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Opposite Bonn, at the foot of the misty, rolling hills of Siebengebirge, lies the summer resort town of Konigswinter. It's a small place, with not a great deal to see, but it does have a great location on the banks of the Rhine overlooking Bonn, and it does have at least one major draw: Schloss Drachenburg.
Konigswinter is an easy trip from Cologne, just look for any regional train heading in the direction of Koblenz and see if it stops there. It takes about 50 minutes.
Written Mar 13, 2011
Half way between Cologne and Bonn are the stunningly beautiful palaces of Bruhl. When we arrived it was late on a winter's day, and the early evening light produced amazingly long shadows stretched across glorious gardens. And in winter the gardens are almost completely empty of people.
Bruhl is a small town easily accessed by train from Cologne or Bonn - about 15 minutes from either. It's a pleasant little town, but the main draws are the two palaces of Augustusburg and Falkenlust. The Augustusburg Palace is right next to the train station, so even if you only have 15 minutes to spare on your way south from Cologne, it's absolutely worth stopping off here.
Updated Mar 2, 2011
Although I never found Cologne to be in any way oppressive it is always nice to have a wander and find yourself a bit of personal space. A very pleasant sunny morning meander took me across the railway bridge from which I headed south along the riverside down to the old docks.
This gives you a different perspective of the city as you walk and once you pass the Severinsbrucke you can cross back to the main river where there's a riverside nature reserve which is popular with the locals for sunbathing and dog-walking etc.
Good for working up a thirst for the Kölsch's and hunger for the sausages.
Written Sep 19, 2010
This rococco palace is located in Brühl, south of Cologne. The palaces Augustusburg and Falkenlust once belonged to the archbishop of Cologne. As member of the bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty he had good connections to Bavaria and hired many great architects already known for other architectural achievements. The most important contribution is probably the grand staircase by Balthasar Neumann. Schloss Augustusburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, and rightfully so.
Closed in December and January.
Updated Dec 27, 2007
This small Hunting Palace is at a brisk walks distance from Schloss Augustusburg - go through the formal gardens, then turn left (sign-posted) and walk on roughly 1 km. It can be visited except for December/January.
Updated Dec 27, 2007
Back in 1999, my friend and I were on our way to Bonn for a day trip to view Beethoven's house and to try Bonch, Bonn's recently concocted version of Kölsch. That beer was quite unremarkable and served in a silly bent glass. On the way back, I noticed a beer sign on a small pub from the train window. I looked over at my friend and he knew immediately I wanted to hop off the train and try one. A good thing about German trains is if you buy a ticket between two cities you are allowed to get off and on as many times as you want as long as you continue in the same direction. So, we did. We found the Richmodis Kölsch quite tasty. One beer later we were back on the train platform and the whole thing took less than an hour. We saw a part of Germany we'd never have seen without this little stop and we talk about it sometimes and laugh at the impulsive move. I'm glad we did. It seems the Gaffel brewery has since taken over Richmodis. Who knows if the beer is the same now or if it will even exist in ten years.
Updated Jun 14, 2007
Küppers is one of the breweries that was taken over by the Kölner group so while the beer is still available the small brewery is no longer independently owned. Many people would say it's not a big deal especially if the beer itself is still produced. What they do not think about is how the beer may change or disappear down the road as the big brewery is likely only concerned with sales volume. The independent brewery certainly wants to sell beer too but individual owners may not care about this as much as producing something unique or even something they personally enjoy. If the big breweries take over all of the smaller ones it will not be a good thing for Cologne's beer scene so enjoy the smaller ones while they are there. You may help save a brewery and a very unique part of this great city.
Updated Jun 14, 2007
Harald Schmidt is a well-known German entertainer broadcasting a late night show twice a week. The show is produced in Studio 449 in Cologne. If you are in Germany for a longer time and have watched (and liked) his show on TV, why not get tickets and see it live?
Getting tickets is a little complicated:
- You have to be over 18 years of age.
- You have to order tickets via phone +49 1805 600 660 and then try to get a convenient date (the show is produced Wednesday and Thursday).
- You have to pay in advance (8 Euro per ticket plus 6,50 Euro fee once) and bring every piece of paper you received plus an ID to the show.
- You get the actual ticket.
- You can enjoy the show.
Note that tickets cannot be changed after having been purchased!
Despite the efforts to get the tickets, it is well worth it. The show me and my brother went to was really funny, especially as Harald Schmidt made a lot of jokes before the actual show which he referred to during the show (and which nobody watching him on TV understood...). Furthermore, it's also interesting to see how a TV show is produced and what the actual final product looks like.
Updated Mar 14, 2007
The Inner Ring Road serves to define the limits of the center city. It essentially follows the 18th century defensive wall and fortifications. In the 19th century, following German unification, most of the wall was dismantled, and several parks created from the ramparts. This sylvan glade is an oasis of calm in the middle of one of the busier parts of the city.
Written Aug 22, 2006
An Alter Markt (Old Market) landmark, this puckish lad is known (in the Kolsch dialect) as "dä Kallendresser."
You have to look up - way up - to find him. He's on the house that is known as "Em Hanen." The story goes that the owner of the property wished to display his complete and utter contempt of the city fathers. Artistic licence goes a long way here!
Written Aug 20, 2006
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