We needed a break from things being so Typical Dutch so we day tripped to Germany.
It was two hours on the train with these two clowns.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Cologne and was also very curious about the train ride. We took 3 trains – so two transfers—and it was really funny to see how the “typical dutchness” went away about 5 miles into the German border.
First of all, the police on the second train which connects the Netherlands to a further transfer point in Germany was intense. The cops were questioning quite a few people about drugs. They even patted down a guy sitting next to us. Somehow, even though I was traveling with these two clowns
we didn’t arouse any suspicion but it’s good the police didn’t waste their time. The only thing we were transporting across the border were some snacks.
Also once you crossed the border (we knew because our phones stopped working for a bit then picked up a German carrier instead of a Dutch one) immediately the architecture changes and signs change. Dutch to me and my very, very unscientific assessment sounds like someone speaking German while chewing a peanut butter sandwich. I spent a month or so in Germany in 2003 so German just sounds a bit more familiar. Also, with the name “Katherine Sprissler-Klein” everyone presumes I’m German if they see it written down. Unless they see my face first in which they presume I am Spanish. Which happens in just about every country we are in. Including English-speaking ones. Weird.
So we were on the train and all of a sudden — POOF!– Things are in German! Architecture is different! It never fails to amaze me how short a train ride away European countries are from each other.
Eruopean train travel is particularly awesome because you just get from city center to city center. None of this satellite airport business. In Cologne, you are dumped out directly in front of the city’s largest tourist attraction: the Cathedral.
After seeing approximately 450 million temples in Asia, churches are a welcome breath of fresh air. This one was particularly EUROPEAN CHURCH-Y. It was still new and fresh. And oh so Catholic! OLD School Catholic.
After churching, we walked out into the nastiest, coldest, rainiest MOST TYPICAL DUTCH WEATHER which had followed us to Germany.
So we coped the only way we knew how.
Every day when we are traveling we have some “AMM”s. Achievable, Measurable Missions. Since it was so nasty out we didn’t really want to be outside, our AAM was:
When in Cologne, the locals drink kölsch, smaller tube glasses of beer instead of by the pint or liter/half-liter.
It’s also what you do in Cologne to reward yourself for spending 20 minutes inside a very large religious structure.
To make it fun, we took a picture with Dave and each of his beers.
To counter-act all of that beer, we also ate our fair share of meat in tube form. This was particularly satisfying. It had been AGES. MONTHS. Since we had eaten anything like this. We thought about our time in Burma and how I may have murdered someone to eat a non oil-drenched curry.
Then, I feel compelled to tell you that I fell asleep on the train ride home. And didn’t drink for like a week. And putting these photos together I still feel the headache I had the next day. And am going to drink a Liter of water.
These boys were college buddies for a reason. SHEESH.