In August 2012 I went to Cologne as official hanger-on with a local choir. The chance to bore hundreds of people at once with my holiday snaps is too great to resist, so here's a selection. I'll keep commentary to a minumum — you can make up some equally-amusing tales yourselves.(These are reduced in size and quality from the originals to make them web-friendly. Be thankful. I've done no other processing or touch-up, though — how can you improve on perfection?)
On the Way
- Aachen spring water. It brought health to Charlemagne, Casanova, and many other royal guests; but the EU is not so easily satisfied.
- Bahkauv: a legendary half-dragon, half-panther which terrorises any Aachenites who drink too much.
- Somewear in Aachen. Not only do most Germans speak excellent English, but they even use its puns for shop names!
- Another English punning shop name.
- The Fountain of Puppets, demonstrated by our tour guide.
- A closer view of some of the puppets.
- An Aachen cathedral window, from the outside.
- The Circulation Of Money Fountain.
- Aachen Cathedral. (In the courtyard, a wine festival is in preparation.)
- The Imperial Crown Jewels, on display in the Town Hall. (Real or replica? You decide.)
- A statue of the emperor Charlemagne, who lived and died here. (No images of him survive, so this is just a guess.)
- The main banqueting chamber in the Town Hall.
- The staircase to the banqueting chamber, complete with Charlemagne's monogram (formed from the letters of his Latin name: KAROLVS).
- The staircase, complete with some idiot who got in the way.
- The lower section of staircase, complete with the same idiot.
- Outside view of the town hall, complete with Charlemagne's statue (now facing outward, for the photographers).
- The Hohenzollern Bridge across the Rhine.
- Cologne Cathedral, from across the Rhine.
- Köln Triangle tower. (The next few photos were taken from its observation platform, 28 storeys up.)
- Cologne from the tower, including the Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge, Opera House, Colonius Tower, and Köln-Turm.
- A skyscraper — a real feat of engineering to balance it on such a narrow base…
- Two trains pass on the Hohenzollern Bridge. (A third passed moments later, but I couldn't get a clear shot of all three. Tragic.)
- Sunshine on the Rhine.
- Love padlocks on the Hohenzollern Bridge. We estimated there must be hundreds of thousands of them, spread across the entire length. (I heard Deutsche Bahn were going to remove them all, but public outcry stopped them.)
- The Kranhaus buildings, from afar.
- As Oscar Wilde nearly said, "I can resist everything except chocolate."
- Rainforest, or at least a botanical garden in the museum — hot, humid, and growing cacao and many other tropical plants.
- Chocolate In Motion — small blocks of chocolate speed eagerly through a machine towards gold wrapping and boxes, though unfortunately not my stomach on this occasion.
(All photos copyright © Andrew Giddings 2012)