Fußball Fever

Cologne Travel Blog

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The view from the tower of the Dom Cathedral

On Friday, June 16, we travelled a short distance from Amsterdam, across the border to Cologne (or Köln as it is called here). We arrived quite late at the train station and the place was swarming with people. Cologne is one of the host cities for the World Cup this summer, so this frenzy was to be expected. Luckily, Emma has friends here who we stayed with, Melanie and Guido, and after we figured our how to use the German phone system, they picked us up at the station and brought us back to their home. It was late by now and we were asleep quickly.

Saturday the 17th was a big day in Cologne. The Czech Republic was to play Ghana in the city´s stadium that afternoon.

Watching the big game with some real fans
After treating us to an authentic German breakfast, Guido and Melanie took us to the central city, packed full of people here for the World Cup. We walked along the busy pedestrian areas and came to the Dom, a huge cathedral that dominates the city. It took several hundred years to build and miraculously survived WWII bombings. A church service was in progress, so we stayed out of the main building. Instead, we climbed up the 500+ step staircase to the top of the tower. From there you get an amazing panoramic view of the entire city and the nearby Rhine river. We stayed long enough to watch the bells ring in the bell tower (I think it was the biggest bell in Europe). Up there we could also hear cheers from below: Ghana had just scored in the opening minutes of their match against the Czechs.
Hanging out with Guido and Melanie

We quickly descended the spiral stairs back down to the ground and joined the crowd in the square beside the Dom to watch the match. Both the Ghanans and the Czechs had fans present here, but the Ghanans seemed to be more energetic in their celebrations. At half time they gathered around and danced and beat drums to the delight of the rest of the crowd. In the end, the Ghanans beat the Czechs 2-0 and it was an exciting match to watch, especially in the atmosphere of the host city. That evening we returned to Guido and Melanie´s and they treated us to their famous gypsy schnitzel, which was excellent. Their homemade French fries were quite good too. That night, we hung out in a lovely beer garden and made an appearance at a swanky champagne bar.

The next day, Sunday, was Melanie´s birthday. We went downtown again and this time got to take a look inside the Dom. There is a solid gold ossuary there where the bones of the magi are claimed to be kept. We walked around the rest of old city, checking out the buildings and dodging the crowds and wayward soccer balls. We returned to our hosts´s home that evening and had a lovely barbecue with their family and friends. We left Cologne Monday morning, but we will remember the lovely time we had there and the generosity of our amazing hosts.

fire343 says:
Hey Nathan and Emma.....Uncle Terry here.
I had no idea you were headed east? I've gone over your Blog entries and must admit I'm jealous. It looks like you are having a great time and thankfully Emma has friends to help you along. Your pictures are great and with your Blog it feels like I'm there. If you do go to Ireland, Lauren has many relatives there and they would help you out in a second. They live in Northern Ireland near Belfast. Let me know if you need there assistance there.
Enjoy your stay and if your planning to come back West!!! then we'll see you here hopefully. Emma watch out for Him, he is a Killoran and can be stubborn sometimes...HaHa.
Have fun.............Terry.
Posted on: Jun 26, 2006
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The view from the tower of the Dom…
The view from the tower of the Do…
Watching the big game with some re…
Watching the big game with some r…
Hanging out with Guido and Melanie
Hanging out with Guido and Melanie
photo by: lauro