Beside the real pain I felt on Thursday, when, at kick box, a guy almost crashed my left leg, I was in pain because we had planned a trip to Koln. Luckily, in Netherlands you can have sick days for recovery, so on Friday, in an emotional unstable state, I slept almost all day long and at the end of the day I was feeling better and even could use the leg. This was so good, that on Saturday morning we were in Sloterdijk waiting for the bus. The bus came 1 hour later and, as I was to find out on the return trip, it was simply a lazy driver. On Sunday we waited again 30 minutes for him to come: in Leverkusen the bus drivers should change and the one who came from Konstanz was really annoyed on his colleague; but this guy was simply relaxed and he didn’t care that he was late on the job.

But finally we arrived in Koln. As you exit the main train station you are hypnotized by the immense cathedral. They say that you can visit inside the bodies of the 3 mages, but it’s kind of hard to believe, right? The cathedral is simply big and, as I am not that attracted in the last years of religious buildings, for me, beside the dimension, there’s nothing special. Near it, a Christmas Market was organized, a lot of lights, food and drinks, but almost nothing to buy. I was searching for a star for the Christmas tree and after visiting 4 markets I hadn’t find any. The city was crowded and everyone was just pushing each other and, of course, you will not hear a sorry for that. Overall, I liked the city, there are some nice neighborhoods with beautiful houses and old church towers are rising between them. This was our 4th city visited in Germany and, unfortunately, I had the same sentiment in all of them: at each corner you will see someone drinking or begging for money. You will be pushed or people in stores will yell at you or simply will avoid serving you, because they don’t know English. Maybe it was only our experience, but I don’t feel comfortable with drunken people around me on the street or people that simply ignore your presence in the store. On the other hand, Koln offers some nice places to visit. After slowly wandering around the old city center, on the large shopping streets, we chose to walk down the Rhine. A lot of people are doing exercises on the pathway, running, cycling or even beach volley (in December!). From time to time, huge ships are passing on the river: transporting people or merchandise, didn’t matter, the size was enormous. On the other side of the river colorful houses are neighbors with sheep grazing near the water. The city offers vast images: immense towers near old churches or small houses; modern glass buildings shaped around eye catching bridges. In the city center we met with as many streets performers as I saw in my whole life: starting with the boy dancing with the football ball to the guys playing Beethoven at the accordion. The way to the Hohenzollern Bridge is paved by painters or reggae singers and, passing on the bridge, I had to stop, from time to time, to admire the variety of love lockers caught on it. Near Koln Deutz train station a 28 floor tower has the doors open: it’s the panorama triangle and from the 28th floor you have a nice view of the city. You realize that the city is, in fact, colorful, and that only the churches give the grey pigment on it. We spent the last hours in the city with hot wine and eating caramelized nuts, which are delicious. And hooray, Christmas is getting closer!