Emily and Billy's Koln Trip
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(written on return flight; 6th November)
Friday 4th November
After having booked the flights on Wednesday, and checked in on Thursday, we were ready to go. Emily turned up at my gaff, but I still hadn't started packing. Still, there was plenty of time, the plane didn't take off for another 2 hours. We had to wait a while for the bus to turn up, but we were still in no hurry - we were on holiday. I had asked WHSmith to keep a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to Germany aside for me. After picking it up, and waiting for Emily to visit Body Shop and Boots, we got through security, and found somewhere to cash in our food vouchers. After waiting for Emily to finish her shopping (not her fault, it was incompetent shop assistants), I missed Bird's logic in getting through security first, leaving me in a bar drinking Stella, and THEN going shopping. Never mind - next time.
We'd spent £8.20 on food and Stella, and were amazed to find that we could only have one packet of crisps without spending more than a tenner! Checking my e-mail, I found even more e-mails entitled "Re: Death BCD", including Dindin's useful insight to his world of being a jet-setting, double-stage-cylinder diver, and the traditional diatribe from MarkV. Time to tell everybody that we were on holiday.
Emily got the totty seat on the plane, but that meant that I could chat to the totty air-hostess instead. I'm sure I heard her mention something about "love train" and "toot toot" to one of her colleagues, but I can't be sure. At least I got a second cuppa. With only a little turbulence, the flight went quite well. Emily said that it looked a lot like Munich Airport. I had to agree - the number of planes, and signs in German did look similar. Emily got confused when I gave my passport to her, to give to the guvna, so I took them both back, and handed them in. The guvna seemed to scrutinise mine quite a lot, but we got through eventually. Emily complained that me handing the passports in together had delayed her (ignoring the fact that he'd given her passport back straight away, and the fact that she would have waited for me anyway!).
(to be continued, time for a quick kip before we land back at Heathrow).
I'd asked the hotel for directions, and was told to get a train to Hauptbahnhoff, and then a 132/133 bus or a taxi to the hotel. We were trying to figure out the ticket machine, when a kind local came to offer help. I spoke German to him, and answered all his questions in German, but he insisted on speaking English to us. Anyway, we got our tickets, and got on the train. It was the beginning of the rush hour, and there was some nice totty getting on and off.
At Hauptbahnhoff, we found the bus station, only to find that the last 132 bus had left 20 minutes earlier. Gimmeration, we had to use a taxi. The taxi driver didn't bother speaking English to us, so I got to practise my German. As the taxi driver had promised, it was only a short ride to the hotel. It was a large chain hotel (Novotel), so I was surprised when the entire check-in conversation was in German. Probably the longest conversation that I've ever had in a foreign language - I was feeling quite proud of myself.
A quick guven at the room, before heading out to drink beer and eat food. We picked up a map from reception (slightly better than the one in the Germany Lonely Planet book), and Emily picked up a tourist brochure. As we were walking into town, we walked through what appeared to be Koln's gay quarter. Several shops with whips and chains, and one even had a full suit of armour. We carried on into the main part of town, to find a pub. Despite asking for a large beer, all I got was a half-pint glass. I had to drink slowly, because I had a feeling that it was strong stuff!
We stayed there for two drinks, before heading off to look for somewhere less smoky to eat at (if that's possible in Germany). We found a nice restaurant, with not too much smoke, Lowenbrau, a totty waitress, and nice food. After that, we went in search of a new pub to have a pint in. We found one called Papa Joe's. While ordering, we saw two dummies with instruments, and were surprised when they started playing. There was a JukeBox, where one song cost a Euro. We put I few Euro in there, I selected a few Oktoberfest songs, Emily selected a few Elvis numbers, and some English City type put on the remaining English songs on the list. A guvna in a funny jacket finished off the evening with a bit of piano action. Back through the gay quarter (via Weber Strasse) to the hotel. Emily wasn't up for more to drink, so we hit the sack.
While I was in the shower, Emily had looked through the guidebook, and had decided what we would do for the day. I didn't really care what we did, so was happy to leave her in charge. First things first, we needed to find somewhere for breakfast. The first place that we found was a Subway. Despite not being very German, we popped into there. It took ages to get food, because it had only just opened for the day. Emily didn't fancy a sarnie for breakfast, so she just watched me eat!
After that, we headed straight for the cathedral. The guidebook suggested walking around the outside before going inside, so that's what we did. Once inside, we joined the short queue for a trip to the top. Quite a long time, and 509 steps, later, we were at the top of one of the spires. To be honest, it wasn't right at the top, but it felt like that to me. Emily took some nice pictures, while I held onto the side.
