Call of Koln

Koln

I’m writing a series of Throwback Thursday travel diaries, and I’m kicking it off with writing memories of my trip to Cologne, Germany.

D and I have been to Germany three times, and this is one of the places that stand out for me. Before going to Cologne, I had no idea what was in store for us. All I knew is that it was a city that was halfway through Brussels and our final destination, Frankfurt. D and I did not intend to sit in a train for a long time, so we chose a Cologne, which was along the way, to spend a night.

When we got off the train at Koln Hauptbanhof, I was immediately astounded at the sight of the two towers of the Cologne Cathedral. And as we exited the train station, there was the full view of the Gothic architecture and its grandiose. It is the seat of the Catholic archbishop of Cologne. Its foundation was started in 1248, and the cathedral was completed in 1880.  Because it is also the second highest building in the city of Cologne, it can be seen all the way through the Old Town. The Cologne Cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996.

Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

After minutes of gaping at the cathedral, D and I searched for somewhere to eat, and stumbled upon a pub called Frueh am Dom, located at Am Hof 12-18, less than half a mile from the central train station. I liked the vibe of the pub, and the food was pretty awesome.

Frueh
Frueh

After lunch we explored the streets lined with shops. Back then, when I used to love shopping, I was overwhelmed with joy at the sight of the shops and managed to buy myself souvenirs. We lost track of time and decided to extend our stay in Koln for another night, so we can get to know the city more. That night, we tried out the beer and dined at a restaurant along the Rhein River.

The next day we got up early, had a quick breakfast at the Hotel Heinzelmannchen and headed out to walk along the Rhein River towards The Old Town, or the Altstadt, which is a picturesque area consisting of colorful buildings. I understand this area was nearly destroyed during World War II, along with majority of the city. Most of what is seen in Altstadt now were rebuilt after the war. We had lunch at Muhlen Kolsch, the pink building next to the yellow building. I had fish, and of course, a pint of beer.

Old Town
The Old Town

For us to be able to extend our stay meant that we would have to skip Koblenz. I don’t know what I missed, but I’m glad we got to stay longer in Koln. We were able to walk around leisurely (compared to if we only had one day), and were able to see the Farina Fragrance Museum as well as the 4711 Eau de Cologne. Being already in Cologne, we got ourselves a set of 4711 Eau de Cologne souvenirs. I’m not sure if the word cologne was derived from this city, or it’s the other way around? Whatever it is, I was in love with the scent of the 4711, such that when I found that D kept a stash of these little bottles, I was in scent heaven! It reminds me of Jo Malone’s Nutmeg and Ginger. I just can’t get enough of it!

Danke furs Lesen!

Cologne
Cologne

 

 

A Photo a Week Challenge: Bridges

bridge

I’m thrilled to have found nancy merrill photography‘s page because I find the weekly photo challenges enticing. It makes me dig up pictures from archives and as I go through them I remember the places we’ve been.

The theme for this week is Bridges. Both of the photos below were taken by our mobile phone cameras.

The first photo is taken from Firenze. It is the Ponte Vecchio bridge (also known as the Old Bridge), over the Arno River. What fascinated me about this bridge is not just its medieval architecture – it also houses several shops, some of which were founded a long time ago.

bridge

When we went to Germany in 2015, I fell in love with the charming city of Wurzburg, in Northern Bavaria. One of the landmarks is the Marienberg Fortress, atop a hill left of the Main River. The photo below is an ancient stone bridge over a moat.

bridge
Wurzburg, Germany

Check out my previous blogs where I posted more photos of bridges in the Philippines:

– Five Faves in Baguio

– Five Fave Things to Do In and Around Baler, Aurora