The Köln Carnival – You really Should Go

Mix together 4 days in a foreign city with a large group of close friends, very little sleep, lots of drink and having to wear a Dalmatian costume the entire time and you have all the right ingredients for an eventful weekend away.

I am referring back to my trip to Köln in January. I went with a bunch of good friends to celebrate my best friend Helen’s 30th birthday. Our good friend Victoria who lives in Köln gave the yearly city carnival the thumbs up so we booked our Ryanair flights and the date was set.

The whole weekend was carnage (fun carnage) from start to finish; we also missed our flight home. But we were all together and despite the hiccups it was a great time and reminded me what special friends I have and how close we all are even though we are spread out across the world now.

Because the weekend was months and months ago now I cannot remember it in particularly great detail, rather I can pick out fragmented bits which I have listed below.

Day Minus One
1. Met one of my best friends Catrina at Edinburgh airport – she had emigrated to Canada so hadn’t seen her for months and months
2. Went to supermarket – was ID’d, didn’t have ID as I am nearly 30 now
3. Finally got drink – went back to flat and had mini party just the two of us
4. My habitat lamp melted and went on fire
5. We went to sleep

Day One
1. Met at Edinburgh airport in the morning – having had about 2 hours sleep
2. Started drinking on the plane as any good Scot would do
3. Arrived in Germany and got hire cars
4. Feel asleep in the back of hire car while sober friend drove
5. Got to Park Inn hotel Koln
6. Had a disco nap and then got ready to head out
7. Got the costumes on, which stayed on for the whole trip
8. Went to a party at someone’s house in Köln – was rude and generally cheeky to people, but they seemed to like it
9. Left party drunk
10. Shouted ‘Hallo’ to virtually everyone in the street I walked past – again this seemed to get the thumbs up.
11. Got hit in the head with a snowball by some German teenagers. So I chased them in my Dalmatian costume and threw a snowball back which ended in us all laughing together
12. Tried to walk back to the hotel and got completely lost so eventually found a taxi
13. Collapsed into bed at 6 in the morning

Day Two and Three

I am merging these into one because I have forgotten the exact finer points to these days, but it was something like this.

1. Went to watch carnival procession
2. Tried to catch sweets when the procession threw them, failed at this so went to a bar to drink beer.
3. Ate fritters at a stall
4. Drank gluvine at a street stall
5. Went to a street bar and drank beer
6. Danced in the street at Altstadt in minus temperatures to house music in Dalmatian costume
7. Talked to random strangers about life
8. Walked about in the freezing cold in our Dalmatian costumes
9. Got on a tram and didn’t pay for a ticket
10. Ate food in an American themed restaurant
11. Walked about and marveled at the architecture
12. Got our picture taken outside Kölner Dom
13. Bought a Maneki Neko lucky cat in a tourist shop
14. Put on mascara in an attempt to be ‘rock’
15. Broke a bed in the hotel
16. Ate a delicious euro pizza slice

Day 4
1. Went for the plane home and missed it
2. Spent in total about four hours on buses needing the toilet for most of it
3. Sat in a dirty internet cafe that doubled up as a snooker hall and from the looks of it a tramp shop
4. Ate amazing food in this tiny Thai noodle bar in Brusselerstrasse
5. Got into hotel and went to sleep

Day 5
1. Up at four in the morning to catch airport bus to Düsseldorf
2. Got to airport and got flight home
3. Got home and went to bed

The above little offload tells you nothing about Köln and to be honest I did nothing of any tourist notability, except the carnival. However I would highly recommend visiting this city. It has a great mix of what you would expect from a European ‘tourist’ destination, mixed in with modern culture, great bars (from what I remember) and really friendly people.

Most of what I previously knew about Germany came from growing up watching Eurotrash. So this trip really helped dispel my vision of all Germans being sex addicts and speaking with a Liverpool accent. I have been to Germany before to Berlin for the Love Parade, which was great fun, but only helped cement my view of Germans being crazy techno loving sex addicts :)

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3 Responses to “The Köln Carnival – You really Should Go”

  1. July 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    We don’t tend to think of going to Germany as a mini break but you clearly had fun and it looks worth a visit

  2. August 9, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    I like the way you give a play by play.
    Makes me want to log my travel days this way, too!

  3. admin
    August 13, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Thanks it’s actually the only way I could remember it because it was a while ago :)

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