Cologne or Koln, is a well known tourist destination in Germany. And its also very very close to the Dutch border, so the hubby and me, the happy campers that we are, hopped onto a train and winged it to Koln for a two day weekend.
Staying with Fi, a good friend, in her rented heritage apartment, I felt like I had landed right in a Grimm fairytale. While the bedrooms walls were done up in either accent blue or green leaf-patterned wallpaper, the ceiling in the master bedroom had a kitschy-blingy chandelier. Looking outside the ceiling-to-waist level windows, you could just about imagine a horse-drawn-carriage clip-clopping on the cobbled street outside. Talk about time travel….
Here’s a street in the older area of Koln, just off the bank of the river Rhine. Now, can’t you hear that horse-drawn carriage?
The Koln – Dom, the largest Gothic-style church in Europe (some say the largest church in Europe, gothic or otherwise)
But I think Koln is all about surprises, it takes you in with the sober, gothic architecture, some ruins which were part remnants of the medieval age, then just as you get awed by the haunting beauty of the place it stuns you with the cheery people all around, their goofy nature, the noisy bars and of course, the beer-swinging. Doesn’t take much to see that public bachelor parties celebrations are quite the rage!
We walked right into this pottery market in the street, on the way to the central part of town. It had the most charming displays.
At the Mediapark, that houses the TV tower and more buildings, a rare spot of sun peeked out for sometime, and we were greeted with a view of the sparkling lake and people boating.
At the Hohenzollern-bridge near the Koln Dom cathedral, these love padlocks were all over the bridge wiring. These locks were quite the nuisance to the authorities apparently some years ago, as can be imagined though they are quite endearing to a tourist like me.
Cologne can be best enjoyed in the summer, although the rains tend to play truant, so do as the Europeans do, and my friend Fi, and keep track of weather predictions before planning a trip this side of the world.