I decided that after Maastricht I didn’t want to go back home on Sunday as that was such a short trip and a waste of my days off and a waste of being in Europe. I decided that I would look at the map to see where was close to Maastricht that was easy enough and short enough to get to on the train.

Cologne won the battle. I had been there on the same trip Jamie and I did the Christmas markets and we only had a couple of hours here and a brief look in the cathedral. I decided that this would be a good place to go since I hadn’t seen a lot of it.

I also decided when I was in Cologne that I would go to Bonn (since the tram went from Cologne to Bonn).

In this post, I will write about Cologne and Bonn. Apologies if it is a long post.

  • Map

  • Sunday

    Today I arrived in Cologne via Aachen. I got a train from Maastricht and decided for a couple more Euro’s I could get a first-class ticket and that is exactly what I did.

    I had to change in Aachen and it was really strange to be here as the last time I was here I stayed in a hostel just across from the station and I could see it from the platforms. You can read about that trip here.

    I arrived in Cologne and headed out of the station and was greeted by the awesome sight of the cathedral. I had a quick look at the map and headed to the hostel (not without being sweaty due to the temperature) to check in so I could have a bit of a rest as I was still tired from being up early and having a late night.

    I got to the hostel and I was there before I could get to the room so I had to leave my case and headed out for a couple of hours. I found a McDonald’s and had some food as I was hungry – I took it to the train station and sat there and chilled and had my food.

    I then went and checked in and had a couple of hours in the hostel before I headed back out towards the cathedral.

    After the cathedral, I went on the tram and hopped on it to the end of the line. What I didn’t realise is that the last stop was the last stop and ended up in the tram sidings wondering what was gonna happen. The driver came by and spoke to me in German and I said I didn’t understand and he asked if I wanted to get off at the last stop and I said yes. I got off there and spoke with Jamie and I’m pretty sure she found it funny what had just happened.

    I then found myself some food and went back for the night and went to bed to get some decent (ha, as if in the heat) sleep.

    You can see some of the pictures I took today

  • Monday

    Today was my first full day in Cologne and I got up early and spent all day outside of the hostel as I wanted to see as much as possible and do as much as possible.

    I was trying to decide if I should do the sightseeing bus and the cable car but I was on a tight budget so decided against it for the trip. I decided that I would just use the trams and scout out some places to visit.

    I decided that I wanted to go see a church down by the river called Kath. Kirche Groß St. Martin. I checked it out on the map and it looked quite far away so I got on the tram and headed there. I realised later that it was only a 15-minute walk from the hostel. The maps make it look further away than it really is.

    I wandered around the cobbled streets and it was really nice to see the architecture. I wandered down by the river too before heading to the church. It turns out the church was closed on a Monday so I decided I would go a different day. I then walked back by the Rathaus towards the cathedral to go to the tram.

    I looked on the map to see where there was a cemetery and I headed there and had a wander around for about an hour before heading to pick up the walking tour.

    It turns out that I was the only one on the walking tour so it was just like having my own personal tour guide. She was really knowledgable despite being in the country for only 4 years. The tour itself was around 2 hours and it was a nice walk around.

    Once the tour was done, I decided to go get some dinner and then head back to the tram and tram surf until I was ready to go back to the hostel to sleep.

    Below are some pictures from today.

  • Tuesday (Bonn)

    I decided that I would get up and head out to the tram and get it to Bonn. I realised that since it was so close I might as well go. It took around 55 minutes on the tram to get there.

    I decided that I would wander around without a plan of where to go or what to see. As I was walking around I came across Münsterplatz and a statue of Beethoven. As it turns out, Beethoven was born here in Bonn. After I looked around here I opened the map and decided to find a souvenir shop to pick up the regular souvenirs of magnets and lanyards. I got to the souvenir store and all I could find was a magnet.

    As I was walking there, I saw a church that I wanted to go to but it wasn’t open until 11. After picking up my souvenirs I went to McDonald’s to have some breakfast (and I also may or may not have needed the toilet). Once I had eaten, I then wandered around some more and walked around Markt and found a church to go visit. I spent about 45 minutes here and the respite from the sun was very welcome. The church was St. Remigius.

    After I was done here, I had a bit more of a walk around and then headed to the tram and went to the end of the line and found some food – granted it was 5 miles outside of the city but that was cool.

    After I had eaten, I then went back to the city centre and to visit Stiftung Namen-Jesu-Kirche to see what it was like. Once done here, I then had a walk around some more and to get a drink and then decided I was way too hot and tired and decided to get the tram back to Cologne. This was not without incident – I thought I saw the right platform so went to it and it turns out it was the wrong platform and I should have stayed where I got off. Grrrr.

  • Tuesday (Cologne)

    The first part of the day I got the tram to Bonn and spent a few hours here wandering around. I figured since it was only 50 minutes on the tram I would go and see what it was like.

    Bonn is the former capital of West Germany so I thought it would be interesting to see. You can read about my trip here above.

    Once I got back to Cologne, I decided I would visit a church near to the cathedral (I stayed here for a bit as it was cool and dark and a welcome relief from the sun). Once I was done here, I went to the bridge and had a walk across the bridge to the other side of the river and sat under the bridge in the shade and cool and had some crisps and water. It was so welcome. I spent an hour or so here before heading back across the bridge.

    Once I was back on the other side, I leaned against a fence and spent about 45 minutes just watching the trains as we were close to the station. It was a nice sight for this guy who likes trains.

    Below are my pictures from Cologne today.

  • Wednesday

    Today was my last full day in Cologne and I decided that I wanted to go to the Cologne Triangle and have a wander around the other side of the river as I hadn’t really spent much time that side (aside from sitting in the shade under the bridge).

    I didn’t have to be up early so I didn’t and had a bit of a lie-in. It was also payday so I went to McDonald’s and treated myself to some food. Once I had my food, I headed out on the tram to a place I wanted to see when I passed on the tram to Bonn. It was an area called Chlodwigplatz and visited a church called St. Severin.

    I then headed towards Kath. Kirche Groß St. Martin so I could have a look inside and see what it was like. It wasn’t as ornate as the others I had been in and I sadly couldn’t climb the bell tower as it said you could.

    Once I was done here, I then decided to head to the Cologne Triangle and go to the top so I could take some pictures.

    I got back to the bottom and I needed the toilet so I asked if I could use them only to be told I would need to take the lift back up 28 floors to the top to the toilets. I decided against it and realised that there was a Hyatt Regency close by and I used the toilet there instead. I also sat in the lobby for 45 minutes enjoying the air con and free wifi so I could upload my pictures.

    Once I had done that, I then hopped on a tram to see what else I could find. I got to the end of the tram line (turns out it wasn’t the last stop on the line, but work meant it terminated there) and some nice German gentleman tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Fahrt endet hier ‘. I was impressed that I understood him – it means ride ends here.

    I found a Penny supermarket and got myself some cold drinks and a bit of chocolate as I was hungry and a bit dehydrated. I then headed back to the tram to the city centre and headed out in the direction I saw a couple of other places I wanted to see.

    Below are some of the pictures from today

  • Thursday

    Today was check out day from the hostel. I was going to get up early and head to the supermarket so I could pick up some chocolate to bring home but my need for sleep was greater. I woke up around 8 and my phone updated itself and I thought I had lost a lot of my pictures. I panicked a bit but realised there were all still on iCloud.

    I then got ready and checked out and left my bag at the hostel and headed out to the supermarket. I got some food first and then had a wander around nearby the supermarket and found a church. I then went in and had a look and headed back to the tram to go to the Real,- supermarket to get the chocolate and then to Rewe to get some more chocolate.<
    I then got back on the tram and picked up my bag and headed to the airport. The train was 30 minutes late from the station but that was ok as I wasn’t in a hurry.

    Below are some of the pictures from today

The trip home was a bit of a nightmare. We were stuck on the stand for 40 minutes and I was worried I wasn’t going to get the train home. I realised half way through the flight that I was gaining an hour and didn’t need to worry. Turns out I was very wrong. Below is what I posted on Facebook on the evening in question. Just over 2 hours late getting home. I am so glad for good samaritans.

An eventful journey so far. Train to the airport in Cologne 30 minutes late. Boarded on time at the airport. Stayed on the stand for for 40 minutes owing to thunderstorms over Brussels. Train to Peterborough cancelled. Having to take a train to Bishops Stortford to go to Cambridge. Currently awaiting a train to Cambridge and hopefully catch the last train to Peterborough.

— UPDATE —

Move to platform 2. Train comes in with a problem and taken out of service. Move to platform 1. Possibly not gonna make the last train to Peterborough. Sleeping at Cambridge I reckon. Lol

— UPDATE UPDATE —

Still not at Cambridge. Last train to Peterborough leaves now. Time to cry to the station staff to get me home and get me a drink of water. Keep you all posted!

— UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE —

Some nice lady has just offered me and one other person a lift to Peterborough station. Result. Station staff not very helpful.

— UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE —

Finally home – not before stopping for a cold Tango and some Jammie Dodgers – the other helped passenger had her husband pick us up and they dropped me by the shop. 5 hours sleep here I come!

You can view all of my Cologne pictures here

You can view all of my pictures from Bonn here

I decided that after Maastricht I didn’t want to go back home on Sunday as that was such a short trip and a waste of my days off and a waste of being in Europe. I decided that I would look at the map to see where was close to Maastricht that was easy enough and short enough to get to on the train.

Cologne won the battle. I had been there on the same trip Jamie and I did the Christmas markets and we only had a couple of hours here and a brief look in the cathedral. I decided that this would be a good place to go since I hadn’t seen a lot of it.

I also decided when I was in Cologne that I would go to Bonn (since the tram went from Cologne to Bonn).

In this post, I will write about Cologne and Bonn. Apologies if it is a long post.

The trip home was a bit of a nightmare. We were stuck on the stand for 40 minutes and I was worried I wasn’t going to get the train home. I realised half way through the flight that I was gaining an hour and didn’t need to worry. Turns out I was very wrong. Below is what I posted on Facebook on the evening in question. Just over 2 hours late getting home. I am so glad for good samaritans.

An eventful journey so far. Train to the airport in Cologne 30 minutes late. Boarded on time at the airport. Stayed on the stand for for 40 minutes owing to thunderstorms over Brussels. Train to Peterborough cancelled. Having to take a train to Bishops Stortford to go to Cambridge. Currently awaiting a train to Cambridge and hopefully catch the last train to Peterborough.

— UPDATE —

Move to platform 2. Train comes in with a problem and taken out of service. Move to platform 1. Possibly not gonna make the last train to Peterborough. Sleeping at Cambridge I reckon. Lol

— UPDATE UPDATE —

Still not at Cambridge. Last train to Peterborough leaves now. Time to cry to the station staff to get me home and get me a drink of water. Keep you all posted!

— UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE —

Some nice lady has just offered me and one other person a lift to Peterborough station. Result. Station staff not very helpful.

— UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE —

Finally home – not before stopping for a cold Tango and some Jammie Dodgers – the other helped passenger had her husband pick us up and they dropped me by the shop. 5 hours sleep here I come!

You can view all of my Cologne pictures here

You can view all of my pictures from Bonn here