Last updated on March 20th, 2018
Cologne was the second stop in my tag-along-with-Natalie-while-she-works trip. (You can find the first installment in Boppard here and the third installment in Amsterdam here)
Natalie worked hard on the train from Boppard to Cologne so that we could spend an afternoon and morning in Cologne together. But largely the Cologne touring was on my own. And, I got in two nice runs, including one 16-mile jog through a series of connected parks.
Cologne Food and Drink
Cologne had the typical German fare of sausages and pretzels. We were pretty hungry when we finally arrived in Cologne, so we headed to the closest place serving lunch we could find: Braueri zur Malzmuehle.
We had a friendly waiter who joked about the fact that there was no menu in English before bringing us one as he saw us struggling to read the German menu.
We ultimately got a “Big Fried Sausage” and liver sausage. We also got the brand of Kölsch that was on tap (Kölsch being the beer of Cologne). Our nice waiter kindly informed us that in Cologne you actually have to opt-out of refills on your Kölsch by putting your coaster over your glass.
For dinner that day we first tried to go to the top-rated restaurant per tripadvisor: Lommerzheim. But, we found it packed and a little too rowdy for our mood at the time, so we ended up heading to Peters Brauhaus, which was also crowded, but not as rowdy. I think it was abnormally crowded for a Monday night because our waiter seemed very overwhlemed. My favorite thing he did was reply “I am not a magician” to someone’s request that he get a receipt for his purchase.
Because it was so crowded, we were sat at a table with a couple (husband and wife) of strangers who were in town from Santo Domingo for the husband’s hardware conference. Apparently Cologne hosts the biggest hardware conference in the world. His wife, like me, was just tagging along. And, seemed to be one of the smartest and educated people I’ve ever talked too (had like three degrees from US Universities and knowledgeable about many subjects). I had just read the Grant biography by Ron Chernow, so I brought up my recent knowledge that Grant had tried to annex Santo Domingo when he was president. The couple then went on and on about the Senators that had blocked the annexation and how they knew the something like the grandson of the president of Dominican Republic from that time.
At any rate, we again got Kölsch.
Because of Natalie’s work schedule, most of the rest of my meals were solo affairs.
I had a good cheeseburger and sampled the local soda.
I checked out an Irish bar to watch some Champions League Soccer a couple of nights.
I sampled what Germans eat when they eat mexican food.
I had some more traditional German fare again.
And had some chocolate cake at the chocolate museum sponsored my Lindt that was across the river from our hotel.
Sights Around Cologne
Like most cities, Cologne has its fair share of statues of people I’ve never heard of.
But the main draw in Cologne is its immense cathedral. It took over 600 years to build and was built as a result of many pilgrims coming to Cologne to view the bones of the three wise men from the gospel story of the birth of Jesus that somehow people in Cologne got a hold of. Here is a failed attempt by me to get an up close picture of the place.
Like most cathedrals it has its share of funny gargoyles.
And other ornate decorations.
But, we went inside anyway.
Including one that was made to look like a pixelated computer screen that was installed in 2007.
And, my favorite, a sculpture of the patron saint of travel (Saint Christopher) with a little baby Jesus on his shoulder.
Cologne was at one time a Roman city called Colonia. And, the city also has an abundance of Roman ruins randomly scattered around town, like this archway that once was part of the city gates.
Besides the cathedral, the other structure associated with Cologne is the Hohenzollern Bridge.
For the last decade or so, lovers from all over the world have attached locks confirming their love to the bridge.
Runs in Cologne
While Natalie was working, I managed to get in two nice fairly long runs.
The first was a 16 mile run that was mostly through the outer loop of parks that surround the city of Cologne. It was largely uninterrupted by roads that I needed to cross and almost entirely on dirt.
I started running on the banks of the Rhine on the opposite side of the historical center of the city.
I again was using a map that I had created using Strava Routes to guide me along the way.
Here I am running through one of the parks.
Eventually, I reached a residential area towards the end of my run. But even that was pleasurable.
The second day, I went on a shorter run that went through the inner-loop of parks. Other than intersecting my first run in Hiroshima-Nagasaki park, this run was largely an entirely different route than my first run. You can see the parks that I had run in the first day on the map below far west of where I ran this day.
While not nearly as nice of a run as the first day (the beginning of the run was through some commercial parks and other commercial areas), there were still nice parks along the way.
And the more famous Hohenzollern bridge.
Which leads to the back view of the Cathedral.
All in all, I crossed 5 bridges during my time in Cologne and had a lot of fun and good food and a couple of great runs.