As part of my europe solo endeavour, i took a midnight bus from Paris to Cologne. Arriving around 7am in a carpark wildly barren (to me). I somehow managed to navigate myself to a place with free toilet ( 9kg handcarry FTW) where I freshened up and to the Main Metro station. I left my bag in the awesome Leave Luggage machine for 7 euro (24 hr).
The trip had been planned in such a whirlwind and with all the Cosfest rush, I'm embarressed to say I reached Cologne with absolutely no idea what to do. However, thanks to the abundant free wifi hotspots , I managed to find a 1 day walking itinerary online at myvacationitineraries.com
I bought a cup of coffee from the vending machine (50 cents euro) and leisurely ate my cakes (one from the airplane, another from my friend in Paris) while I googled itinerary and quench my social media thirst.
One thing I did noticed while I was in the train station however, was the amount of people asking for money. The first guy asked for 19 cents and then said he actually needed 22 cents to get a train ticket back. Adding that someone stole his money bag last night. I totally bought his story and gave him 22 cents. But I saw him asking more people for money and buying a drink from the vending machine later on so I don't know if I should have given him money.
Dumped my main luggage in the leave baggage locker and off I go!
I've read online that the Dom is just beside the train station and it sure enough is! Just look out for signs that writes "Dom".
The Dom is amazing. I was at the Notre Dame just yesterday but the Dom totally blew me away with the sheer magnitude of it!
Entrance is free but to climb the tower, it cost 4 euros. The climb up was not comfortable but still pretty worth it.
The interior of Dom was so much bigger than I imagined with ceilings all the way up and glorious stained glass at every window. It’s a pity my camera couldn’t capture the glamour!
The high arches were so beautiful! Such labours of love!
Bought a sandwich from Merzenich as recommended by the itinerary and sat in the bench nearby to enjoy the free music and my sandwich.
Merzenich Bakery, everything looked so good!
After satisfying my hunger, I surmounted the Dom Tower.
After the climb, I lingered in the Tourist Information shop and leeched free wifi again xD
After my brief stop, I made my way to Rathaus House. A wedding seemed to be happening and many fancily dressed people were happily gathered around.
I roamed the streets a little, marvelled at the beautiful houses and snapped pictures along the way.
I stumbled upon Saint Martin Cathedral along the way and swirled in.
While roaming the tight old houses nearby, I experienced my first european scam. I was walking and minding my own business when I turned at the corner and met this big lady. The first thing she did was hand me a stalk of rose and I instinctively took it. Then she asked me for 1 Euro (or was it 2?) . I refused and signalled for her to take the rose back but she wasn't stepping down either and plead that she needed money for her baby. She complimented the act by rubbing her tummy in the process. Rather than a baby, i think that bump looked more like someone had too much to eat. No longer feel the need to fight this battle anymore, I defeatedly handed her 1 Euro and left.
I roamed the streets more and then went to the Lindt chocolate musuem because I was just too bored. Can’t remember how much I paid but at least they gave me a little chocolate :D
I spent a long time inside the Lindt Museum learning about the history of chocolate and the process of making them. While it was fairly enjoyable I can’t say its anything worth flying over for.
Free chocolate dipped wafers from their prized gold cocoa chocolate fountain. Probably my favourite display because a staff was giving out free chocolate dipped wafers here :P
There was a tropical garden in the middle of the musuem , set up exactly like the hot humid place Cocoa Trees grow in.
Some of the tea sets , and old chocolate advertisement posters on display in the museum, The retro sweet shop and chocolate vending machines were so pretty.
The last leg of my day in Cologne was spent on the Hohenzollern Bridge, admiring the love lockets under the blazing sun and feeling thankful I brought a big sun hat along.
Hohenzollern Bridge is my europe introduction to Love Lockets. While not unheard of in Asia, europeans really take it to an entire level. Pretty much every reputable bridge or fence in europe is 'decorated' with these.
So much that I think if I rub my back against the walls of them I’d get a massage done 8D.
Even more amazing is how tightly clustered they are. Any new couples wanting a Locket space here needs to be creative.
Efficient use of every space!
With so much lockets around, I reckon it’d be a quiz just trying to find yours amidst the stack. I can already imagine the hilarity when an Ex-girlfriend or Ex-Boyfriend decides to cut all ties after the breakup, goes to the bridge with the key and ends up opening 2938 pink heart lockets without success.
Okay, sorry. Not funny =X
So obvious some people thought of ways to avoid that by buying a unique and outstanding locket so it’s easy to distinguish. Like these.
Maybe this couple met on a boat.
Maybe this couple met while fishing.
Maybe this couple met while…………………… ………………………………………………………
…………...seriously, CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT IS THIS?!! Tell me I’m not the only one reminded of something … erm, biological.
And it’s not just the design we’re after here, the size matters too. After all, nothing screams more “Hey I’m here!” than a locket 10 times bigger than all the lockets around it.
Or a Heart shaped plaque that has their initials carved in and 20 times bigger than everyone around it. I was more amused than I ought to be 8D
Saw this pretty fountain at the back of the Dom.
I proceed to have the worse asian fried noodles I’ve ever had in my life ( I felt like crying) and then boarded an overnight train to Prague from the Cologne Main Train Station. I didn’t managed to buy a sleeper ticket so I was sitting on a hard seat with no air condition and no power socket the whole night.
While 10 hours was not very long, I felt it was more than enough to explore the Cologne city area and wouldn’t recommend anyone spending more time here than that. Hope you guys enjoyed my little entry , sorry for the photo spam. I tend to go trigger happy when I’m travelling haha.