So after our completely amazing Berlin trip, we had to decide where to go that could compare in the least to our last few days. We decided on Cologne (Köln, in German) because of its incredibly massive cathedral. And indeed, the first thing we see as we step out of the train station was this incredibly massive cathedral. That doesn’t even begin to describe the monstrously huge intricate structure blotting out the skyline. It was absolutely beautiful, but the first reaction was naturally “oh my freaking gosh that is so freaking big.” Or something along those lines.
But since it was already night by the time we got to Köln, we couldn’t go inside until the next day. And we put it off until we had visited other sights the city had to offer. Like the Lindt chocolate museum. With its free chocolate tasting along the way. And chocolate cake and hot chocolate afterwards in the Lindt chocolate cafe. And more chocolate. And an insane chocolate overload afterwards. Totally worth it, though. So to work off our body’s protestations, we wandered around the Stadtmitte for a bit and found a wooden handiwork shop, which had intricate cuckoo clocks and wooden figurines covering the walls. It really was a typical German shop, and I was fascinated by the craftsmanship that went into everything.
THEN we finally got into the cathedral. It was so enormous, and so marvelous. Did I mention enormous? And beautiful. Words really can’t describe how amazing it was, so you’ll just have to check out all my pictures on Picasa (link: picasaweb.google.com). But you can see a few here. And once we had wandered the main part, we climbed way, way too many stairs to one of the two tallest towers to check out the view, and to see again just how enormous the cathedral is. The view really was amazing once we caught our breath, especially since it overlooks the Rhine river.
After making our way downstairs again, we split up to explore on our own. I decided to first check out the Roman-German museum (since Romans occupied most of Germany way back when). Although it didn’t actually give me much history, it did give me a chance to see tons of artifacts from olden days, many from 1st to 3rd century A.D., as well as some older pieces. After steeping myself in history, I went to the Rhine river to sit on the bank and relax for a while. A few minutes later a guy came to sit with me, and we ended up talking in German (brokenly on my part) for a good half hour or 45 minutes. And of everything in Köln, this was one that will stay with me the most, sitting on the banks of a beautiful river practicing my German skills. (German language classes should consider this method, it’s very effective). And that night for dinner we found a restaurant on the edge of the river from which to admire the view.
The next morning we set off for Heidelberg on our way to Reutlingen. I had actually seen this town before when I visited Germany with my family 3 years ago. But seeing it again brought new experiences, naturally. I was still impressed with the famous bridge across the Rhine, and with the outside views of the castle of Heidelberg. However, the inside of the castle was disappointing, because you could only go into the courtyard, and there wasn’t much to see from there. Except, of course, the largest vat of wine in the world. But Heidelberg as a town is still worth the trip, because it is just absolutely beautiful, in the typical German old-town beauty.
That’s it for our Berlin trip! But right now I’m touring Würzburg, a town in northern Bavaria, so be sure to keep up with the blog in the next few days to hear about more of my travels! Bis dann!