It took quite a long time to walk down, and we were definitely ready for lunch after that exercise. After lunch, Emily wanted to go in search of all the shops that her mate had told her about. We had about an hour before the bus tour left at 2pm, so I followed her around several shops, perving at totty. In one of the shops, I couldn't understand why it had signs saying "Expensive Prices". When I checked my dictionary, I realised that I was getting confused between "teuer" (expensive), and "tolle" (crazy).
It had started to rain by the time we left the shoe shop, so people (including Emily) had got their umbrellas out. I hate umbrellas, people ought to have to take lessons in using umbrellas before being allowed to use them. I did shout "Ich hasse Regenschirme", but everybody ignored me. We managed to get a bit lost during our shopping spree, but, fortunately, finding somebody who knew how to get to the Cathedral wasn't difficult.
As we were waiting under shelter, an expensive looking coach pulled up. I couldn't believe that our bus tour was going to be in a proper coach. The woman tour-guide started off speaking German, but then started speaking in English as well. Not only was the tour multi-lingual, but it was being narrated by a woman who didn't seem to need to breathe. The 2-hour tour had two stops (one to look round a museum, and one to look at the Rhine), however the Germans just saw both as a fag break. The tour was interesting (although Emily did talk through the German narration quite a bit, and she did win the Mini/VW/Passion Wagon game).
By the time the tour had finished, it had stopped raining, so we walked back to the hotel for a kip (it wasn't just me who needed a sleep, either). On our way back out, I asked the bird in reception what time we needed to check out by tomorrow. Unfortunately, I said "heute" (today), instead of "morgen" (tomorrow), and the rest of the conversation was in English.
Anyway, off we went in search of the oldest curry house in Koln. Walking through the gay quarter, we realised that the full coat of armour was in a hotel, not one of the sex shops. After a while, Emily got the map out, and asked me what street we were on "Einbahnstrasse", I told her, forgetting that this meant "One way street" - what a gimmer.
We got to the curry house quite easily, and I was impressed to see that it had a bit of Matter Paneer action. The food and beer was good, and the totty waitress very nice. After dinner, we went to a different pub from last night, but still ended up in PapaJoe's - this time the locals were more rowdy, and were singing loudly to the songs. I was left in no doubt about their thoughts about my choice of Baverian songs! Both feeling knackered, we headed back to the hotel. I'd realised that one drink out of the mini bar was free, so I had a sneaky beer while watching the TV. I couldn't believe it - both BBCWorld and CNN had sport on.
We'd decided to eat in the hotel, so that Emily could have some cereal. However, we soon changed our minds once we'd seen the size of the queue. We checked out, and went to find a non-American eatery. Another one with totty waitresses wasn't far away from the Subway.
We had some time to kill before we had to get a train to the airport, so took the Dickson Love Train (toot toot) to the cable car (more totty and good music on the train). I wasn't convinced about the cable car idea (although I had suggested it), but I knew I'd regret it if we didn't do it. No other cable car in the world goes over a larger length of water. As we got to the end, I realised that it went right over a swimming pool - excellent perving opportunity. We had a quick guven around the other side, but there wasn't much to see (although Emily got to perve at some blokes playing football). On the way back, TottyCam was put to good use as we went over the pool. I am such a dirty old man!
We had to fair dodge back to Hauptbahnhoff, because we couldn't find a working ticket machine. Back at the centre, we had time for a walk around town, a Donor Kebab, and few drinks at PapaJoe's (there was a real live band). Emily was disappointed to find that the scarf shop that we'd been to yesterday was closed. We picked up our bags from the techno left luggage machine, and got a train to the airport.
Emily found a scarf, so was happy, but refused to hand the passports in together - women with independent thought are dangerous! We had about an hour to spare, so I entertained myself by drinking beer, and perving at the barmaids, while Emily entertained herself by asking me loads of questions. We then had to go through a second lot of security (Emily really wasn't impressed). As the bloke scanned the bottom of my feet, I thought he'd finished, so put my foot down - right on top of his portable scanner. I bet he loved me!
On the plane, Emily woke me up to tell me that there was a nice view of all the street lights. I tried to look interested, but I can't have done a very good job, because when we landed in Heathrow, she said that she didn't wake me up as we were flying over the Thames. She's a top lass.
As we were walking towards the bus station, Emily was convinced that travelling on the travellator didn't use any more power, because it was going to be moving anyway. I didn't seem able to convince her otherwise!
Thanks sexy for a great weekend, and for looking after me while we went up the spire. Let's do it again soon.
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Created on: 06 Nov 2005. Modified on: 26 Nov 2005.
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