Okay, okay, so I’m no good at puns or titles. But since you’re already here, go ahead and find out about the city of Köln!
Köln, or Cologne, is an amazing city along the Rhein River in Germany and was one of the first places we were able to visit for a second time. This trip we were able to delve a little deeper into the city and really soak it in. Last time we were there it was for our anniversary and we contended with freezing winds and snow, so this time I was eager to take a walking tour, see the Schokoladenmuseum (Chocolate Museum), and walk along the Rhein River.
Free Walking Tour
There are quite a few walking tours available in Köln. We googled and went with Freewalk Cologne, which offered a “free” walking tour based on tips alone and what you thought the tour was worth. Our guide, Annika, was a really sweet girl who showed us all across the main city areas.
We were again taken aback by the massive Kölner Dom, the tallest twin-spired church and the biggest cathedral in Germany. It’s said to hold the bones of the Three Kings, or Wise Men, brought from Milan in 1164. Side note: It’s interesting how much they play a part here in the Catholic part of Germany as well. Guarding a number of house doors there will be chalkboard scrawlings of numbers and letters, symbolizing the Wise Men to bless the house.
The Dom, to us at least, is one of the few things we’ve seen so far that has left us awestruck. It looks almost unreal as it looms high over the city and is imperative to the skyline there.
Near the end of the tour, we met two gentlemen named Tünnes and Schäl. Folklore says if you touch the nose of Tünnes you’ll find true love, and if you touch the hand of Schäl you’ll be rich. Since I’ve already found true love (swoons) and Thom is too young to think of such things, I used what little influence I still have over him to get us some wealthy vibes. Also, if you stand on their feet while you do this, it means you’ll return to the city someday. I felt pretty good about that too.
Spoiler alert: we didn’t actually make it to the Chocolate Museum. We had it on good authority that touring through the museum only took about 20 minutes and costed €11,50 each for that alone, so we settled for visiting the Chocolat Grand Cafe inside it. I highly recommend doing that! I’m sure the museum part is fine too if you can afford it, but we instead opted for white and dark chocolate fondue and had no regrets. All of the chocolate-y items in the case looked irresistible as well.
The Rhein and City
It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for walking. We strolled casually along the famous Rhein river and soaked in the summery April air (side note: the Germans are quick to point out my blindingly pasty white legs, so yes, I was excited to get some sun finally 😛 ). We arrived early enough there weren’t too many people, and by the time we were ready to leave, the large patches of grass were strewn with people sunbathing, picnicking, and even one couple with the man sitting on the woman’s lap who looked very happy 😉
Breakfast included a nice cold Kölsch, the brew of the city served in small cylindrical glasses, and I actually partook for once. I’m not normally a beer drinker but it actually wasn’t that bad. After some minor embarrassment, we quickly learned that if you almost finish your glass, you’ll automatically be brought another unless you put your coaster on top.
But man, Germans know how to enjoy themselves and knock back some beer! It’s quite impressive.
Next time we go, I want to visit the zoo and climb to the top of the cathedral. What else should we see when we go back?
Bis zum nächste Mal,