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Published: January 13th 2016
I went downstairs to get some hostel breakfast, and ran into Mike again. We decided to try and find some bikes to rent. Our efforts however proved futile as the method to rent them required a phone call, in German, to the bike company whereby they would give us a pin number. In any case we couldn't be bothered, so we decided to just walk. Mike had already been here for several days so he showed me around, beginning with the nearby red light district, then the financial district, then we walked along the Rhine and crossed over towards some residential neighborhoods on the south side. We got an amazing view of the skyline. For blocks and blocks we conversed, sharing travel stories amongst other things. Being that it was Easter Friday, the city seemed quite empty and many shops were closed. It was pretty unexpected to find a city such as this in such a desolate state. Hours later, when we finally headed back towards the hostel, we stopped along the way for a traditional Frankfurter dog.
Once back into the hostel we ran into John. He surprised both of us as he was supposed to have been on
a flight heading to Afghanistan. Apparently he had been partying until the wee hours of the morning, and then passed out and missed his flight. Mike eventually departed to catch his train to Hanover. That night I walked out into the city once more and got lost for hours. When I returned the hostel common room was in full party mode. I was feeling quite introverted at that point though and decided to just take the acoustic guitar into the next room where I sat and played. A little while later I heard the voice of a man from behind me yelling out "Pantera!", due to the sweatshirt I was wearing. I turned to see two heavy metal biker types grinning at me. They insisted I go to the common room with them and one of them bought me a Kolsh beer. Next thing I knew I was getting drunk with them. They had rode into town to see a heavy metal act, Within Torment. John was there too and started talking to me about his crazy adventures abroad, such as threesomes with Indonesian women and a time when he was jailed for five days in the Philippines for inadvertently
breaking an ATM.
I was off again the next day. The train ride to Cologne was one of the most beautiful journeys I've been on. We rode along the Rhine and either side of the river was peppered with magnificent villages and castles. I chatted with a gorgeous German chick across from me who was headed to Hamburg. Needless to say I missed some of the scenery for a different sort of scenery if you know what I mean. The exit of the central station introduced me to one of the grandest churches in Europe. The cathedral towered at 157m and was ornamented in neo-gothic facade. I crossed the river towards the hostel I would be staying at, then went on a several hour walk through the energetic town. In the evening I ate at a restaurant nearby the hostel and then drank a few Kolsh while staring out into the distance.
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