“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru
I don’t have any cute or funny stories from my trip to Cologne because I worked the whole time except for food breaks and you know me, there was a lot of food breaks! Knowing that I had such a busy schedule and wouldn’t be able to see much of Cologne I decided that I would walk to every meeting to at least be able to see some of the city.
Cologne was nothing like I expected, it was much more beautiful, not the cleanest nor most polished city I have seen but something about its rawness was beautiful. I felt about Cologne the same as I feel about Manchester that its ugliest gives it interesting beauty. There is a mix of industrial and graffiti alongside the old town with its chocolate box building that just gives the city its realness, nothing feels out of place but in fact works well together.
Is it even a modern city if there isn’t a bridge covered in love locks?! I could spend hours reading these wondering if the sea of names and hearts were still in love. Which reminded me of my trip to Paris last December and the fact that me and Alex still have one tied to a bridge. Do people look at that and wonder if we are still together? How many of the millions of love locks are now just of a memory of old love.
Here are some of my pictures from walking around Cologne, luckily for me the sun was shining and the sky was blue which made for more beautiful pictures.
Cologne is like a living textbook on history and architecture: drifting about town you’ll stumble upon an ancient Roman wall, medieval churches galore, nondescript postwar buildings, avant-garde structures and a new postmodern quarter right on the Rhine. Germany’s fourth-largest city was founded by the Romans in 38 BC and given the lofty name Colonia Claudia Ara Aggripinensium. It grew into a major trading centre, a tradition solidified in the Middle Ages and upheld today.
The old town with its chocolate box houses in a rainbow of colours. All centred around a warren of cobbled narrow streets, all with tables outside that were occupied by old men catching up on life. During World War II approximately 72 percent of the city area of Cologne was destroyed. The city centre, full of rubble, resembled a horrible battlefield – the picturesque part of the Old Town was destroyed nearly completely and had to be rebuild in drudgingly precious work.
Colognes old town is located directly along the Rhine, the Old Town, together with Cologne Cathedral, the Romanesque church Great St. Martin and the tower of the historic City Hall, makes up the world-famous Rhine panorama. As you stroll through the narrow alleys, you will come across many museums, such as the Romano-Germanic Museum, the Wallraf Richartz Museum, the Museum Ludwig and the Farina Fragrance Museum. You can also discover many monuments and fountains in Cologne’s Old Town, including the figures of Tünnes and Schäl and the Heinzelmännchen (Cologne elves) fountain. Historical remains, such as the Archeological Zone, the Old St. Alban Memorial, and the Stapelhaus invite you to go on an exciting journey of discovery into the city’s past.
I did manage to ruin a pair of high heels walking through the cobbled streets, I will never learn to pack flats.
I plan on returning to Cologne next year for pleasure and discovering all this beautiful city has to offer, we literally walked the same through streets going to meetings and I am so excited to discover the rest of this beautiful German city and all it has to offer. Something tells me that there is so much more to discover and hidden gems within the city.