Cologne or Koln is one of Germany’s oldest cities on the banks of the River Rhine. On quite a few occasions in the past I had transited through Cologne but somehow never had a chance to explore it. However in April this year on my trip to Germany I spent 2 days here and discovered quite a few of its interesting facets. I felt this city has a lot of opposites interspersed really well with each other that lent a unique character and vibe to it. There is a lot of ancient to complement the modern, loads of traditional breweries coexisting with Michelin star restaurants, quaint contrasting with trendy, Romanesque Churches alongside modern creativity, cultural and artistic etc etc. But even more than the city per se, it’s the people of Cologne with their friendly greetings and openness for everyone that left a lasting impression on me.
Heidelberg – a picture perfect, old German town, on the River Neckar, in the valley of Odenwald.
With a majestic Heidelberg castle overlooking the city, the River Neckar flowing through its Old Town, old colorful buildings and beautiful hills all around; Heidelberg has all the elements to make anyone fall in love with it at first sight. I recently spent a couple of days here and loved every minute of my visit. Though there is not much to do here that can be classified as “non-touristy”, I still managed to find some different things and I’m sharing the same with you all below –
Will you believe me if I tell you that that I stayed in a room by the beach with sand under my feet and sound of waves to keep me company while I was in Heidelberg (a landlocked town in Germany)? Well I kid you not, courtesy the Hip Hotel, I actually stayed in a room in Malolo with a view of the beach, sand and palms and the sounds of waves without even stepping foot in Malolo.
Originally my Heidelberg trip was to start with a walking tour of the town, for which I had actually taken an earlier train from Frankfurt. I reached my hotel alright and then got badly lost and missed the walking tour. I am sure anyone who has been to Heidelberg will wonder how I managed such an impressive feat in such a small town! Well in my defense I was holding the map upside down. #Faceplam I know. So once I missed my walking tour, I decided to start my trip with a visit to the most imposing structure in Heidelberg – The Heidelberg Castle.
Growing up is a stage in life where we are all up-to one mischief or the other. While the disciplinary action can vary depending upon the gravity of the mischief committed and the damage done, have you ever heard about a prison sentence for such crimes? Well if you were a student at the Heidelberg University in the early 19th century, then going to prison for misdemeanors was a realty.
On my recent visit to Heidelberg with Germany Tourism, I asked the Heidelberg tourism office for their must see suggestion in the city, apart from the famous Heidelberg castle, and they all recommended the “Student Prison and the Great Hall”. I have seen India police stations and even stayed in a prison converted to a hostel (in Ljubljana), but a student prison was something I had never seen or heard of before. Intrigued I decided to visit.
I am a budget traveler and so my choice of stays during any trip normally includes hostels, B&Bs or homestays. While I love such places to stay in, every once in a while I do like to stay in a nice luxurious property and enjoy the comforts that these properties have to offer. And on my recent stay to Frankfurt, I stayed in one such luxurious hotel – the Grandhotel Hessischer Hof Hotel.
My recent trip to Frankfurt with Germany Tourism came with many new experiences and dispelled many preconceived notions about this city. It’s always said to be just a big city with nothing to see – however I found numerous unique things to see and do and will write a detailed post on it soon. I wanted to start the series on Frankfurt with my first experience of watching an international play at The English Theatre. This was recommended to me by Frankfurt Tourism and I instantly agreed as I love plays, theatre, musicals etc (more than movies) but I was pleasantly surprised that a German city has a theater dedicated to just English plays.Continue reading