Extremely impressed with the picturesque historical towns, superbly clean streets and endless shoe shops in Germany, we even managed to get a speeding fine in a country that normally doesn’t have speed limits. Our Journey in Germany started from Cologne. If you only intend to stay in Cologne for 2-3 days, here are a few things you could try.
We were lucky to have an awesome view of the Cologne Dom tower from our hotel room in Hilton. Cologne Dom is a splendid Roman cathedral and heart of the metropolis on the Rhine. And yes, it only took 600 something years to complete. On the second day in Cologne, I got to see the impressive panorama from the cathedral tower across the city and Rhine on the top of Cologne Dom though in order to do that we had to climb 533 narrow, winding steps first. Honestly at one stage I felt the climbing was never going to end and it was becoming increasingly hot battling with traffic (lots of people going up and down) on the narrow stair case inside an old cathedral. But the view from the top was rewarding. On the way to the viewing platform, we walked pass the St Peters bell, the largest freely swinging church bell in the world weighting 24,000 kg. I’m still wondering how could this bell swing being so huge and heavy?
Kolsch and Roast Pork Knuckle
In the heart of Cologne city, just a few steps from the cathedral is the old town where you can always find authentic German food and enjoy the famous local beer in Cologne, Kolsch. Kolsh is a beautifully refreshing warm- weather beer normally served in skinny glasses. Its pleasantly fruity and slightly bitter taste goes perfectly well with roast port knuckle, one of my favorite Germany/ East European dishes. You know, the roast port knuckle with golden brown crispy, crackly skin attached and fell-off-the -bone tender meat. Finding nicely cooked pork knuckle however is a bit of a hit and miss. We finally found it at Peters Brauhaus in the old town. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures, couldn’t wait to start eating and drinking.
Pretzels and Berliners
They are on the list because they are huge. And everywhere. And surrounded by massive bees.
Cologne is one of the most popular cities for shopping. We were told that there are people who make special trips to Cologne just to stroll and shop on the most popular shopping streets Schidergasse, Hohe Strabe and others. Apparently Schidergasse is the number one shopping street in Europe. Its highlight is the weltstadthaus, which resembles a huge glass whale. Inside the glass whale is a gigantic, multilevel shopping centre with a sea of clothing and shoes.. more clothing and shoes.. You guessed it, more shoes.
Below left, view of the glass whale shopping center from Cathedral Tower.
Whenever you are tired of shopping, stop to have a cup of coffee. Or have a pretzel, they are everywhere.