Cologne’s my favourite German city. Not beacuse it’s particularly beautiful, like Heidelberg, or wild and vibrant, like Hamburg, but because it’s the one I know best, and holds the most memories for me. Memories from my earliest visits to Germany more than a decade ago. Heartbreakingly happy memories that I now cling desperately to. Bette Middler is fittingly singing The Rose as the train pulls into Köln Hauptbahnhof, and I quickly cut her off, stuffing my iPod earphones into my jacket pocket. The last lines hang in my ears as I step onto the platform beneath the sweeping iron arches of the station.
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong–
Robert’s waiting for me on the platform, and like Cologne, I’ve not seen him for almost two years, since the Football World Cup in 2006. Quick greetings, and we’re off through the crowds, looking for our first kölsch of the day. It’s not that Cologne can be classed an ugly city, or a dull one, by any measure. The city greets me like an old friend, with the first real sunshine I’ve seen since I arrived in Germany a week ago. The fantastic black gothic precipices of the Dom, Cologne’s main cathedral tower over the Domplatte, which is packed with young people on this Saturday afternoon. Continue reading “Cologne Again”