Tag 9 – Grace Sanita
Today was yet another day that started early. We woke up to breakfast in Braunschweig, and we were off to Cologne before we knew it. After a much needed nap, I took the opportunity to look at the landscape of Germany as we traveled by train. Ich habe Hügeln gesehen! The hillside villages and farms reminded me of the fact that I was actually in Germany!
After getting off the train, the group walked to the main entrance of the Hauptbahnhof. My eyes instantly went to the giant Cathedral “Kölner Dom” right outside the window. A quick trip to our second A&O Hostel postponed the entrance into the Cathedral just a bit, but once we walked in I was amazed. The high ceilings, the stained glass, and the beautiful statues all made the room feel magnificent. Although we missed our chance to walk up the tower, the extra time inside the main part of the Cathedral was welcome.
On our way to the “Schokoladenmuseum” chocolate museum, we got the chance to walk along the river with views of bridges and the modern buildings that lined the opposite bank. We crossed a small bridge, opened the doors of the museum, and walked into a wall of pure chocolate smell. The museum included the history of chocolate, charts of what chocolate bars are made of, a miniature factory creating chocolate bars, and of course, a free piece of chocolate with entry. The gift shop at the end of the tour provided a perfect place for me to get a gift for my chocolate-loving grandmother.
We had a chance for some sightseeing on our way to dinner. We took a short walk to the town hall where we got to see some historic German humor carved in stone on the side of this historic building. The building and the carvings all over the building are sights that has to be seen in person. While waiting to be seated for dinner at Brauerei zur Malzmühle, we had a chance to witness the colorful costumes that fill the streets of Cologne during Carnival.
I feel lucky that our first day in Cologne was packed with sightseeing and history. We had the chance to see the countryside on the train, the history for the Cathedral and the Rathaus, and the traditional costumes of Carnival. Ich liebe Cologne!