Yesterday’s ambulatory excesses made themselves painfully known by the time I got back to granny’s place, around 7pm. My feet hurt, and for some reason so did my arse. I figure I must have walked about 25km, and drank around 4 pints. So when I got to my bed, I decided to read for a while, have a bit of a rest before dinner. Obviously, I fell into a deep slumber. Surprisingly I only woke up around 9am, freaking granny out a bit. But hey, a strapping young buck like myself needs his rest…
I was supposed to accompany my aunt to Castro’s (an Israeli clothing store chain, probably bears no relation to the Cuban dictator) closing sale, but she, being an unemployed web-addict, hasn’t slept all night and called in around 10am to wash her hands off the entire affair. So I went off alone again, to explore the city some more and to see if anything worthwhile was on sale. The city felt a little abandoned, and the store would only open at noon, so I had a triple espresso to wake myself up, read the news, then went to a nearby church where I sat for half an hour and listened to some live organ music. By the time I got back to Castro’s, it already had a throng of hopefuls at the doors, and I decided that I’d rather visit it a little later, so as not to get trampled. So another triple espresso later I popped in, saw that the only thing on offer for men were some crappy knickerbockers and pastel colored t-shirts, got jostled and pushed around, smelled a lot of farts (for some reason I’ve never been anywhere else where farting in public places is as prevalent. Must be all that sauerkraut and bratwurst) and got my feet stamped on. For some reason, the store next door, selling sneakers, of all things, had a pair of Imperial Stormtroopers displaying a captured Wookie. They were unarmed, so I have no idea how they managed to capture the ferocious creature, even if it did look a little undersized.
It was still a bit too early for beer, so I decided to do something I’ve sworn I’d do during one of these Cologne visits, namely visit the Roman-Germanic museum, and climb the Cologne Cathedral. I did both, I am proud to announce, but the museum was a bit of a disappointment. There were tons of Roman bits on display, but, in a true Franco-German, fashion the information in English was extremely lacking. An exhibit might have an essay’s worth of German language description, but only a couple of lines in English. And they didn’t have them audioguides you can rent at some museums. After that I headed to the cathedral, the one I failed to climb during each of my past dozen visits. The entrance fee was 6€, and the advertised height of climb 97.25m, and 509 steps. Now the height in meters might have been correct, but I only counted 488 steps on my way down, so now feel cheated out of 24 and-a-bit cents. The
view above was ruined by chicken wire, you walked around the tower in a tunnel of metal bars and that damn wire. It was small enough not to admit a camera lens, although my phone fitted in fine. Oh, speaking of cameras, mine (a crappy old-ish Olympus E-420) failed me again (last time being down south in Russia at my other granny’s). It now fails to auto-focus and for some reason manual focus doesn’t work either. I got it fixed under warranty the last time, but I think it’s void now. Nor would I want to, anyway, as I have my eyes set on a new camera already… So all the photos from now on have been taken with my Samsung Galaxy S phone. Anyway, I figure all that sweat and those mini cardiac arrests made me a better man, and hey, now I’ve climbed Notre Dame, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Isaak’s Church, and the Triumphal Arc. I probably left something out, but whatever.
And now I am rewarding myself with beer at the same Irish pub I sat at yesterday. This time they’re watching Rugby. It’s awfully ridiculous and loud, and not a little bit gay, but I figure I ought to keep these opinions to myself, if I want to keep my teeth to myself as well.