Matchday at Cologne

I wanted to support my team in the hard fight of achieving the first victory in the current Bundesliga season. Therefore I ordered a ticket for the away game of the SV Werder Bremen against the 1. FC Köln. In this season they have split up the match days much more – to get more money from TV rights. The match was therefore on 1:30 pm Sunday and I had enough time to explore Köln, Germany.

I had been to Köln several times before, but mostly as a short stop of a longer trip or for a seminar – I didn’t have time before to explore the city center well. Therefore I already took a train on Friday afternoon and went there. About 10 minutes away from the main railway station I reached the Maternushaus, the guesthouse of the Catholic church.

First I went to the nearby MediaPark and had my first Kölsch at Weltmeister Currywurst & Pommes. The next morning I walked to the ancient Eigelsteintor (an old city gate) and along river Rhein to the botanical garden, the Flora. There I took a look at the different European garden styles used and watched the squirrels.

Close-by is the Kölner Zoo, a vast zoological garden with many nice animals and a cool aquarium. From there I continued my journey to the chocolate museum on a peninsula in the river. After shopping some sweeties there I stopped at the nearby Vapiano restaurant. Then I returned to my hotel to get my swimming cloths.

From the hotel I took the U-Bahn to the Neptunbad located in the migration-shaped city quarter Ehrenfeld. I enjoyed some nice hours in this wonderful spa with its combination of Japanese style and art nouveau building. On my way back I stopped at Damla Baklava, a restaurant I had just discovered, for some great Mantı (Turkish ravioli).

On the next morning I used my time to walk over the Hohenzollernbrücke – an iconic railway bridge crossing river Rhein and loaded with 15 tons of love locks. Afterwards I looked into the Kölner Dom for the first time of my life and enjoyed the cool glass windows. Then I took a tour through the Museum Ludwig – an art museum showing mostly pop-art and expressionist works.

And then it was time to take the rather long ride to the RheinEnergieSTADION in Müngersdorf. I met an old friend and his family there and then I   saw a match that didn’t end as desired. It was a draw without any goals. But our long-time injured scorer Max Kruse returned for the last ten minutes of the match – which made me hopeful for the next matches.

I returned to the main railway station and after having lunch I was happy that I started early to get my luggage back from the automatic locker systems. As there where many soccer fans I had to wait nearly 15 minutes to retrieve my bags and nearly missed my train back home. Even though we didn‘t win against the 1. FC Köln it was a nice trip to discover the city and meet friends.


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