Last weekend, as you know, I went to Cologne, Germany (and yes, I did actually buy some cologne while I was there). This time, unlike my trip to Brussels, I got on the right train on the first try like a normal person. I even took a couple pictures of trains there, which are available on request for the one person who might be interested.
The train station, Köln Hauptbahnhof, was right by the cathedral, or Dom. It's known for being huge and Gothic, it's Germany's most visited landmark, and it happened to be right by my hotel.
All the details on it were pretty amazing. And impossible to really capture in a photo.
On one side of the Dom is this kind of ugly concrete square, which was overrun with teenage boys doing tricks on their skateboards and bikes. Or maybe I should say it was overrun with teenage boys falling off their skateboards and bikes.
I met up with my friend from Baylor, Henry, and his German friend, Joey (Johannes) who lives in Cologne. Henry's doing the same master's program as me and is currently living in Paris (I'm trying not to be totally jealous). It was really nice to have someone to do things with, starting with the inside of the Dom. It's crazy how different it seems than the outside. It's much cleaner and the stained glass all over gives it a whole different spirit.
Henry and I went up to the observation deck...533 stairs up. I probably should've stretched first. Or trained. Somewhere along the way is this bell, so tourists can pretend they're really interested in it and take a little break from the climb.
The halls around it were a little tight. Though I guess anyone who climbs those stairs everyday would have no problem fitting through them.
(photo stolen from Henry)
We did eventually make it to the top, but we were caged in, so the view wasn't as good as it could've been. And people have scribbled their names everywhere up there. You can see it to our left and right.
(another photo taken from Henry, but the real photo credit goes to some random German guy)
The Dom is right by the Rhine, which might've been a nice place to hang out if it wasn't such crummy weather. I really should've come to Europe in the spring instead.
At the right, you'll see a couple of kids making out. Europeans make out like crazy in public. They really have no shame. I probably could've walked up to this couple and taken some close-up shots and they wouldn't have stopped. They may even have asked me to join.
On the left, you probably can't see the sign that says rundfahrten. Fahrt, or something with that root, means something about driving, according to Joey, but I still couldn't see ausfahrt on a sign without giggling like an 11 year old.
For dinner, we went to a brewhouse for some real German food. I let Joey order for me, so he got me krustenbraten and sauerkraut. Krustenbraten is pork with a crispy skin. It was served with beer sauce and potatoes. It was so much food I had to let the boys finish it for me. But I finished my Kölsch alone (that's Cologne's special beer).
(another of Henry's photos)
We went to Joey's for a while (where we watched German Idol) and another German guy met us there. We hung out for a while, had some Kinder eggs, and then I headed back to my hotel. It was nice that it happened to be by the biggest landmark. And extra nice that the landmark looks like this at night: