What I like about visiting a less obvious city: you can easily finish off your list of must-sees in just a weekend, without rushing from one point to another. The ideal formula for a pregnant woman and her beloved boyfriend, so a couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves driving to the east, where we ended up in a hotel in Cologne. On our program (besides feeling blessed with the surprisingly sunny weather): discovering its hottest cultural spots. Our best finds.
One. It takes a walk over a bridge that moans under the weight of padlocks and tourists, but the Rheinboulevard on the right bank is something you simply cannot miss. The integrated stairs along the river make it the perfect spot for chitchatting or people watching. The many beautiful parks besides, this was by far my favorite public space of Cologne.
Two. Though we decided to spend most of our time outside, Museum Ludwig was definitely worth going in. This modern art walhalla is compact and complete at the same time. Get lost while strolling from Picasso's masterpieces to one of the biggest pop art collections in the world. Tip from the house: drop by this gem on Sunday morning, have lunch at the classy museum café afterwards and enjoy some live music with your freshly made ravioli.
Three. On our last day, we were eager to explore the Flora with its numerous exotic plants. Going up, we passed by the Skulpturenpark. It became one of the highlights of our trip. Unlike the botanical garden, this small park stood out in peace and quiet, the perfect atmosphere to admire the different installations. A hidden secret for sure.
Four. Honestly, I wasn't blown away by Cologne's architecture. The few authentic, well-preserved houses are hard to find, and the contemporary buildings often reminded us of severe German barracks. A nice exception to that rule: the Kranhäuser, three modern residential towers overlooking the Rhine. While you're at it, you might as well take a look at the rest of the renewed Rheinauhafen, featuring clean, desolated squares. An astonishing experience.
No, Cologne did not resemble the picturesque place I had in mind. However, if you dig soaking up some culture, you'll soon realize that this town's still a lot more than an annual Christmas market background. Also approved by boyfriends and unborn babies.
All pictures are taken by me.