Part two of my vacation, Cologne, Germany! Woo! I had the most amazing time in Cologne. I tried to take in as much of the city as possible, which was pretty difficult because I was there for a 3 day metal festival, Euroblast. The festival went from 1pm to 11:30pm and had after shows too. So basically we (my boyfriend and I) woke up at 9am and went exploring in the city until 12pm, would go back to our hotel and freshen up, then to the music festival until midnight. So, so exhausting, but it was the best experience of my life! I met up with a friend from Sweden and made a new German friend too.
I never realised how much I needed German food in my life until I went to Cologne. There was this bakery chain in the city that had streusel EVERYTHING! Blueberry, apple, streusel cheesecake bars AND it also had jam Berliner doughnuts (jelly-filled doughnuts), 2 for $1. Just..oh my god. The food was sooo cheap and so delicious!
We had sausages everyday, my favourite was currywurst, a sausage chopped up and smothered in a spicy tomato sauce with curry powder on top. YUM. At the train station there were sausage huts where business men, teens and old ladies would grab a brattwurst with a hot bread roll and mustard and eat at the standing counters. When we were in a city square we stopped by a cafe to admire all the amazing looking cakes and ended up buying some black forest cake while eyeing off all the chocolates.
One of the first things you see when you walk out of Cologne Station is the impressive Cologne Cathedral. It’s architecture is so incredible and nothing like I had ever seen and the inside was shockingly beautiful. Huge, colourful stained glass windows; beautiful and ornate prayer areas and intricate mosaic floors. It was really amazing to see something so old and beautiful right in the city.
Cologne has a really interesting Roman history so we managed to check out some Roman-German museums right next to the Cathedral. We went to one that included actual ruins from a dignitary’s palace and we even got to walk through an ancient roman sewer! The main museum had an incredible collection of artifacts including jewellery, oil burners, pillars, cemetery guardians and an almost perfectly intact Dionysus mosaic piece.
The last place we managed to visit was the Lindt Chocolate Museum on the river. We learned about the history of chocolate, the difference between white, milk and dark chocolate, we walked through a green house with cocoa trees and most importantly, we got to see how Lindt chocolate is made. The museum spanned three floors and the most important floor let you see into the machines making the chocolate and we were even given freshly made chocolate to enjoy. There was so much temptation to just dive into the chocolate fountain, luckily I managed to resist!
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the Euroblast festival because, honestly, I didn’t want to risk damage to my camera. The festival was so amazing, it was like one big family. When I wasn’t watching a band, I was talking to another. I saw my favourite bands Leprous (Norway), Vildjharta (Sweden), Agent Fresco (Iceland), TesseracT (England), Monuments (UK), Animals As Leaders (America), The Algorithm (France) and many, many, many more. We were the only Australians there, which impressed everyone because it took us 40ish hours to fly there. Traveling to Cologne (and Brussels) was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done and I absolutely cannot wait to travel to Europe again!