To officially end the summer on a good note my older sibling and I decided to take a short trip to Cologne. Overall, all I can say is that this was a much-needed trip filled with no regrets whatsoever.
So, this story takes place at 9 am in London where my sister and I woke up, got ready, and triple checked our luggage before making our way to the airport. On the way there I was initially nervous about going to Germany for several reasons:
- Firstly this was my first trip abroad, so I didn’t know what to expect
- Secondly being a Black woman, unfortunately, means you cannot escape racism, misogyny or misogynoir wherever you go, so I didn’t how I was going to handle such discriminations in another country
- And lastly, I had nightmares of dying in a plane crash which was HORRID to dream about
However, when we got to the actual airport all the fears I had disappeared as all I could think about was the fact I was going to be in another country in just a couple of hours. Once we got through security and boarded the plane, the journey to Cologne was quick and we landed safely. At the airport, we soon met up with our lovely friend, who was our host for the trip.
After we settled our luggage at our host’s house, we took to the streets of Cologne and explored what it had to offer. Cologne in many ways mirrored London including its quick transport and its array of restaurants. However, at the same time, there are significant differences between the two cities. For example, although we had bought bus tickets everywhere we went, no one checked them. So essentially, we could’ve travelled for free and no one would know.
Equally, Cologne is quieter and cheaper than London. As after our little stroll, around parts of the city, we went to a Sushi restaurant. The restaurant was nearly empty even though it was the evening. The meal I ordered came up to 17 euros which is pretty cheap considering the fact I was given a whole duck to eat as well as Californian rolls and a drink.
Day two, I woke up to a feast for breakfast consisting of baked croissants, freshly sliced mangos and orange juice which was overall amazing! I also had the opportunity to try this almond spread that is sold in Germany and boy was that heavenly! I paired this spread with the croissants and I’m glaaaaaaad I did so because this sent my taste buds to a whole new level.
After the delightful breakfast, we got ready and went to this place called the Botanical Gardens (I think this is the name xD). I loved this place for two reasons:
- Firstly, it reinforced my appreciation for nature. All the plants looked healthy, beautiful and well kept.
- Secondly, this place was perfect for taking good quality photos
Once we had soaked up as much of nature as we possibly could, we then headed to this restaurant that was currently selling Colombian food. Now the reason why I say currently is because what this particular restaurant does is, they bring in a different group of chefs/ food enthusiasts every two weeks, who then create their specialised menu and sell their creations. The people selling their Colombian dishes this week were all food enthusiasts that took time off their regular jobs to work here. Once I had one of their meals, I was in awe of their skills as even though they’re enthusiasts their talent was on a professional chef level.
Soon after lunch, we took a mobile car on a strong zip line which took us from one end of Cologne to the other. At first, it was fine when we went the first time. However, when we decided to do it again the car started to shake which scared the s**t out of us. As we were legit above the city. Luckily, we made it back safely. But considering what happened, we concluded that we will never do it again.
On that last day of the trip, we first went to an animal park which was free entry. It was pretty cool as for 50 cents we were able to feed as many animals as possible. Initially, I was scared as the animals were allowed to roam free and I thought that they would attack me. However, it was fine and feeding them as well as stroking them was actually really fun.
Soon after the animal park, we then treated ourselves to a shawarma (we obvs washed our hands before eating the shawarmas). The shawarma was cheap but plentiful, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can firmly say that this shawarma is above all the shawarmas I’ve had in London.
With only a couple of hours before we had to catch our plane home, we next visited the Cathedral. The Cathedral was beautiful, I particularly liked the stain glass windows as they were elegant and added life to the old building. Finally, the last place we visited was the High Street which was busy but still not as bustling as many high streets in London.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t buy that much as there wasn’t much space in our luggage, so my sister and I bought chocolate from this Lindt store. Now I like chocolate but never was a huge fan however after buying this Crème Brulee flavoured Lindt chocolate bar I have officially become a chocolate convert. Lindt is indeed a superior chocolate brand and no other brand can even come close.
With no time left to explore Cologne, it was officially time to go home. So, we packed our stuff and bid farewell to our friend who, by the way, was an incredible host. We then travelled to the airport and after a couple of hours, we were back in London.
Overall, travelling to Cologne was amazing and I’m so glad that my first time travelling was experienced with someone that I cherish. Having my sister there made my experience in Cologne safer, comfortable and fun. I also appreciate our host/friend who was kind enough to offer us her home to stay in. Her hospitality made my time in Germany a positive experience. Moreover taking a trip to Cologne taught me a valuable lesson which was travelling is a luxury so therefore if there is the opportunity to do it, do it!