Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cologne Sunday

Today we took a short trip to Cologne. It was only about a fifteen minute drive from Duesseldorf. We explored the city near the famous Cologne Cathedral or Koln Dom. Here are some photos from today.
Cologne Old Town (isn't Germany so charming and cute!!??):

The Dom is Cologne's best known landmark, with two spires visible from around the city. No matter how you travel to Cologne, by ship, car, or train, you'll see the Dom impressively rising above the city's roofs. Construction began in 1248 and continued until the 1500s. Then, no work was done for 300 years until 1842. Construction was completed in 1880, and today it is known as one of Europe's top Gothic cathedrals. I guess I should have taken a shot that included the two spires:

We were strolling in this shopping district near the main train station:

This was so cute:

Cologne is best known for its Carnival (Karneval), the city-wide festival that starts officially on November 11 at 11:11 am in the Alter Markt (Old Market) and ends only on Ash Wednesday. The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Rosenmontag, and is especially frenetic, marked by a parade of floats, people in outrageous costumes, giant puppets, thousands of revelers, and lots of music and boozing. We saw these costumes and wanted to share them. I can't wait for Karneval!!!


Blogger Haddock said...

I really like Köln, it's one of my favourite German cities. The Dom is really impressive.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Nyana said...

I remember listening to one of Bach's masses in that cathedral. Everyone was dressed so sharped, old ladies in their hats, young gentlemen in their best suits (god forgive me sins). It was one of THE most exciting moments of my life.
Sweet life Mr. Ashburn, good to live vicariously.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I've heard Koln is awesome. Is it a lot smaller than Dussledorf? I guess a difference is probably D is more of a place for business?

Love the pics. I'm just always so fascinated by the architecture and the buildings. It's just that so much better than in California for sure!

I'm guessing you can also go shopping on sundays in Germany? I guess that is one difference from there compared to most of Europe.

And Carnival - oh yes it's so much fun! Cold but fun!

11:05 PM  
Blogger christina said...

We spent a couple of days in Cologne many years ago (before we had kids!) and it was just beautiful.

Expat - Nope, no Sunday shopping in Germany.

11:20 PM  
Blogger James said...

Expat traveler, the shops were closed. Nothing is open on Sunday. I wish the stores were open on Sunday. On Saturdays they are open until 8 PM, but in the past the stores would close at 2 PM.(depending on where the business is located and what type of business it was) So at least it has gotten more convenient on Saturdays. Cologne is approximately three or four times the size of Duesseldorf according to my German partner. :)

11:22 PM  
Blogger San Francisco Daily Photo said...

The first photo looks like Koln's version of our painted ladies. It also reminds me of the Netherlands. Anyway, I really liked that photo James! To answer your question, I'm on flickr, although I joined just two weeks ago and only posted a handful of photos out of curiosity... But let's connect there as you suggested.

flickr address:


4:59 AM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

Because I'm in the same region as Köln we have a crazy Karnival celebration too. If you decide to go you should definitely go to a "sitzung" where you just sit in a big tent with a bunch of other people who will be very drunk. You'll eat and get to watch the entertainment on stage. It's so much fun!


8:23 AM  
Blogger J said...

I found Carnival to be overrated in Germany and more of a drinking holiday than anything else. I've only spent one Carnival here. The last two, and this one, I'll be spending in Viareggio, Italy again. Talk about a great carnival!

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Pretty cool you guys and girls like the city where I was born. :-)) Just to add a little piece of information: Cologne has got slightly more than 1.000.000 (in fact about 1.020.000) inhabitants, Duesseldorf 577.000. There's a kind of traditional rivalry between the two cities which has its roots deep in history. Nevertheless it is a tradition that is still kept up by a lot of people here. For example, no real "Duesseldorfer" would drink "Koelsch", the beer brewed in Cologne - just as no real "Koelner" (inhabitant of Cologne) likes the beer of Duesseldorf (which is called "Altbier"). In the eyes of a Koelner, the people of Düsseldorf are often kind of snobbish (and too proud of the fact that their city is North Rhine-Westphalia's state capital - even if Cologne is nearly twice as big). I could add some more details about the special relationship between these two cities, but for now I've got to continue learning for my last university exam next week. :-)
Greetings to James and all readers in magnificent California! I went there several times in the nineties and for the last time in March/April 2005 with my boyfriend - and we simply loved it (especially San Francisco and San Diego)!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Queerbeet said...

And wait for the Pride Parade - it is the biggest one in Germany and it takes hours until it's completely passed!

6:09 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I love these photos, James. Hmmm. I'm bookmarking Köln as a definite must-see German city one of these days. Maybe this year?!

12:28 PM  

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