Cologne, Germany

About the Photo Above: The Dom
Know locally simply as the “Dom,” this big cathedral is in the top two or three in Europe and is the main tourist attraction for those visiting Cologne. “Dom” is the German word for “cathedral.” It is famous because “the cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires” (Wikipedia).

Cologne or Köln
If you are German, the city is known as Köln (the word Cologne is actually from the way French people named the city and then adopted in English from the French). The dots over the “o” give the “o” sounds a bit of an “oh-ew” effect, but if you just say “Koh-Ln” with a long “o” it will be really close to the way locals say it.

Visiting a Friend
My travel plans called for me heading north from Brussels to Amsterdam. However, I noticed that with a slight detour to the east, I could stop in and visit a friend Ulrike Mertesacker whom I had met during my travels in Peru. We met on a long bus ride where I was able to practice some of my German. I also had the opportunity to check out her city while there and work again on my German skills with her and her family.

Rain and Relaxation
While in Cologne it rained most of the three days I was there and so I took the opportunity just to chill and relax which is one of the ways I avoid travel burn-out.

My European Travel Map
Want to see where I’ve been in Europe and where I am now? Check out my map of European travels).


  • Hostels: $20-30/night. I couchsurfed with a local friend!
  • Food: Costs of food in German are similar to the USA. I ate most meals with my host family.
  • Transportation: I rode the tram several times for about $2 per ride


The inside of the cathedral was built so that it would appear darker near the entry, and lighter toward the back (representing the transition toward heaven)

Stained Glass

I loved the bright, stained glass inside the cathedral (I decided to include this pic instead of the ultra-modern pic of a famous glass window on the opposite wall).


A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.[1] Typically the sweethearts’ names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love.

My Host in Cologne

While traveling in Peru, I sat next toUlrike Mertesacker on a long bus ride, when she mentioned she was from Germany I had to practice my German with her. We became Facebook friends and remained in touch over the next year. I promised to visit her my next time in Europe.

Modern Buildings at the Warf

This is where the ultra rich live in Cologne. These buildings now occupy the space around the former port control administration buildings.

Gothic Detail

A closer view of the entry to the Dom pictured above; it is much more impressive in real life than I was able to capture in these photos.

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