I hadn’t been to Cologne (or Köln) since I was 13 so I was excited to return and experience it in the sun (it just rained non stop last time!) and as a grown up. After the wonderful party filled day with Essence we had two days to explore what the city had to offer.
We walking into town to go to the tourist information centre, it’s right opposite Köln Cathedral and has some great info on Cologne and the local area. It is also where walking tours can be found so I decided to go along with a few of the others on an hour and a half English speaking walking tour. We started at the Cathedral which is immense. It’s so detailed, if you have the time when you visit I’d recommend covering knees and shoulders (they are quite strict as the other girls found out the day after when they visited) and go and explore the inside. You can also go up the 533 steps to the south tower viewing platform which gives fab views over Cologne and the Rhine.
We then walked across to the River Rhine. There was about 20 of us in the tour which did make it difficult to hear the guide sometimes, and I did get a little distracted taking photos sometimes too! I got a few nice outfit shots which then prompted the guide to ask us questions as he thought we weren’t paying attention. Oops.
We walked along the river into the old town where we saw lots of older style architecture which was all just so pretty! There was also a lot of bars in the area so there were lots of stags and hens around as it was a pretty busy Saturday, but they were all in good spirits and nice and friendly!
We then walked up to the city hall and then from there to a building that’s the Kolumba museum (a Christian Art Museum) it’s a half old and half new architecture as its built upon the ruins of a church that was destroyed in WW2. We didn’t go into the museum but looked at the older part of the church which you can see through railings. The guide said it shows how something damaged can be made whole again by some thing new, which was probably more insightful than he realised I thought.
We ended our trip at the 4711 shop. I’d already got excited about this as way back when, my Nan gave me the tiniest bottle of it, she used to keep it in her souvenir cabinet, and I used it all up and the smell always reminds me of her. It’s the original Eau de Cologne – made from at least 1799, and which gets its name from this buildings number. It was a lovely way to end the tour, and it really did give a good overview of the city.
Our final day was a Sunday which is a day where shops are closed, as are some attractions, and as we’d had a hectic couple of days myself and Lucinda went to Claudius Therme Spa for our final day. It’s has indoor and outdoor pools, with lots of features for example a floating pool, a Rapids circuit, bubbled areas, a fire and ice circuit (hot pool and ice cold plunge pool) and sun loungers outside. As it was 32 degrees it was the perfect day for it! There’s also a naturist sauna area which we didn’t venture into, but you aren’t allowed swimwear on if you enter into it- and as luck would have it the only sun loungers left were ones that were against the bush (no pun intended) that separated the two areas, let’s just say we did not use our peripheral vision at all!!
It’s lovely and blissful and at about €35 for 4 hours and towel hire and a water and ice cream I thought it was pretty reasonable! I can’t show photos as mobiles are banned completely (we didn’t discover until afterwards after snap chatting this selfie ) and the only one I took before that was of the cable cars that run overhead- I did think they must see some things as they travel up the hill!
I ha a lovely time in Cologne so thanks to the girls for making discovering it even greater! Let me know if you’ve been in the comments, or if it’s somewhere on your list to go!