Where should we go this weekend?
Germany Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
November 17th, 2007 – by: kissedbyangels
A conversation similar to this one took place in the beginning days of last week when discussing plans for the weekend. Feeling spontaneous, that's exactly what we did. With no reservations, both train or accommodation, we arrived at the train station in the wee hours of Saturday morning with minimal expectations and maximum enthusiasm. Feeling inspired, I wrote the following journal entry on my way to the train station:
I've Got a Ticket to No/Anywhere (The "no" was crossed out)
Not physically (yet!) but in my heart. I am especially excited for this trip because it truly is one of my first traveling "adventures." No known destinations (though we have some in mind), no reservations, no plans.
Upon arriving at the train station, we anxiously glance up at the list of destinations to see which we felt the desire to visit.
Amsterdam? Mmm, another weekend perhaps.
London? Too expensive.
Cologne? What's in Cologne? I don't know. A cathedral? Well, that sounds nice.
And so Cologne it was. At 40 euros round trip, we knew it was our most financially practial option, and with the next train leaving in 20 minutes, we decided it was probably our best timed option as well.
We arrived in Cologne, Germany with high hopes and hungry tummies. Cologne (or Koln if spelled in German) boasts the largest Gothic structure in the world, a cathedral located literally a stone's throw away from their central station. After doing the obligatory tourist gawking and photo taking, we then steered away from the cathedral in the direction of the nearest pretzel stand (we were in Germany, afterall). With pretzels in tow, we then headed through the commercial downtown in the direction of the Old Town and Rhine River, located perhaps 1-2 miles away from the cathedral. On the way we passed not one, but TWO weddings taking place in the same, we presumed to be, town hall. This experience gave us a glimpse into the German wedding ediquette spectrum. While one wedding party was dressed with upmost poshness and sipping champagne, the one celebrating outside right beside it was accompanied by two men, one playing clarinet and the other playing the saxophone, playing along with a boombox to the tune of Careless Whispers.
So with that taste of Cologne...um...culture, we wandered the streets of Cologne in search of quaint Germanness, which came somewhat in the form of it's Old (and might I add small) Town. It was altogether pleasant, but by 3:00 we were wondering how else we were going to spend our afternoon. I raised the suggestion of visiting another German city, and due to its proximity and affordability, we soon found ourselves on a train to Dusseldorf, Germany, on yet another unexpected adventure.
We arrived in Dusseldorf without so much as a clue as to what could be found there.
As soon as I saw the cobblestone I knew our feelings toward Dusseldorf would change. As soon as I saw the lines of cafes and restaurants I knew we would end up staying more than an hour.
I wrote the following journal entry waiting for the train back to Brussels in a sweet cafe right by the train station:
Letting Fate Run its Course
Perfect, perfect, perfect ending to this trip. Thank you, God, once again for putting me in a situation that makes me realize that I am right where I am meant to be. I am ending this trip relaxed, drinking tea, and writing in my journal. How utterly perfect. Though Koln offered nothing extraordinary, Dusseldorf was everything I wanted out of this trip: spontaneous, exciting, and altogether perfectly German. The perfect German hotel led to the perfect German street on which rested the perfectly German restaurant and bars. Hooray for another city I will look back on with sincerest affection.
So who's to say planning ahead is always best?
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!