Getting from Madrid to Cologne was stupidly difficult and expensive so in the end I took an early Saturday-morning flight to Frankfurt and then I booked train tickets (an ICE and a suburban train) to the hotel area in Cologne. My plane took off at dawn (literally) and landed at 9:40, so I thought about booking the train at 10:30.
On a whim of distrustfulness, I decided to get the train for 11:00, which was lucky. While we did land on time, it took us an eternity to get to the terminal, and in the end I arrived in the station just past 10:30. Since I had a bit of time, I grabbed a Frapucchino and a bagel for some ridiculous price, but that kept me going until the evening.
I reached Cologne and went on to the commuter to the venue area, where my hotel was, a short walk away from the station. After checking in, I dropped my things off in an amazing room, and had to do a double take – for a second I was not sure they had given me the right room, because it was way too nice for the price I was paying.
After changing clothes, I grabbed my bottle of water and off I went towards the city centre to visit the Cologne Cathedral, Kölner Dom. The cathedral has been a World Heritage site since 1996. Its construction started in 1248, but was halted in 1473. The building remained unfinished until the 1840s, when the work was picked up again, following the original Medieval plans, and the church was finally completed in 1880. While it was badly damaged in WWII, it withstood the bombings and ever since then it has been in a constant state of small and not-so-small restorations and repairs.
From the Cathedral I walked towards Cologne Zoo or Kölner Zoo. Although it had been drizzling before, at that point it was sunny again, and the walk was nice.
I decided to go to the zoo because it was the only thing that seemed to be open for long enough to mean value for money. The weather had warmed up and the bunnies were roasted *coughs*. I got to see some animals I had never seen before, such as Przewalski’s horses, snipes, or a grizzly bear. The zoo has a huge enclosure area, a petting zoo with domestic animals (and cheeky cows), an aquarium and a terrarium with both reptiles and creepy-crawlers *shudders*.
Then I walked back to the hotel, stopping by the supermarket on my way – and here I discovered my undoing. The triple chocolate cookies which wrecked my trying to eat healthy stroll. I shall try to find them again in my next Germany trip though. However, I have to say that I had learnt from my being stupid for MIYAVI in London and not eating well through the weekend.
I was exhausted, so I think I was out at 22:00, which helped being awake at 7:00 the next morning. Thus I just headed off for the venue, E-Werk, and settled to queue.
While The Gazette is not a band I usually listen to, I really wanted to check them out, and this was the opportunity. They’re fun live, but not a band I need to follow up on, either on CDs or concert-wise, so while I may consider attending another concert if it happens close to me, I won’t spend too much money on them. Also, I had purchased “VIP” tickets which included a handshake with the priority entry – that ended up having to line up all day, anyway.
I have to say that the line was the most organised I’ve ever been to, but unfortunately the venue staff was averagely unfriendly
On Monday morning my paranoia had me early at the station, and that was good because apparently my suburban had been cancelled, and being early I was lucky enough to be able to catch a completely different one, but I was able to make it to Cologne station without any further stress and catch my ICE. As the station is located next to the Dom, I was able to say good-bye.
I also had quite a few nice views from the plane.