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Cologne – November 24, 2012

November 17, 2013

For the month of November, I was living in Bonn to be a part of one of the trimester research programs taking place at the Hausdorff Institute of Mathematics. On my last weekend in Bonn, I made short train ride to the north to Cologne.  I had been there on a previous Friday night with some friends to get a taste of German night life. Based on the one night club I went to, what struck me as quite different between the German and American clubbing crowds was how tame the Germans were. Inside the club, people danced at an ample distance from one another and there was hardly a raunchy display of proud drunkenness from anyone.  No sweaty masses of gyrating bodies packed together, as would be the case back home, could be found.

My main purpose on this second trip was to find some decent chocolate to bring back for my family. I also wanted to get a taste of Cologne during daylight hours. As with my previous trip, upon exiting the train station, I was immediately next to one of the great landmarks of Cologne, the Gothic cathedral.

It turns out St. John’s cathedral on the upper west side of Manhattan, which I visited before, is even larger than the Gothic cathedral. Though given the scale of these monuments, and their very different style of architecture, someone with an untrained eye like myself could hardly compare their magnitudes, much less determine which one was greater in size. After taking a tour inside the Cologne cathedral, I wandered my way through the main shopping part of the town. The stone-built roads gave a distinct feel of an old town. I eventually found a large store with many floors that had a special section that sold candy and chocolate in all sorts of flavors and packages. Mission accomplished.

One of the highlights of my wandering was bumping into a group of street musicians. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I discover a new instrument whose sound opens up an undiscovered auditory vista. (This also occurred on my previous trip to Europe in 2011, where I discovered the hang drum from a duet playing in a town square in Stockholm.)

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From → Excursions

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