Sunday, June 21, 2009

Köln - Germany

The Place: Spent a day and night in Cologne based along the river Rhine.
Some features: The city has a spectacular cathedral. The pictures don't do it justice, as it is just massive and very eerily gothic, standing out in contrast amongst and dwarfing the modern high rise shopping streets. Went out in the old town which was overrun by stag and hen do's but very festive. Clearly a popular place to come before getting married, the bridge's sides are lined with locks engraved mostly with newly wed couples' names otherwise dedications to passed away loved ones or other memories.

Dusseldorf - Germany

The Place: Went to Essen with a colleague for the International Energy Accounting Forum, so took the opportunity to check out some of the surrounding German cities on the weekend. Started by spending a day and night in Dusseldorf.
Some features: In Essen tried a german meal called knauserhaxe, pork knuckles, which was a massive bone with a lump of pork at the end, covered in crackling - very tasty though kind of resembled something out of an Asterix comic. The walkway along the Rhine is full of activity and has a few good views. Restaurants line the river afterwhich follows a string of Boules courts where locals old and young challenge each other to throw heavy metal balls as close to the jack as possible. Went out in the Altstadt where there is a thriving nightlife, watched an old oom-pah band playing some traditional german folk.