Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lovely Unassuming Cologne (Country #14)

I had heard Cologne, or Köln to the Deutschlanders, was charming. To be clear, we went there for a stupid reason..... So we originally wanted to go to Oktoberfest in Munich (which is hands down the best festival I have ever been to), but flights were $300+ and even a shit hotel was $500 a night. Grrrr. Instead, we got tickets to Oktoberfest in Cologne and called our friend J.S. to meet us there (he is living in Germany for a while for work). Sweet.

OK before all you Germans out there (H.R.) say, "uhm Oktoberfest is a southern German festival - it isn't celebrated in the north, you are ridiculous." I realize going to Oktoberfest in Cologne is like going to a Burning Man in NYC. It doesn't make sense. But whatever, we ended up not even going to the lameass Oktoberfest party because we were having so much fun drinking Kölsch with J.S. in town at the bars.

Anyway back to Cologne....... The town straddles the Rhine River, and just to be especially super scenic and charming they have gorgeous bridges, bike paths on both sides of the river, and loads of galleries and parks. 

Of course the highlight of Cologne is the spectacular cathedral, a.k.a. the Dom. During WWII the entire city was bombed back to the stone age by the Allies in 262 separate bombing raids, but the cathedral was never directly hit. Pretty cool, right? We climbed to the top for an amazing view of the city.

Check out the scaffolding on the left.

Inside the Dom.

So what else did we do? What does everyone does in Cologne, of course - drink Kölsch and eat meat, bread, potatoes, more meat, and more potatoes (can you say BLOAT)!

And for those who don't know, Kölsch is rather specific to Cologne and has been brewed here for hundreds of years. It is a slightly fruity, light beer that is cold-lagered and tasty. In Cologne, Kölsch is always served in a narrow, 0.2-liter glass called a Stange. The waiters carry them out by the crapload in a little holder like there on the right. That way, your beer is always cold and tasty - and the waiters stay in shape running back and forth between the bar and the tables. You can drink 0.2 liters pretty quickly, ya know......

Also for those that don't know, Kölsch is the most popular beer at our annual Davetoberfest party because the ladies love it, and my girlfriends can drink.

Kölsch in wee little Amie-sized glasses.
I'll have the Junge dicke Bohnen, bitte.

That mustard jar may have ended up in my purse.

Do the Germans ever poo, I think not...... Nice pose Dave.
What else did we do, you ask? Well, there is a kick-ass spa facility in Cologne. The Claudius Thermae baths are like a giant playground for adults, with waterfalls, wet and dry saunas, pools of different temperatures and salinity levels, mineral baths, sun lamps, and maybe two or three VERY well behaved other words heaven! A natural thermal mineral spring supplies the water for the facility. The majority of the spa is "no clothing-allowed", thus no spa photos. The website is well worth a look though.

On the way to the spa, we encountered the most kick-ass playground. Tell me who can resist a zip-line, not us apparently.

Jason taking on the zip-line.

That slide was irresistible too.

Cologne at night from across the Rhine. Ain't she pretty.

We are taking it easy this week and resting, well I am - Dave is in Budapest for work. I have a nasty case of angular chelitis (seriously gross, don't do a Google image search) because I let my iron levels get dangerously low......this is what I get for drinking my dinner and starting to run again. It is almost gone, but I may have to blog about how I got rid of it. I had it last year for like 2 months, which was AWFUL.


FinnyKnits said...

Nice sausage.

Hope you pooed eventually!

H.R. said...

" we ended up not even going to the lameass Oktoberfest party because we were having so much fun drinking Kölsch"

And all is well!!

Did you get to the Chocolate Museum?


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