It was a particularly eventful time to be in Cologne, on account of the New Year’s attacks that had occurred just about two weeks earlier. As expected, the central station was buzzing with protesters, police, and journalists.
Groups also seized the opportunity to hold protests unrelated to the attacks, such as the group for Kurdish rights in Turkey.
Some businesses appeared to welcome the immigrants openly, such as this designer store that translated their door sign into Arabic.
The whole scene stood in contrast to the order that Germans are normally used to.
But you could tell things were generally okay: pedestrians were still waiting at red lights on deserted roads.
The city was also distracted by its fifth season of the year: Carnival season, which culminates in a giant party in early February. In the leadup, you see masses of otherwise very normal adults dressed in costumes that should make a second-grader at Halloween jealous.
I got a bit of nostalgia on realizing that Cologne is the home of my favorite TV show growing up, Die Sendung mit der Maus. You can tell it’s a big deal because the English-language Wikipedia has a very comprehensive article about it.
I was also happy to see that the city featured not only bicycle mailmen, but also bicycle UPS delivery! What an amazing concept.
Some other random notes…the city has some amazing outdoor gyms.
The central station had a super cool photography exhibit on the homeless people living in and around the station. The descriptions were succinct but detailed enough to give you some insight into the people’s lives.
There’s a chocolate museum sponsored by Lindt, which seems to enjoy its position and take subtle swipes at American chocolate in the descriptions.
And of course, no post about Cologne would be complete without a picture of its most famous landmark, the highly impressive central cathedral