We are staying in the quaintest place ever. You enter ground floor into a mismatched furniture, cozy chair, coffee and drink place. We are on the second floor where you have to use an old key to do laundry or go to your rooms. In the evening its quite busy with little groups of 2 or 3 people drinking and chatting. There isn’t free breakfast here so on the way to the train station we found a little cafe that we tried. I ordered the typical dutch breakfast which was a baguette, a roll, a boiled egg in a little cup, and marmalade. I traded with Morgan and ate his black bread which is a specialty here and its sliced super thin and is quite dense and seedy. I adore it.
Then we got a train for an hour out to a little town just past Bonn. We looked for castles we could go to and this was one close enough even though it wasn’t massive. We took a tram through thick woods up to the castle from the train station. The castle was pretty neat. The man who built it was a Barron and he had died before he even got to live in it. We climbed the North turret and it had really good views of the Rhine river. The Rhine river is so busy. Any time you can see tugboats pushing boats or barges hauling coal or shipping containers. So we hiked around the grounds and toured the castle for a bit. It was a really woodsy hilly area exactly where I would picture the kings of old on horses hunting birds or stags with their dogs. Took the tram back down and caught a train back to Köln.
When we got back to the station we were starved so we got little pizzas and croissants. Then we walked outside and there was the Cologne Cathedral! Its a gothic medieval castle that began being built in the 1200s. The architecture is amazing and during World War 2 it was one of the only buildings around that wasnt destroyed by bombings. The Allied forces used it as a navigational landmark. We climbed the 533 steps to the top tower which is like 100 something meters high and has tremendous views of the city. The concrete steps were very worn from the hundreds of years of use and the stairs were a tight spiral up so it was a crazy climb.
We walked across the Hohenzollern Bridge which is right behind the cathedral. This bridge was one of Germanys most important bridges in WW2. Now it has become a popular, 2 tons overweight bridge that holds thousands and thousands of locks that people have been placing there for 10 years and then throwing the keys into the Rhine River below. One of the black and white pictures for sale near the cathedral is of the bombed out Hohenzollern Bridge with the cathedral behind it and its very striking.
Then we trained back to the hostel and had tomato soup for supper. Another day gone and what a beautiful one. It was sunny and 55 all day! 👋