Cologne (Köln), Cathedrals and Kölsch
Despite living in Germany for four years I’d never been to Cologne and decide to take a slight detour (on my way to Berlin) to stop off for a couple of days or so and visit two things that the city is most known for, the Cathedral and Kölsch.
Whenever I’m in Europe I try to travel by train and this trip was ideally suited. Leaving London St Pancras and heading to Brussels before switching trains (yes one change only) to head to Cologne, the complete journey takes less than 5 hours as you sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
Cologne is a 2,000 year old town that spans the river Rhine in western Germany and the Cathedral is a fine example of High Gothic architecture. It’s sitting in the middle of a reconstructed old town, the twin-spired Cathedral is also known for its gilded medieval reliquary and excellent views over the nearby river.
I happened to be in the city when they were having a wine festival, but wine not being my tipple, I joined a Kölsch brewery tour and along with several other nationalities we followed our tour guide walking around a few bars, stopping at each one to learn more about, and of course drink, Kölsch.
‘Kolsch is a unique style in that it is fermented with ale yeast, but then finished with lagering. The result is the best of both worlds: A light easy drinking pale that finishes crisp and clean.’ The barman tears holes in your beer mat to mark how many you’ve had and keeps filling your glass up until you cover it with the beer mat to signal you’re done.