Saturday, April 30, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Panorama @ KölnTriangle

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

Where is the best spot for a panorama of Cologne? Would that be Cologne Cathedral's tower? You can of course get a splendid view, but alas the cathedral itself, the main draw of the city, would be missing from the picture. However a trek across Hohenzollern Bridge across the majestic River Rhine brought me to a tower jutting into the sky called KölnTriangle where I could get an unobstructed panorama of the whole city.

After paying the entrance fee of 3, I queued in front of the elevator and waited my turn to be whisked up. The skyward journey was unremarkable, and after a few ear-pops and being in the company of curious seekers, I arrived at the topmost level of the tower, close to a whooping 103 meters from ground.

It would look like any other kind of tall building from the outside.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne Carnival (Karneval)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

I guess if anyone were to ask me when is the time to visit Cologne for some unique experience, my answer would be during Carnival, one of the "crazy days" in Germany. The most happening day is on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) but I was only able to visit on Sunday. Even so, the day was filled with carnival goers and festivities, enough for me to return brimming with memories.

Carnival starts in exactly 11.11am on 11-November every year but merrymaking period officially starts on the week before Lent, with some people dress up in costumes and roam the streets. Although there are carnivals around Europe, Cologne's is rated as one of the largest street festivals. On my arrival that Sunday, Cologne was unlike its usual self. I saw people in colorful and weird costumes even as I stepped off the train into Cologne Hbf, each merrily making their way around. I was surprised that the usually serious Germans can have so much fun in them!

Yoshi the dino from Mario Bros?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne Central Station (Köln Hauptbahnhof)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

If you are not going to Cologne in a car, most probably you will be arriving via train like yours truly, and Cologne Hbf (short for Hauptbahnhof, German for main/central station) would be your point of arrival. That steelworks frame would be visible from distance away, at about the same time the iconic Cologne Cathedral comes into view, when the train crosses the important Hohenzollern Bridge.

As I stepped onto the platform, the pace of the station got to me, reminding me of the fact that this was one of the busiest station in Germany. With Cologne being one of the 4 biggest cities in Germany (the others being Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), its central station is definitely one of the busiest, the 5th busiest in fact, serving an average 280,000 travelers on a daily basis. As it is an important transport hub, several major rail services call into this station, including international lines connecting to Paris and Amsterdam, as well as ICE services connecting other major cities in Germany.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

A trip to Cologne guarantees a pilgrim to Cologne Cathedral but less people mentioned about walking the length of Hohenzollern Bridge. Its name is seldom mentioned but I recognized it from most Cologne introducing photos, with an iconic shot from across the River Rhine towards Cologne Cathedral and part of Hohenzollern Bridge in the foreground.

Bridge over River Rhine

Saturday, February 20, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

To say that Cologne Cathedral is one of the most recognizable churches in the world is an understatement; it is a symbol of Cologne itself. It impresses onto visitors even before they stepped out of Cologne’s main train station, the structure dominating the view when one looks out of the glass wall. Check out the top sights of Germany on the Internet and it is not difficult to find it within any top 10 list of sights in Germany.

Exterior view of Cologne Cathedral

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - 1 Day Trip to Cologne (Köln)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

Of all the German towns and cities that I have visited during my stint in Germany, Cologne is the only one I frequented the most. Not even Frankfurt, the closest metropolis to my workplace came close in frequency. And no, it was not because I like Cologne. It was because that was the most convenient meeting point between my friend closer to the north and me who was stationed at the south.

I presumed that most people would link the perfume Eau de Cologne, which is also known simply as cologne, to the city. In fact it is more of a reason for people to recognize the city than the iconic Cologne Cathedral. Although there are more to the historic city than these two, they remained the most impressionistic.

'The' Cologne - Eau de Cologne. If you are wondering why the perfume is named so, this is the place to visit - Number 4711, the plot of shop which created this perfume in 1709.


To the interested readers, here is my 1 day itinerary in Cologne - which could be done under 6 hours. Click into each link to visit the dedicated post to the place of interest.

  • arrive in Cologne Hbf (main train station) around 11 a.m. 
  • visit Cologne Cathedral, climb 533 steps to get a panoramic view of Cologne (1 - 2 hour, take your time here as it could be quite crowded sometimes) 

  • enjoy lunch in Haxenhaus (1 hour) 
  • stroll along Hohenzollern bridge, took some shots of the love locks and the rider statues (<1 hour) 
  • ride up KölnTriangle to get a panorama of Cologne (1 hour, maybe less, dependent on queue, may skip if you are not interested) 
  • took some shots of Cologne Messe-Deutz train station (<0.5 hours, may skip this) 
  • got back to cathedral side of the river bank, and strolled around the Altstadt (old town), although most of the buildings are no longer original (1 - 2 hours)
  • day ends and head back to my point of origin 

I did not visit the 12 Romanesque churches, but the interested tourist could look for the few closest to Cologne main train station. This could be a better alternative to most than my trip to the opposite side of the river to explore Panorama and Cologne Messe-Deutz train station since the latter were more of a personal exploration.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Lighthouse Bistro and Bar

Location: Lavender, Singapore

Lighthouse Bistro is a surprisingly good find in the Lavender MRT region, a location where numerous good joints stay hidden from plain sight. Occupying a corner lot, it stood out like the lighthouse it is named for, a beacon that draw diners in for a good meal.

Its interior is quite limited despite occupying the corner lot, and one has a choice to dine outside rather than within its air-conditioned interior. The ambiance in Lighthouse Bistro is suitable for group chitchat and romantic duos alike, so long as one does not suddenly look for space to kneel for a proposal. Despite its corner lot occupancy, space is still limited within the joint.

A sketch to accompany the name of Lighthouse Bistro and Bar.

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