Taking the Scenic Route

Arriving in Cologne / Koln, finding the Cathedral

18th August 2008

Arriving in Cologne / Koln, finding the Cathedral

posted in Cologne/Koln, Germany, Travel |

Again, pretend the little dots are above the “o” on Koln. I know there is a way to do that, but don’t really want to figure it out right now.

We were told ahead of time to just go to the center of the city and park, and indeed, the big Cathedral we wanted to see and the art museum near it appeared to be at the center of the city on the map, but we didn’t have a specific address, so we set the navigation for “city center”. This means that at some random point, after weaving through insane little streets so choked with people walking that you just have to slowly go to push through the crowds, the navigation lady will abruptly say “you have reached your destination area” and you are left to figure out how to find a parking garage in utter chaos. Needless to say, we did a lot of looping around to try and find parking. Thankfully, the “P” signs look like they do at home, but when there are multiple parking garages, they seem to point every direction, but are hard to spot when you pass by them. lol.

Eventually, we did find one. We had no idea how far away it was, but when we emerged, I saw a Marriot parking garage across the way and insisted we find the Marriot attached to it and ask in there where to go since it was already late in the day and we didn’t have time to waste. That was a fantastic idea. English speaking concierge with maps. A couple of Euros tip, and we were off with a map, with the Cathedral, the Art Museum, and the Marriott all circled. (so we could find our car again, relative to where the Marriott was).

The Train Station

We had to go through the train station to get to the Cathedral and Museums on the other side. That was an adventure in and of itself. We were parched, and saw a McDonalds near the entrance and decided that might be the easiest place to get a drink. Wow. I had never been to a McDonalds like that. People were packed in there like sardines and it took a while to even get the the front of the line. Upon exiting, we did note that the coke is so much better here in Europe because they still use sugar instead of HFCS. Much more refreshing without the aftertaste we are so used to it seemed normal.

The train station was a marval to behold. Just about every race and culture were represented in the shifting crowds. We saw groups of Punk Rock kids looking very much like our friends did in college, we saw lots of people from India, several different styles of Jihabs and Burkas, and every style of Western clothing imaginable. It was a lot like an airport, only much louder and a bit dirtier. I think the train station dwarfed the airport we flew out of in Wichita.

The Cathedral
The Cathedral is what the word “Awesome” was made for. There is no way to truly capture it in pictures. The intricacies of the architecture were beyond overwhelming. At one point, before the Washington Monument and Eiffle Tower were built, it was the tallest building in the world. It has also been under construction, of some kind, since they broke ground for it, and true to the literature, there was scaffolding around it in places, fixing the building.

Inside, this is the view of the “short” length of the cross shaped building

Zach, former alter boy, lit candles for his Roman Catholic Grandparents. They would have loved to see this place.

On to the Art Museum, but we will pass back by the plaza on the way back to the car, so more pictures from the other face of the Cathedral later.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 18th, 2008 at 6:16 AM and is filed under Cologne/Koln, Germany, Travel. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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