My husband had a quick business trip to Cologne this week. We originally planned to ride the train but a strike prevented us from taking that option so instead we drove. (But first we road the subway to the main train station and then after asking questions found out the train was not operating...back on the subway to our parking garage near the apartment...an hour wasted!)
Our next obstacle was to figure out the directions to get to Germany and then our hotel in Cologne. Technology is a wonder thing! Our car has GPS...but of course it is in French. Good thing it is a Latin based language so I was able to fumble my way through the process of inputting the address for our destination. Five hours later we arrived just after dark. We had an incredible view of the Cologne Cathedral from our hotel room. (This is not my photo, snagged it off the internet, but it looked just like this.)
It looks like something from a fantasy world.
Dinner was on the top of the list so we headed to a local German restaurant the bar tender at the hotel recommended...like a brew pub. The local beer is "Kolsch" which is carried from table to table in these handy servers...
It's a very mild tasting beer...freshly made. We both loved our meals...very hearty meat with potatoes and a salad.
The next morning Bryan headed off to his meeting and I headed off to the cathedral...which Bryan said had a Starbucks right by it. He was right. After my latte I ducked into to the cathedral. It was foggy all day and very grey outside. The interior of the cathedral was sooooo dark. There was very little artificial light. It was enormous with beautiful large stained glass windows along both sides of the main sanctuary. There were also many wonderful sculptures but because it was so dark inside I was frustrated. I had hoped to catch a tour but somehow missed it. I bought a guide book and will read up on it for our next trip to Cologne. Hopefully the weather will be better next time.
Here's a quick video standing outside the cathedral. It is directly next to the train station we were hoping to travel in and out of.
When I made the video I noticed a modern art museum between the train station and the cathedral, Museum Ludwig. I checked to see what the museum had on display before going in...some modern art does not interest me at all. They had a special exhibition of David Hockney. His work focuses on settings in nature and the play of light and color. I loved his work. But the most amazing part of his exhibit is what he does with an IPad. They had a room with IPads mounted on the wall showing works he had created on the IPads. A few were programmed to show the paintings as they progressed on the screen. It was unbelievable. As with all technology...it looks so effortless. The layering he did on the IPad with his coloring was just so amazing. He prints his work up to the size of a large wall. This was one of my favorites.
There were other great artists to see at the museum including some works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. I missed two more museums in the same general area....hopefully I will get to see them next time we are in Cologne...sounds like we will go there a few more times over the coming years.