After a wild and tiresome weekend in Paris, I am relieved to report that my trip to Cologne much more tame and much less exhausting! And while we embraced being tourists in Paris, we played it fairly low-key in Cologne, and enjoyed an unconventional trip in Deutschland.
The first unconventional move was our choice in restaurant on Friday night. When we arrived in Cologne and checked into our hostel, we asked the receptionist for a good restaurant recommendation. He told us of a Mexican restaurant just down the street from our hostel that had great cocktails, as he so graciously pointed out. We were hooked. We have been in Brussels for three months now, with no access to Mexican cuisine, and the thought of biting into a delicious burrito made our mouths water. So we set out on a mission to find a little piece of home in Cologne. And boy, it did not disappoint! After a pitcher of lime margaritas and a three-sauce chicken burrito for me, we were six very happy girls.
The following day, we slept in, took our time getting ready and enjoyed the free breakfast buffet at our hostel. Then, we walked around the shopping district of Cologne until we reached the Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral is absolutely stunning with its intricate architecture. Inside, the cathedral is even more beautiful with pitched ceilings, detailed stained-glass windows, and my jaw dropped as the sun poured in from the windows above. Since the trip began in January, I have seen a lot of beautiful cathedrals, but nothing made me more at peace than while I was walking through this cathedral. Of course, while we were there, we went to the top of the highest tower, which is over 530 stairs (more than Notre Dame in Paris!).
I was actually pretty proud of myself because on our way up, everyone was breathing heavily, wheezing, and some were even stepping off to the side to rest, but I just kept going and I felt great! It’s nice to know that my indulgence in Belgian frites and beer has not destroyed my endurance.
After an intense walk up and down the stairs, we worked up an appetite and it was time for lunch. And after our adventurous Mexican dinner last night, we had to go the traditional route and get some German brockwurst! First, we ordered bread with butter and a 13-year-old cheese and it was so delicious! It’s really unfortunate that we do not have easy access to cheese like that at home because we are seriously missing out.
Unfortunately, our lunch ended up weighing us down, and our motivation to see a more sites went out the window. So after lunch, we decided to burn some calories and walk around the shopping district to indulge in some retail therapy.
Dare I say it, but we really enjoyed throwing out the old travel books and just doing Cologne our way. No stress, no blistering feet, just good time in Cologne.
That night, we were looking for a nice place to have dinner, and our receptionist told us to go to this excellent Thai restaurant with “delicious cocktails” (this seemed to be a selling-point for him). So, of course we went, and again, it was amazing! We sampled the cuisine and the cocktails and enjoyed a night on the town in Cologne.
In the morning, we kept it traditional with a fresh pretzel and coffee for breakfast, and a pretzel for the train too! So you see, collegiettes, our trip to Cologne was incredibly relaxed and a great blend of the traditional and unconventional. We did not need to wear ourselves out seeing every popular site in town; we were perfectly content with taking a leisurely trip. Maybe we are just easy to please, but we had a great time and could not have asked for a better Cologne experience.
Athough we loved our relaxation time in Germany, we are about to kick things up into high gear with a trip to London next weekend! Be on the look out for a post about my adventures with the Queen!
Until next time,