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Travel Diary Part 9: Cologne

Travel Diary Part 9: Cologne

In the Munich entry, a dream I’ve had for over a decade finally came true. I saw the castle of my wildest childhood fantasies, and explored the rooms in which I imagined myself living like a princess. But what to do after this enchanting day? How can I possibly move on from that? Well, I had no choice but to leave that wonderful place and continue my journey, for I would never have got home otherwise. Although it would have been nice to spend many more days exploring Germany, the fact we were running out of both time and money made us press on to the last German stop on the trip.


So, we left Munich in the morning, and boarded the high-speed German ICE trains. Munich is in the very far south of Germany, and around Munich and Stuttgart you can find lots of vineyards, where grapes grow to be made into wine. Cologne is in the middle of Germany, so it was a strange experience moving across half the country in just over 4 hours. The trains were comfortable and incredibly speedy, but sometimes they were so fast I felt myself going all light-headed!


When we arrived in Cologne, the first thing we saw after we stepped out of the Hauptbanhof (railway station) was Cologne Cathedral. This might be its most famous landmark, as it towers over the city on the banks of the Rhine. Years of pollution and industrial work has meant the cathedral now looks a little bit dirty and grimy, but it’s still a famous landmark. We went indoors, and we saw a service going on. It was good to witness because although we’d seen a lot of churches, we hadn’t seen them in action, being used for the things they were built for.


If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll probably know that food is important to me. In Cologne, we decided to go out for a meal, but as a vegetarian I found German food very limited. However, there’s one cuisine you can always go to for good veggie food, and that’s Indian food. I had possibly the most delicious curry I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t in one of Britain’s many Indian food outlets – it was in Germany. Britain is a nation that prides itself on culinary and cultural diversity, compared to the rest of Europe, which is why I was so surprised that my dinner that evening was so excellent.


Unfortunately, we only had one night in Cologne, so the next day we had to wave goodbye to Germany and hop on the train to Amsterdam. This was the last stop on our tour, and we found it a very different experience to what we’d previously had. Before you proceed, check out Amy’s article about Amsterdam, and then come back and compare it with mine – I think we both have a lot to say about that popular tourist destination! Hopefully you’ll get lots of useful information you can store in your brain until you go there. See you next time!


Image credit: Alice Barnes-Brown

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