Old and New Cologne

Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Tuesday, 1:12 pm:

Last night I slept 9 hours, and that felt awesome . The bed was comfortable and the room was quiet. I woke up around 8 am and went downstairs for breakfast. Again, it was your typical European fare, only this time the woman made me a fresh fried egg and made my espresso. I ate some fresh, bread, smoked salmon, cheese, tomatoes, my egg and a little yogurt. They take their breakfasts seriously over here. I feel that's one thing Americans kind of stink at. 

I decided to head out to the Roman Praetorium Museum, which holds Roman ruins dating back from the 1st-4th centuries. They were discovered under the City Hall about 60 years ago. How crazy is that? Some of the walls are in pretty good shape, and these were discovered under the city hall. I spent a total of 23 minutes here. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but I can't spend a lot of time at a museum. Now, sitting at an outdoor cafe with a coffee or beer and people watching? That I could do for a few hours. It's just what I prefer. I did stroll through the Old Market, Alter Markt, and snapped some photos of the beautiful Groß St. Martin, one of the 12 Romanesque churches in Cologne. In case you didn't know, Cologne is also the birthplace of cologne.

My feet were cold at this point and I had my Sketchers sandals on, so I went to H & M to buy a cheap pair of loafers for 10 euro. It was those or the 100 euro Clarks ones I saw. :) I decided to walk part of the Hohenzollern Bridge and check out the love locks . This bridge spans the Rhine and is a passenger and train bridge only. It's the bridge you see in the photo of this blog. I couldn't get over all the love locks. IF you haven't heard of what those are, the idea is that couples put the lock on the bridge and throw the key in the river. There is a bridge in Paris that has stopped allowed this because the weight of all the locks are causing damage to the bridge. But here, it's still possible. 

 I went and had a coffee at Cafe Reichard, which is also adorable, My coffee was served on a silver tray with a white doily, and all the waitresses wore lilac blouses with plum skirts and white aprons. I stopped for a pretzel and decided to head back to my room for a bit. I went too far, but ended up discovering an Aldi's, which is its birthplace. "Aldi Sud" is the version that we have in the U.S.

I read that Cologne was one of the most bombed cities during World War II, and the population after declined 95%, mainly due to evacuation. So many of the buildings were built post-war. It's pretty easy to decipher the new from old. The new ones are very square and have square windows. There are some areas where you can see the old and new side by side. I'm guessing a lot of churches were preserved. The Cathedral was apparently hit 14 times by Allied troops but was not completely destroyed. The twin spires were easy to spot by the fighter planes.  

After some more walking around, a great Italian dinner and a cappuccino at a jazz bar, it was a great day. I'm really enjoying this city. Thanks, as always, for reading.  

Auf Wiedersehen!