An Afternoon Stroll in Cologne

As I previously mentioned, on Sunday I flew into Germany for a couple of weeks of work.  Well, one of the benefits of working for a tiny little company is that I generally get to book my own travel.  And, our travel policies tend to be pretty lenient.  I scored 30,000 frequent flier miles with United (more than enough to fly for free on their cheaper domestic flights) and got to decide when I left Denver, and when I arrived in Germany.  With such freedom, I intentionally booked a flight that arrived in Frankfurt at 9:00 in the AM knowing I wouldn’t have to work until the next day.  It’s about a two and half hour drive to my host city, so that left me an entire afternoon to play tourist without having to spend a penny of my own money, and without having to significantly screw up my own schedule.
So…  I spent the afternoon strolling around Cologne (ok, so out here they spell it Koln, so I’m gonna go ahead and do that too…).  Koln is home to the aforementioned Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), an absolutely riveting cathedral that was actually the tallest man-made structure in the world for a few years upon its completion in the early 19th century.  Apparently it cost better than the current equivalent of $1 billion and took better than six centuries to construct, and it shows (I learned that from the wikipedia article I just shared).  And frankly, I don’t care how secular you might be, if you can walk through this place without contemplating the accomplishments of humankind, and our origins, then you clearly have a heart made of stone.  I’m not exactly a hey-let’s-check-out-the-two-hundred-year-old-cathedral kind of guy, but in this case, I’ll make an incredibly notable exception.  I challenge anyone to stroll the cavities of this place and not be moved.  Anywho, Koln is also a city known for its shopping, night life, symphony and its proximity to the Rhine River which runs right through town.  Having been to all of three cities of any substance in Europe (the others being Paris and Frankfurt), I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
I also recently got a pretty sweet new camera (well, new to me anyway).  It cost me way, way too much, but I bought it for just such an ocasion.  So I put it to good use and took a crapload of pictures during my brief visit.  And, as such, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.  Sorry every English professor I ever had.

Dude, German's love them some rollerblading. Love it. Rollerbladers are everywhere. Must not carry the same stigma as it does here in the states. Apparently fanny packs don't either...

The Rhine River. Runs right through town. These bridges get lit up like you wouldn't believe at night...

That same bridge over the Rhine. Really romantic place. So the bridge is for their train system, and both sides of the bridge are lined with a chain link fence. These fences are completely filled with these padlocks, most of which are engraved with lover's sentiments to one another. Pretty touching. Also, kinda poignant to be here alone.

One of these padlocks.

Honestly, don't know what this is, but it's pretty...

The Kolner Dom and a fire-juggling street performer in the foreground. Interestingly, having heard the dude's spiel, he was was quite clearly American...

Their symphony hall. Kind of an interesting little story here. I had to ask one of my German buddies why no one walks on the plaza in front of this beautiful building. Apparently, when the architect designed the hall, he put the musician's pit directly under the plaza, and neglected to take the noise pollution from pedestrian traffic into account when considering the accoustics of the auditorium. I guess it gets so bad they post cops around the plaza to keep the numerous passers-by off during a performance, which must have been going on at the time.

There she be. The Kolner Dom.

Told ya it was impressive.

Ok, so I just thought this billboard across the street was pretty funny.

Another street performer; a human statue (in case you thought it was a mime). Dude was good too. Changed poses every time someone put a coin in his hat. I certainly made good use of my 10-cent pieces.

Ok, time for the good stuff. I'd been to Koln once before, but it was late in the evening, so I didn't get a chance to go inside the cathedral. This time I did.

Ok, so guy who designed this gets a feather in his cap. Two feet inside the door I was staring at the heavens, as was everyone else.

The stained glass windows, which were countless, were ludicrously intricate. I suppose the whole structure is, so I shouldn't have been surprised, but still, unreal.

Them are some pretty impressive pipes.

I can't even imagine the time it took to construct all these windows. They completely line the two longer sides of the building.

Prayer candles inside the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

The plaza just outside...

And, last but not least, kids smoking a doober on the steps outside. I enjoy the dichotomy. And goes to show, people are people wherever you go.

Well, enough fun playing tourist and telling you all about it.  Turns out I have to work while I’m out here, and this guy has to be back in the power plant bright and early tomorrow morn.  Until next time.
-B. Littleton


Filed under The Road, The Sights

3 responses to “An Afternoon Stroll in Cologne

  1. Marilyn

    Amazing photos. In addition to the Kolner Dom (of course), I liked that you included the bridge with the locks, street performers, etc. I can really imagine what it would be like to spend a few hours in Koln.

  2. Amolia

    Hope I get to go here one day! Glad you got to spend a little time being tourist 🙂 I want to see a picture of you eating a giant bratwurst next time though

  3. Pingback: A Lazy Day in Dusseldorf | Remarkably Unremarkable

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