Hi friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
Here’s my post on the next city my group and I visited as part of our ‘Discover EU‘ adventure: Cologne in Germany!
- Not strictly related to actual interrailing, but I got to meet up with my former German exchange partner, who lived in Bonn, which was very close to Cologne. The exchange sadly couldn’t happen because of COVID, so this was the first time we met each other in real life. It was super nice, and we talked about many things as he showed me around his quiet and quaint town (which I loved)
- Phantasialand! It’s a pretty large amusement park next to Cologne, that was honestly really fun. The main rides consisted of high speed roller coasters like Taron and Black Mamba, and free falls like Mystery Tower. There was also a giant spinning ride that managed to dig into my stomach each time it spun us around, which left quite a bruise afterwards🙃The park also had many water attractions as well like River Quest and Water Roulette, the latter being a ride which determines how wet you get based on where you sit. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get that lucky seat and ended up with soaked shoes for the rest of the day 🤦🏻♂️Overall very fun experience with relatively short queues compared to more popular amusement parks! It was especially amusing watching our heights-scared friend’s reaction to the screams and cries of people on the rides for which we were queuing up for.
- Cologne Chocolate Factory! Explored the history, process, and geography of chocolate-making all while feasting on free chocolate at any chance I could get. I will no doubt be much fatter by the end of this trip🤦🏻♂️
- For the first time, we experienced the absolutely incredible hospitality of a foreign Chinese restaurant (Peking). The owner was roughly the same age as our own mums, if not older, and as she was taking our order she joked that we all looked like her own son. She then proceeded to give us free refills of white rice and free food because she wanted to make sure we were all full by the end of the meal. She refused to accept a tip from us too, as she stated that we were only students and that there was no need. It was the warmest and most welcomed we’ve felt in a while, and I certainly think back fondly of this situation🙂. At one point she and her co-worker actually also pointed out how one of my friends had too much of a large belly, and that he should get rid of it as soon as possible (very traditional Chinese mum behaviour) which left us in complete tears.
- Climbed and witnessed the breathtaking view from atop the Cologne Cathedral, the 9th largest cathedral in the world I believe. Took a solid 6 minutes to climb, and had me wheezing and out of breath by the end of it. The view made it all completely worth it though, so it was fine. We joked with our friend who just got called out for being fat by the restaurant owner that they should run up and down the cathedral another 4 times.
- Walked Hohenzollern Bridge and had fun checking out the countless ‘love locks’. Found some that marked relationships that went as far back as 1961. 1961! That’s older than literally both my parents. Crazy.