After our amazing stay in Hannover, it was sad to leave, but this was balanced out with my excitement to get to Cologne. The weather was absolutely sweltering too so we were relieved to make our way onto a nice air-conditioned train. Like all of our other national rail journeys, it was such a breeze and we’d really quickly picked up the etiquette of interrailing.
As soon as we stepped off the train and out of the station we were blown away by the gorgeous Cologne Cathedral. It is one of the biggest gothic cathedrals in Europe and its medieval eerie style left us gawping in awe. Weirdly, I liked the fact that part of the cathedral was damaged as it all added to the gothic aesthetic of the building.
Next we checked into our hostel – the less said about this the better as it was honestly the most uncomfortable stay of my life. The room was dusty and the whole place had the feeling of staying in a mental asylum. Luckily Cologne as a city was enough to make up for the bad accommodation.
As we arrived in Cologne in the late afternoon, we only really had time for a quick mooch around on the first day. There are an abundance of different medieval churches which were fun to look at. Aside from culture too it was nice to walk down the main shopping street (which has a Zara, H&M and more). To escape the heat, we sat by the Rhine for a while which was lovely. Sitting by the river reminded me of being back in London which immediately put me at ease.
The next day, we met up with one of my sister’s friends who lives an hour away from Cologne. We had a great time eating gelato and having long chats about TV shows and books. The heat hadn’t subsided at this point so we spent a couple of hours chilling out by the river again.
As the afternoon rolled by we said goodbye to my sister’s friend and went to the oldest fragrance factory in the world. We had booked a tour and honestly it was the best decision of our entire trip. Our tour guide was so bubbly and enthusiastic and the tour was very interactive. We got to hear the history of colognes and fragrances and smelt a load of different essential oils. The tour ended with a free sample too – for five euros I really couldn’t believe the bargain as it was such an enjoyable experience! I’m thinking of writing up a post on the history of perfume with some stuff I learnt from the tour, so if you’re interested in that, do leave a comment below.
It was a nice break stopping over in Cologne after doing so much in the other cities. We spent more time enjoying the scenery and soaking up the atmosphere than we did anywhere else and I really enjoyed it!
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about the final leg of our tour which was in Frankfurt! Make sure you click the follow button so you don’t miss hearing about the end of our trip 🙂
Day 1 – Hamburg, Day 2 – Berlin, Day 3 – Berlin, Day 4 – Hannover