Monday, October 21, 2013

Hello Again, Cologne!

I first visited Cologne in March 2007 as part of my month-long backpacking trip around Europe. I stayed only for a day as I was hopping from one train to the next, exploring Germany for almost two weeks (you may read more about that trip here).

So I was happy when I saw in our seminar schedule that our first field trip will be to Cologne.


It was a quick ride. Within an hour, we were already in Cologne. Our first stop was at the Rathaus or their City Hall where Ralph Sterck, leader of the FDP of the Cologne city council, and another member of an advocacy group shared their experience, the state of the LGBT in Cologne and the efforts that are being done in promoting and respecting the rights of sexual minorities in the city.


Our speakers with Dr. Stefan Melnik.

Cologne 2
(1) Anton and Juan of Indonesia fooling around as they carried these suitcases filled with headsets.  
(2) A very important gadget for us whenever we are lost in translation. (3) Our interpreter in Cologne.

After the talk, the whole afternoon was at our disposal.

Funny how after six years, and with all the changes, I still remember my way in Cologne.

So before I joined my co-participants in exploring Cologne, I headed off to the Hauptbahnof to get tickets for my trips out of Cologne. Once I was done, I started to search for my Filipino friends. Something went wrong with the roaming service of my phone and I couldn't contact them. I trusted my instinct and took the route that first-timers would take. And hoping against hope that they did not take the river cruise.

Cologne 4
The train station in Cologne.
And the trains of are one of, if not the best, in the world.

First stop of my search. The Köln Cathedral just next to the main train station. I know I am in Cologne or somewhere near it when I see this all-too familiar twin spires.

Cologne 3
Kölner Dom

A graveyard in the church grounds.
A view of the Cologne cathedral from the River Rhine side.
Where is the salmon-colored statue of David that was conspicuously placed on this side of the church? 

Last time I saw it was in 2007.

Where shall I go next?

Behind the cathedral, one can find the river Rhine, the Hohenzollern Bridge and the road that leads to the Old Town and the Chocolate Museum.

This rock garden found between the cathedral and the river is new. 
Perfect stop to take a breather, people watch or just kill time.
Cologne 6
Is this a fad or what? Locked in love. Hohenzollern Bridge overlooking River Rhine.
Just next to the rail tracks.

On the way to the old town, you'll see this row of colourful, old buildings fronting the riverbank. 
You'll find restaurants in this area.
Not much has changed in Cologne. You'll still see folks sitting on the benches, relaxing and reading books. But I was bit scared when I saw quite a number of crackheads lurking on the street.
The Schokoladen Museum. My happy place during my 2007 visit. 
And this was where I found my Filipino co-participants.
Cologne 5
A happy place for the sweet tooth.
From the Chocolate Museum, we went to the Old Town, had a quick bit at Subway, bought some souvenir items and meandered the cobbled streets of Cologne.

 Another way of seeing Cologne is by cruising down the River Rhine. 

Dusk in Cologne.

The Cologne Cathedral on a magical blue hour.

The square at night. And it was also time to say good night to Cologne.

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Thank you for visiting Traipsing Chronicles. I hope you will continue walking with me as I wander and see the world. Cheers!

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