Today we woke up and had our usual coffee and headed downtown to climb Der Dom. We stashed our luggage at the train station in a machine that takes your bags and stores them somewhere below ground. It was a confusing ordeal considering how savvy we consider ourselves.
The climb up Der Dom was fun. Sweaty, even early in the day, but so very rewarding. I’m not sure Michelle, who dislikes heights, enjoyed it nearly as much, but she made the climb anyway. The view was excellent, and some of the graffiti on the walls was superb. It’s hard to capture the view through the security fencing, but still, the view of the Rhine and the city were great.
After Der Dom, we toured more of downtown looking for souvenirs. We managed to buy a coconut from a street vendor (yum, despite the work) and eventually made it to the Köln FC team store. We picked up a few gems before realizing it was time to go. The goat mascot is adorable. And while Hilary lived very close to the training grounds, we were there during the off season.
Eventually, we had to go. We had a train to Paris. So we made our way back to the train station to get our suitcases out of the ground. And we waited for our train.
The train ride was fun. Cozy, quick, and quiet. We watched the landscapes of Germany, Belgium, and France glide by. There were observable differences, but that’s more than I want to get to since I’m a year behind.
We arrived in Paris and transferred from Rail to Metro. It was confusing at first. There’s that rush at each transfer where you worry about the mistakes you may be making direction-wise. We got to see a lot of Paris from the metro. It’s a view in to a multi-cultural city, even if there are still major rifts in to the racial-socio-economic splits.
We arrived in our adopted neighborhood and took in the offerings. There were lots of businesses around. We found our apartment nestled behind an unassuming door.
It was cluttered and fairly dirty; something we’d not experienced from other AirBnBs. It was clearly lived-in with family memorabilia everywhere even though the info said that they lived elsewhere. The feeling ranged from charming to gross depending on what you were trying to do. But overall, it was a base camp with a decent living room, kitchen, and sleeping quarters. The kids loved it because there were toys to play with.
We fetched groceries for breakfast at the market down the street then headed out for dinner at an cafe at the end of the block. It was cute as all get-out and the server was charming. WE had warm goat cheese salad, baked ravioli, charcuterie, caesar salad, and most notably – table water!