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A Day in Cologne, Germany – Day 42
Friday 11th September 2009 – Germany
I had breakfast with Alex this morning and we left the hostel together to go to the main square again. We both wanted to get souvenirs before leaving. So we did.
Afterwards, we went our separate ways as I made a bee line for the train station. Cool guy Alex, and will definitely keep in touch. He told me about the meaning of how all their names end in ‘ic’. From this he told me that Vidic, (Man Utd player), meant good eyesight, or a higher God. Which fits I think.
The walk to the station was much quicker this time, as having a map certainly helps, and I felt good today. I was enjoying it in a different way to how I was before in the campsites. The sun was out as well which certainly helped. I haven’t seen anywhere near enough of Belgium to get an educated opinion, but from what I’ve seen, id definitely say I like it, and would like to see more.
At the station, it was busy. Its always busy I bet. I had another 2 hour wait for my train, and had to get confirmation I was in the right place, as my ticket said something different. All was well and I boarded onto a fast and almost luxurious train. It too was almost full, but it was another main line.
Once at Cologne (Koln), I had to find the ticket office to get trains for my next 2 journeys. All seemed OK, and I got a card which gets me discount for later trips, but I have a feeling he added it on as an extra, and I payed for it. It didn’t really matter as I was coming back into Germany soon.
I stepped out of the station and was immediately in the tourist area, with the stunning Dom right next door. I had a brief look around but made for the info place for a map. With this map I got straight to the hostel, over a train bridge with thousands of padlocks locked to the fence, with peoples initials on. I wanted to put one on myself, but I knew mum would be sad if I left something of mine in another country 🙂
I had my own room in this hostel as I wanted to get some sleep tonight. As it turned out I had a double room with en suit and TV all to myself. I dumped my things and headed straight back out to the attractions.
First stop was the chocolate museum. I read about it on the train up here in my rough guides book, and I couldn’t resist. There were lots of plaques to read about the history of choccy, which was interesting. But the best bits were seeing how it was made in a small production line, fully operational, and the tasting, of course. They also had a climate room where they grew chocolate beans on trees. There was also the chance to learn how the whole building flooded in 1995 as the river itself flooded.
Next was the Dom and surrounding shops, streets and Cathedral. It had a great atmosphere and I really liked it. Germany is a really good place and I definitely want to revisit at some stage. They had live music in the square this evening, and people were buzzing all around. I really enjoyed just milling about, watching all the people having fun.
Back across the train bridge and into the hostel I walked, and fell onto my bed. I spent the eve catching up on my diary, and just relaxed.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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