The bustling streets of Cologne never cease to amaze me–from artists composing stunning chalk portraits on the sidewalk to inspirational gospel choirs singing outside the cathedral, there always seems to be something lively and provocative happening around every corner. After a nightmare of a train journey from London to Cologne, I passed out the minute I arrived at my hotel. But the next day (after a heavenly breakfast in bed) I set out to explore the city, and what better place to start than the most-visited landmark in all of Germany: The Cologne Cathedral.
There really is no mystery as to why the Cologne Cathedral is Germany’s most-visited landmark: the church is simply breathtaking. There is no other way to describe it. Every meticulous detail of the architecture, from the stained glass to the seemingly unending spires, appears flawless.
By the time I actually made it out of the Cathedral (I may have lost track of time in the sheer beauty of it all), there was no way I would have been able to fit in the museums I wanted to visit before close. So I made my way down to the river, stumbled upon a love-lock bridge across the Rhine, and treated myself to some Thai curry for dinner.
This morning I started the day with the Römisch-Germanisches (Romano-Germanic) Museum. The archeological museum possesses an extensive collection of Roman artifacts from Cologne and the surrounding area, including an ancient mosaic preserved in its original location.
I spent a few hours in the archeological museum (though one could easily spend an entire day there), before heading to the Museum Ludwig, which houses an impressive assemblage of modern art, including masterpieces by the likes of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso. There was also a fascinating concept piece by the Guerrilla Girls, an organization that seeks to expose both the gender and racial gap that pervades the world of ‘high art’. I highly recommend taking a look at some of the work by this activist group if you’ve never heard of them.
Tomorrow I begin my Fulbright orientation to become an English teaching assistant. I am very excited to get this underway and hope to learn a lot of helpful information at the orientation. Wish me luck!