Published: July 8th 2012July 8th 2012
All ready to go
All ready to go
Well we've set off and Day 1 was a complete success! We safely arrived in Cologne at 16:30 after three trains and a short walk
The day started early for a Saturday as my train to London left at the ungodly time of 07:20 but it was an uneventful journey and a standard tube trip across to St Pancras. There I met John and we checked in and passed through security - we think one point we thought we spotted Gary Linekar but neitherof us were100% sure it was him...
The trip througth the tunnel was was equally uneventful though we did arrive our a few minutes late into Brussels Midi meaning a jog through the station to catch our connecting German ICE train to Cologne - all those lunch time at the gym have paid off!
Apart from leaving a few minutes late (to wait for Eurostar passengers - ggrrr) the train ran with the usual German efficiency. It was on this train we felt the holiday had really begun due to one important event - the first beer of the trip!
After 2 hours the train pulled into Koln HBF station and we had arrived.
All in all it had only taken me 8 hours to reach Cologne from Manchester which I think it pretty good going!
We checked into the Hilton Cologne and all those nights in Birmingham also paid off when we received a suite upgrade! Two levels, two bathrooms and a living room. This is the life... After the leaving the hotel having realised I hadn't eaten since breakfast so the first port of call was a food stall for the local speciality: Currywurst. Basically a chopped up sausage covered in spicy ketchup and curry powder served with a bread roll. It was amazing and I'm sure my description doesn't do justice...
The rest of the day was spent just wander aroung followed by dinner. The food was probably my highlight of the day - you'll see from the photos the Schweinenhaxe I ordered was immense. Basically it's a grilled pig nuckle served with potatoes and saurkraut. Lots of basic but hearty food, but right up my street with the amount of meat. Not somewhere I would recommend for a veggie.
After dinner a quick walk along the Rhine to aid digestion and a reasonably early night after a
Day two will be spent doing the major tourist sites of the Cathedral and a trip along the Rhine. We end the day catching the 22:28 sleeper train bound for Moscow - a 36 hour journey and chance to relax!
There are more photos below