Pete's Log: Travels with Crazy Asian Chick, Part II: Essen & Cologne

Entry #1487, (Travel)
(posted when I was 28 years old.)

Sara leaves Germany on July 15. I will miss her. We hadn't been seeing much of each other lately, but last Saturday night, we went out and had ourselves a bit of alcohol. Late into the evening, I mentioned to her that I had titled my entry about our London trip "Travels with Crazy Asian Chick, Part I," and that it was somewhat sad that a part II looked unlikely.

She agreed, but thought we should try to fit something in. The problem was, I had to spend the week in Essen on business, which left only her last week in Germany as a potential time for travel. That is, until we came upon the idea of her coming along to Essen. She could stay in my hotel room and would only need to pay for train tickets there and back.

The next morning, after we had sobered up, it still sounded like a good idea, so Sara packed real quick, we bought her a train ticket, and off we were.

The first few nights there, we didn't do terribly much, since I had to do some work in the evenings. We did manage to go out at least a short while every evening for dinner and some wandering around. Sara seemed content to spend the days on her own, exploring a part of Germany outside of Munich.

During our wanderings, we did discover that a large area of one of the central squares had been covered in a thick layer of sand, easily more than a foot deep. Obviously we had to build a sand castle. So Thursday night, when I had nothing that needed doing, we built a sand castle. Sara had bought a bucket and a couple other supplies, so we were well prepared. The castle we built is by far the biggest I've ever built. It was awesome. I felt a bit silly at first, but by the end I was really into it. Sara has that sort of effect on me, and I urgently need to find somebody local who will keep me connected to my silly side.

Originally we were scheduled to travel back Friday evening, but we decided to make a stop in Cologne (Köln auf Deutsch) instead. We arrived there shortly after six on Friday evening, and found a cheapish hotel near the Hauptbahnhof. After a Kölsch, we explored the city some, checking out the cathedral, the Rhine, and some of the old city. We even came upon a "Cologne Pride" concert with live music. It appeared to be a gay pride/deaf pride combined event. I didn't fully understand it, but we listened to a few songs.

After sleeping in a bit on Saturday, we checked out a bit more of the city, seeing several old churches (at least from the outside), the original 4711 building, and various other bits of the city. For lunch we had Spaghetti Eis. We also picked up some Lego at a Lego store.

It was a short stay, but Sara got to see a bit more of Germany beyond Munich, I got a companion for my trip, and we got to hang out a bit more before she leaves. On the train ride home, we built an amazing vehicle using every single piece of Lego we had acquired.