My Travel Philosophy

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Off to Germany

Check out at the hotel was a breeze this morning (unlike getting up at 6, which was difficult as I had been up quite late packing, etc.). As much as I'm looking forward to the rest of the trip, I can't help feeling sad that I'm leaving this amazingly beautiful city.

Once I got to the train station, I recognized it from when Steve and I visited Paris in 2010. The trains are modern, comfortable and fast -- I actually got a bit nauseous watching out the window. Traveling by train from Paris to Cologne, though, and watching the passing countryside reminded me of Wisconsin:  trees, fields, towers for electrical wires.  

Cologne Cathedral next to train station 
The cathedral at Cologne is big, gothic, and beautiful. It literally towers over the train station and the square outside the station. The stone is dark and looks like it has never been cleaned (although there was scaffolding set up in various spots so maybe work is in progress). With the dark stone and the many spires on the cathedral, it sets a really gothic tone. The inside is filled with vaulted ceilings and really lovely stained glass, and there's a crypt you can go down to visit. It was chilly when I left Paris and it rained during the train ride so I was worried that it would be raining in Cologne when I got there. Fortunately, though, it was beautiful -- maybe just some clouds on and off.

Automated luggage machine
The train station in Cologne is big and modern with these wonderful machines for storing your luggage. You put the bag in, add money, and your luggage is lowered down to a storage area and you're given a claim ticket. When you're ready to collect it, you just put the ticket in the machine and your luggage is retrieved. Really slick.

My stop in Cologne was just a brief stay as I wanted to see the cathedral. From there, I headed on to Frankfurt for the night. The train from Cologne to Frankfurt was even nicer and more plush than the one in the morning. I just love traveling by train!  

Already I'm finding more English in Germany than I found in France. I was really surprised as the lack of English in France -- signs, menus, even people speaking English -- and French isn't that easy to pick through and try to understand.

Frankfurt Hbf - beautiful old structure
The train station in Frankfurt is a lovely old structure and feels 'old world'.  As my hotel is directly across the street from the station, I just went back to the station after checking in to my hotel and grabbed a hot dog pizza and some apple wine for dinner.

Looks like the whole next part of my trip will be rainy!

No comments:

Post a Comment