Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Cologne and its Cathedral

I had an early flight to Cologne on Thursday 25th August, so stayed the night in a hostel close to Victoria Train Station, where Tom and I caught up to catch the train to Gatwick. On the Wednesday I had planned to catch up with Gill and Ronnie, but Gill got called into work, so I just caught up with Ronnie. We went shopping as I had to get some new pjs :) That night I had dinner with them, and then went to the hostel, for what turned out to be a very broken sleep - even though I got in late and a few people were asleep, nobody seemed to have thought it was a good idea to close the curtain, so it was light, noisy, and hot :( Add to the fact that I was only there about 5 hrs I don't think it was worth £20 (notice I now have a £ symbol... I got a new computer, and it is Englishized). I'd much rather 'sleep' at the airport for free!

Anyway, early that morning I caught up with Tom at the train station and we caught the train to Gatwick airport. When we got to check-in it was sooo busy, and we had only caught a train that arrived towards the closing time of check-in! As someone who usually aims to get to the airport BEFORE check-in opens this made me a little nervous (and is half the reason I don't mind spending the night at airports). It was lucky that EasyJet were nice though, and calling people from soon departing flights to jump the queue and check-in :) I did decide then and there though to NEVER leave check-in so late!!

So Tom and I finally arrived in Cologne and took the train to the Hauptbahnhof, which was easy (and cheap) enough. It was then a short walk to our hotel - The Hilton. WOW, this was different to staying in hostels all over the place, and also different to staying in hotels in Egypt and Turkey, some of which left A LOT to be desired! That afternoon we went to the cathedral, which was as impressive as ever. I asked for a combined ticket that allowed entry to climb the (509 steps) up the spire and also to the treasury - in German, and so got a brochure in German... great it's one thing to read a sign and ask for 'ein kombikarte bitte', but to read a whole brochure in German, hmm I don't think so!! It was good getting the kombikarte though, as I had not been to the treasury before, and it was quite impressive :) 

P.S. Sorry about the dodgy formatting of the pics!!


Saturday, 24 September 2011

A proper weekend!

Well it's been a while since I've written, and I've been up to a bit! I went on holidays for 10 days, came back to work for 10 days, and then back on holidays for 10 days. And I can tell you that that is a fantastic setup... if only I could afford to do it all the time :( Anyway, what was over a month ago now (19th Aug) I had what I like to call the first 'proper' weekend I have had in over a year! I finished work on Friday afternoon, slept in on Saturday and Sunday morning, and would have been quite happy going back to work that Monday (but I still had another week off!!). Saturday evening I caught up with Vicki and we went and saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It was a pretty awesome production (of course!) but the guy who played Flick/Adam (Guy Pearce's character in the movie) had a weird voice that was quite annoying.

As we had been running late for the show we only had time for a quick Subway for dinner. Afterwards we went to a Mexican restaurant and had a selection of yummy foods and a jug of Daiquiri between us. Then it was back to Vicki's for the night. In the morning we had Pancakes with fruit and maple syrup for breakfast - and it was good!! In the afternoon I caught up with Gillian and Veronica, and we went for a bike ride around Hyde Park. The ride was good, but getting a bike was a bit of a hassle! I have tried multiple times to hire one of the Barclay's bike around London, and every single time the terminals, where you swipe your credit/debit card have been disconnected or not working. As it was we tried about 3 terminals before we finally found one that was working, and then we had to basically steal a bike off of other people, there were some many people wanting one...

After a great weekend I had a few days to relax before it was off to Cologne :)