Sunday, June 27, 2004I got an agent in Köln
Düsseldorf was a slight (and thouroughly welcome) distraction from the Inter-rail backpackers' route through Europe - there was not a single backpack to be seen other than the oversized 4YOU bags on the backs of school children! Abstractboy and ben were staying at the world's best host's house - Abstractboy's mother's friend of 30 years - Lioba. From a selection of chocolates and sweets on their pillows to a delicious feast and washing / drying facilities, their short stay was an absolute treat. There usn't much to do in Düsseldorf compared to Berlin, so the time spent there was slower paced and relaxing, and finished aptly in the pretty suburb of Benrath in an Eiscafe, eating the famous German icecream delicacy of the SpaghettiEis - an ice cream dish that resembles spaghetti blognese, drenched in strawberry sauce (like tomato, geddit?) and with shavings of white chocolate (like parmesan, geddit?). Sad as it was to leave Lioba, Theresa and Marius, it was time for another city: Köln / Cologne.
Düsseldorf and Köln are arch rivals, so Abstractboy felt a tad dirty taking the S-Bahn to Köln after such a nice time in Düsseldorf, But Köln is quite different. As soon as you exit the Hauptbahnhof, the main tourist attraction greets you - the cathedral. Though ben had already climbed the 300 worn-down steps to the top of the tower, Abstractboy was insistant that they climbed to the top. It was rampacked with tourists, mainly German ones, but the odd set of Aussie backpackers had found their way there too, and it was rather trying and claustrophobic navigating the narrow two-way spiral staircases. The town centre was equally busy, what with it being a Saturday afternoon. It felt a lot more like a city than Düsseldorf, more bustle, more tourists, more shops. It also felt a little older, not in a pensioner-y way, but Abstractboy hardly saw anyone of the 18-24 age bracket that you might expect to see on a Saturday evening. Alas, the night train to Münich beckons! Tschüs!