland and ate dinner at this Thai restaurant while watching it. Went out later on and had fun!
We checked out early in the morning on Sunday and went to the tourist office to see what we could do. From some of the suggestions, we decided to go to Kolumba Museum, a museum of modern arts. This place was fascination. A must-see for art lovers (I like it, but unfortunately not smart enough to get the messages out of it :\ ). We got to see something new that we hadn't seen before and took some great pictures! After this, we went for lunch and called went back to the train station to catch our respective trains and end the ultra-amazing weekend, knowing that we're gonna meet again in 4 days in Rome (YEAHHHHHH!). I got back at 9 pm in Weimar but awesome Northern Europe was still bright so I got back home quickly on a bus. The last of the Germany games (v. Denmark) was on and of course we won it! God that was one amazing weekend!