Cologne and Bonn in One Glance
Four days in Paris were not enough. I wished to stay longer, but at the other hand, my friend T (not her real name, since she did not want if I unfold her identity) waited for me to do our trip to the East Europe together. I was a bit sad to say good bye to Coralie since I never knew when I would have chance to meet her again. I thought that this is the common problem that is faced by people living far away from their original country. We met many people along the way, but also must ready with so many farewell words.
I took speed train from Paris to Cologne. T was living in Bonn. Actually I didn’t plan to go to Cologne after I found that there was no international train station in Bonn. Or at least, there was no train accommodating trip from Paris. So, we agreed to meet in Cologne, the closest city from Bonn, then T would come to pick me at the train station. My train got delayed for one hour since there was an accident when we passed Brussels (not with my train, by the way). At the same time, T also sent me a quick text that she would be late like an hour to pick me due to inevitable office work that she needs to do before taking her leave. I presume that my delay is good for both of us.
I arrived in Cologne around 1 pm. I found T after walking around for five minutes. We agreed to have lunch in the station before heading to Bonn. After having a quick lunch, T offered me to look around in the neighborhood. Lucky me. Cologne train station is located in the city center. Next by station, there is a famous Cologne cathedral. I definitely didn’t want to miss the chance to witness the church with the largest facade of any church in the world (according to Wikipedia). Moreover, the cathedral is also listed as the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe with the second tallest spires. The construction started in 1428 and was completed in 1880 after having delay of completing for four hundred years. The exterior facade is amazing, provide incredible carvings and inscription. What I amazed was the interior of cathedral with its highest ceiling with its particular curved which normally found in gothic architecture. As other religious building, its heigh ceilings made it so monumental, gave the feeling to the visitors on how small people are in this universe. In addition to the engraving found inside the building, the “the swallow’s nest” was the one that attracted my eyes the most by the unknown reason. I wanted to explore more, but that was only three days before Easter, when many people came to the church to do their pray. I just found it was not so nice to wander around with my camera while others were concentrating to do the worship. However, from some corners where many visitors around, I still could capture some moments as memory. Today, the cathedral had been declared as one of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Next by the church is the famous Hohenzollern Bridge, lies on the top of the famous Rhine river. This bridge is also known as the place for the love locks. For several years, the love locks had been considered as one of the most traditions in Cologne. In order to prove their love, couples often fix their padlocks to the railings of the bridge, hope for their everlasting love as they throw the key into the Rhine river below after they craved their ‘love’ on the padlock.
We didn’t stay long in Cologne and headed to Bonn later. Unlike Cologne, Bonn is much smaller and less crowded. Even though it’s not the capital anymore after Germany’s reunification, the city is still considered as a second unofficial capital of the country. Bonn is also birth place of German famous composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven. I expected the house had become museum and gave the chance to visitor to see how Beethoven lived during his years, while listen to his Für Elise or Winter Sonata. I was a bit disappointed since it was closed when we arrived there. Moreover, I heard from people we met on the street, there were not so many found inside the house, since the place just sold some merchandise related to Beethoven.
T took me to her flat after couple of walks in Bonn. Moreover, I didn’t want to get too tired since tomorrow we would take 7 hours bus trip to go to Munich as the starter of our trip.