Earlier this summer, we took just such a trip to Cologne, Germany. It's a bit off the radar when one thinks of Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt, but well worth the trip.
Cologne is a charming place. The riverfront location, the big town squares, the old-fashioned housing mixed with modern architecture, the striking Dom cathedral - it all made for a very welcoming stay, just 2+ hours by train from Amsterdam.
Like Kindergarten, but better
And then the beer. Kölsch actually, is the local type of brew. To me it tasted like a standard and perfectly fine beer, but others with more dignified beer tastebuds would do a better job explaining it. Beer aficianados, click here for the full Wikipedia explanation.
Bottle openers hang from the overhead awning outside most convenient stores - a sure sign of a beer-friendly culture.
They all drink it with any type of food, though I opted for pairing with some schnitzel and fries at one occasion, and this item below on another:
Some kind of unholy potato concotion - the name escapes me; the heartburn does not.
Day 2 we moved down to Konigswinter, a Rhine-front hamlet/town (I'll never know the difference, but hamlet sounds somehow more majestic. More on that on the next post...for now, some images from Cologne itself.
The bathroom wall at the excellent art 'otel
The view from the hotel room - in the foreground is a replica of Noah's Ark, to the right is the Chocolate Museum. Very difficult to combine these into one joke. Still working on it.
In Cologne's souvenir shops, memories of the previous wars are ubiquitous. These are placemats, sure to cheer up any meal.