Cologne, Germany

I wrote about planning for our trip to Cologne here and here. See the first part of the trip in Berlin here.

Day four: Breakfast, Burg Eltz, Moselle River, Koblenz, Bonn, Cologne Cathedral

Day five: Cologne Cathedral, Christmas Markets, Hohenzollern Bridge (German: Hohenzollernbrücke), Cologne Triangle Tower, Christmas Markets

Day four: Breakfast, Burg Eltz, Moselle River, Koblenz, Cologne Cathedral

We woke up and got ready for the day and had breakfast at our friends. Shout out to her amazing hospitality! We hopped in the car to head to Burg Eltz, a castle about a 1.5 hour drive from Cologne. Three of us fell asleep in the back seat and woke up when we got to the parking lot (oops) – we missed some pretty spectacular landscapes on the way but I definitely needed a nap. The castle itself was closed for our time in Germany but you can walk from the parking lot down a footpath to the castle and then up the road back to the parking lot. It’s a wonderful walk with even better views! There are a few hiking trails in the area, so check out the link above for more information if you’re interested.

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Burg Eltz in Germany

After over an hour at the castle, we hopped back in the car to drive along the Moselle River. We stopped in Koblenz, enjoyed some cake and coffee/tea at Cafe Werrmann and then wandered through another Christmas market with a glass of glühwein.

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Back in the car we went to head out for dinner at Rhein Alm in Bonn. The food is incredible, the beer is delicious and the atmosphere is a perfect German setting. If you get a chance, make sure to stop by: you won’t regret it!

After dinner, we drove back to Cologne and hopped on the subway to see the Cologne Cathedral at night. At the train station we grabbed a few beers at a local store (you can drink on the streets in Germany). Unfortunately the markets were closed by the time we made it to the cathedral so we just wandered around before heading back to the apartment for the night.

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Day five: Cologne Cathedral, Christmas Markets, Hohenzollern Bridge (German: Hohenzollernbrücke), Cologne Triangle Tower, Christmas Markets

On our last day in Cologne we had breakfast in the apartment and our first stop was the Cologne Cathedral. By the time we got there the cathedral was closing for mass so we stopped at the Cathedral Market for some glühwein, potato pancakes and a bratwurst with plans to head back to the cathedral later to go inside. We also stored our bags at the train station for €3 so we wouldn’t have to walk around with them all day (more about this later).

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Next we wandered off to the Love Locks (Hohenzollernbrücke). People (mostly couples but it looked like some were best friends) sign and lock a padlock on the south side of the bridge and throw the key into the Rhein River. I took a few pictures of my favourite locks.

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Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge in Cologne

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Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge

At the other end of the Love Locks Bridge is the Cologne Triangle Tower. It costs €2.50 to take an elevator to the top and for a view of Cologne from above. It was great because buildings around Cologne were signed on the glass – it was fun to try to find which buildings they were showing you. Check out those views!

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Next stop were a few Christmas Markets: Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom, Heimat der Heinzel and Weihnachtsmarkt Alter Markt/Heumarkt. Seriously, the cutest Christmas mugs (couldn’t resist buying a few for myself).

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We stopped in the Cologne Cathedral and I can see why Colognians love their cathedral so much – it was beautiful!

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We wandered around Cologne and then stopped for dinner at Bierhaus En D’r Salzgass and I got a few beers, sausage and cabbage salad and it was scrumptious. One thing to note, again, is tipping for the bathroom! We don’t pay for bathrooms in Ontario (Canada) so I asked the bathroom attendant if she was waiting in line because I didn’t want to be rude and butt in front of her *facepalm*. It’s customary in Europe to tip the attendants and/or have to pay for the bathroom itself.

After dinner, we wandered back to the train station to grab our bags and hop on the train. Our last night with our German friend, so it was a bittersweet evening! We got to the station about 20 minutes early but our ticket wasn’t working to collect our baggage. We went to the service desk and they informed us that it would be about an hour before maintenance could come and take a look at the luggage dispenser. We all started getting a little nervous and split up – two of us stayed trying our ticket/putting in money, two of us went to another service desk and the 5th of our company went to the original service desk to see if there was anything else we could do. FINALLY, our ticket worked (2 minutes to spare) but we were all in different places!!! The two who were at the second service desk came over, they helped grab our bags, we start running yelling “WHERE’S 5?????”, run into her coming out of the service desk and we all start running to the platform with our bags flying and weighing us down. Our friend from Cologne runs ahead to hold the train up for us: we run up the stairs and the train is beeping at her trying to close the door to leave. We rush in, drop our bags on the train & as the door closes our friend says “It’s better this way!” as we drive away from the platform. Literally out of a movie, right?!

We got in to Amsterdam around 11:30 pm and it was about a 5-10 minute walk to our hostel. We were all so exhausted we checked in and went to bed.

Next up: Amsterdam!

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