8 pictures of Cologne
I feel like I'm perpetually on vacation. Maybe it's because that's the only time I post to the blog anymore. Maybe it's because I've cultivated a state of mind that transcends space and time. That second one sounds awesome, so let's go with that.
This time, Colonia Agrippina, the ancient name of Cologne, a city in the northwest of Germany originally founded by one of Caesar Augustus' generals. Founding a city, of course, is the Roman practice of slaughtering a bunch of Germanic tribesmen and slapping your name on their village. Cologne is closer, both geographically and culturally, to Belgium and The Netherlands than it is to Berlin or Munich. Thus, I love it. Not that there isn't a lot to love about the rest of Germany. It's a beautiful country of rolling hills and verdant meadows. Seriously pastoral shit and the people are very cool. They don't care if you don't speak German or if you speak German badly. They will happily bring you a ginormous beer, some tiny sausages, and have a laugh with you. In Cologne, by contrast, they bring you dozens of tiny beers, a ginormous pig knuckle, and have a laugh with you.
So go to Cologne. Drink the local Kolsch (beer) and put a lock on the bridge with your lover. Check out one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world, climb the tower, and see the "authentic" shrine of the Three Kings. If you're there in the Spring, have white asparagus (pee still stinks) and ride the skytram across the river to the waterpark. Join a pick-up soccer game with college students in the marketplatz and marvel again at the cathedral at night.
And bring home lots of little bottles of toilet water, because everyone's going to ask you if that's where perfume comes from. And it does.