Captivated in Cologne and Bonn

Aaaaand finals are over, for the 6th time. It’s incredible how routine this university finals-prep period has become, and yet how torturous it still is each time. Ironically, the increasing ease with which I have been brandishing against finals has been giving me quite a bit of unease.

I really shouldn’t be so relaxed about this… Ah well, all that’s done has been done. Que sera sera – and now we move on to more exciting conquests in life.

R1009487 Whilst in the last couple of weeks of my time in Berlin, I hopped over to Cologne for a short 3-day stay.

There is something incredibly tranquil about Cologne and Bonn, like a kind of quiet peace that washes over you as you try – as much as you can anyway – to breathe slower, deeper.  To take things in little bits and pieces and not all at once.

That was the kind of effect these two cities had on me; a soothing, comforting lullaby of rivers and skies and golden sun.

R1009468 R1009533R1009536R1009537 The Kölner Dom is endlessly fascinating. My mind just cannot comprehend how such precise detail can be given to such an old, humongous structure. It’s absolutely insane. We also climbed up to the top to the viewing platform, which was all caged up so it wasn’t that spectacular really. I’d say the more interesting bit was actually climbing the claustrophobic, narrow spiral staircase (with hundreds of people in line behind and in front), wondering when you were going to miss a step and go crashing straight down to the bottom (assuming of course, that there weren’t hundreds of people behind and in front).

I’d still say the cathedral is more wonderous and mystical from afar (there were dead birds stuck on the viewing platform).

R1009491R1009526R1009540This German rode by on his bike, glanced at the Dom, got off, set up his easel – and stared painting there and then.

I in turn, stopped, stared, and snuck a shot. This is precisely why I love Cologne. It’s so wonderfully pleasant and laidback, as though there’s nothing else in the world these Germans could be doing except stopping by the riverside to paint.

R1009547R1009595 R1009605It was well into the afternoon by the time we were done with our lattes and mochas and hot chocolates. By then, we’d already spent 2 days in Cologne and decided to visit Bonn on a whim. Bonn is a small, quiet town just 20 minutes away from Cologne by train.

Better known for being Beethoven’s birthplace and the town of Haribo, Bonn was bathed in a delightful evening glow by the time we arrived.

R1009611R1009624R1009631 R1009650R1009653We spent a short while by the river, then trespassed into the University of Bonn, and proceeded to roll about on the campus greens with our fellow undergrads.

R1009663R1009687 R1009682R1009684R1009672We didn’t manage to visit the Haribo factory (it was closed for the day, boo), but it was a wonderful visit nonetheless. Just three broke students, a map, worn shoes and a couple of cameras 🙂

Satisfied, we left Bonn together with the setting sun.