Cologne is our first stop in Germany, and it becomes immediately apparent to us that Germans will not live up to their stereotypes. We’d imagined Germany to be efficient, organised and clean. This is not a bad stereotype to have. However, what we encountered was pretty much the exact opposite. After a very slow immigration process we make our way to the baggage carousel, without any luggage. We wait for a good twenty minutes before an airport employee comes to explain to us that the luggage will be another 30 minutes. Not the most efficient start.
Our tour of Cologne is to be lightening quick, we’re off to meet friends in Frankfurt the next day. The main reason for coming to Cologne is that it is significantly cheaper than Frankfurt. It also gives us the chance to take a trip out to the upside down monorail in Wuppertal, while also making a quick trip around most of the main sights of the city. We take in the view of the city from the cathedral, wander the old town and check out Cologne’s love lock collection. We would have also sampled Cologne’s most famous product, the eponymous fragrance for which all others are named, but we have tried it before and it’s awful.
We had hoped to head out in the evening to sample the local beer variety, kolsh. However, after spending the previous night dancing until early hours in London, an early flight and a trip to Wuppertal, we promptly fell asleep in our hotel room with the lights still on. Judging from the large amount of tiny liquor bottles that littered the streets the next morning, the nightlife is full of either a lot of hard drinking elves, or lots of people on work trips really smashing the hotel minibar*. We did however manage to pick up a kolsh at the train station the next morning to complete our currywurst breakfast just prior to boarding our train to Frankfurt. I can’t see sausage and beer being on the menu at your local hipster breakfast joint any time soon, but we quite enjoyed it.
* we later discover that for some reason they sell tiny bottles of cheap nasty liquor for almost nothing at every convenience store in Germany.