I wanted to make at least one trip last summer, so I decided to visit two European friends I met in Japan. One lives in Germany, the other in England. Both friends have visited me the previous summer, so in my opinion it seemed fair to visit them first before anyone else.
To Germany I went with another friend we met in Japan, who is Flemish too. We decided on the dates based on the cheapest tickets prices, since we both didn’t have that much money to spare but we wanted to visit them anyway.
So off we went, on the seventh of September, to Germany.We took the high-speed train that goes from Brussels to Cologne, and there we met up with our German friend. The first thing she showed us was of course the magnificent cathedral of Cologne, which stands right next to the train station. We immediately saw the ugly scaffolding surrounding it, and our friend told us that she couldn’t remember ever seeing it without scaffolding at one place or another. It’s a pity, since the building is amazing, but they have to keep it intact so there’s no way around it. I tried hard to take nice pictures without the disturbing scaffolding. 😉
After walking around in Cologne for a bit, our host took us to Brühl to visit Augustusburg Palace. This palace was used as a reception hall by the German president after the Second World War until 1994, as the building is close to Bonn, the capital city of Germany at that time. Along with Falkenburg Palace, the Augustusburg Palace is one of the most important baroque/rococo style buildings in Germany. Lucky for me that those are my favourite architecture styles so I was amazed by the beauty of the building.
Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the building, where we took a guided tour…in German only. I don’t speak any German, but the tour was interesting nonetheless. German has a lot in common with Dutch, so I was able to understand quite a bit of the guide’s information.
After the tour, we went into the garden which boasted a beautiful symmetric design, once again one of my favourite styles.
We took a stroll through the town of Brühl to get to the station and waited for a train to take us to Bonn, where our friend lives and where we were going to stay for the night. On our way from the station to her house, there was a lovely old German-style house which was -so our friend told us- protected by the government.
Tired after a long day, we were glad to unwind while we waited for dinner. We met our friend’s parents, had a nice conversation about many different topics (they had heard of the ‘Battle of Baasrode’, very very surprising) and went to bed early for our next day was going to be intense as well.