Monday, September 05, 2005
This weekend we decided to visit the twin cities of Cologne (Germany's fourth largest city) and Bonn (West Germany's former capital). A couple of our friends live there. We used the service of "travelling along". People who travel in Germany on their cars with some vacant space advertise this space on Internet to be rented. Which means you can travel with them if your source and destination cities match their's. It costs much less than trains and also saves time (www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de) . So we found a man travelling to Bonn and decided to travel with him. He turned out to be a pilot and indicated that he had to fly a plane half hour after our arrival. We had a nice chat on the way. And we reached Cologne, the city i lived my first three months in. On Saturday we went to a market in Cologne and it was filled with cheers. Lots of people were walking up and down and there with many people demonstrating their skills on the street. Some were playing dramas, some juggling, some doing tricks, some playing music and many with costumes. This is probably unique to Cologne. The people here love to dress up in costumes and have lots of fun. It is a truly all-time living city. It boasts perhaps the biggest church (Dom) in Europe and the biggest river in Germany: Rhine (crossing 4-5 countries and having loads of ships travelling it). Last week it hosted "World Youth Day" with some one million people and the new Pope visiting it.
Bonn is a relatively small city but beautifully carved holding many official builings, just like Islamabad. It is also located on Rhine river. I have observed that major cities in Germany lie on rivers. On Sunday we climbed some 500 stairs of one of the twin towers of the Cologne church, and had a beautiful view of the city. While we were taking pictures along Rhine river in Cologne, we wanted to have a photo of us all. We were discussing who to ask when we heard the voice "should i do it?" in our Urdu language. Surprised, we looked around to see a Pakistani in an ice-cream truck, We had a chat with him and he offered free ice-cream. On return we travelled with the same pilot and he told us that he landed his plane 15 minutes ago. If you ever visit Germany, think about visiting Cologne. You can see the photos of my visit here: