DM and MM's Europe 2022 Diary

Day 5 - Wochenmarkt, Meeting day 2, Biergarten

Tuesday, 21 June, 2022

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Summer Solstice!

We were awake this morning around 04:00, still a few hours jet lagged. We searched online for somewhere to get breakfast early, but most places we found didn’t open until 9 or 10 am. There were a few cafes that I found that opened at 06:30, but we also found a place called Haferkater in the Hauptbahnhof that did hot porridge with a variety of toppings (I found out later that “hafer” is German for oats). We headed over there. It took a while wandering around the station to find the place. M. got porridge with apple sauce, cinnamon, and walnuts, while I had one with granola, banana, and blueberries. We walked over to some seats in front of the cathedral to sit in the weak morning sun and eat. It was hot and delicious.

Once done we walked over past Neumarkt to the Wochenmarkt farmers’ market in Apostelnkloster. It started from 07:00, with setup from 06:00. We got there about ten minutes before 7. M. said that she’d been to this market before - probably when exploring by herself last time we were in Cologne, as I didn’t remember the place at all. The stall holders were finishing setting up. It was a small market, with a couple of large fruit and vegetable stalls, a couple of flower stalls, a cheese truck, butcher’s truck, and seafood truck, and a baker with cakes and cinnamon rolls, plus a bread baker.

Wochenmarkt set up
Wochenmarkt, Apostelnkloster

We stopped to look at the bread stall and the senior woman there began talking to us about their bread. She was very keen to tell us all about it, mentioning that they had sourdough starter over 100 years old, and most of their bread was made using rye flour. She asked if we’d like to try some bread and before we had a chance to answer she starting slicing a large loaf and spreading it with butter for us! To bring out the flavour, she said. She had us try the plain rye loaf, and then one with walnuts in it, and then she cut a slice of a loaf with small bits of ham baked into it - she asked if we were vegetarian and offered it to me when I said that M. was. All the bread was really good. The bakery was the Brotbäckerei Müller.

Bread stall
Brotbäckerei Müller stall. Wochenmarkt, Apostelnkloster

She told us a story about how when grandmothers in Germany used to bake bread, they would hide it in a cupboard for a day and only let the family eat it the next day. She said that developed the flavour, but also it was because if they let the family eat it fresh out of the oven then the entire loaf would go in no time. She told us a bunch of other stories about the bread. They also had big trays of various slices with crumble toppings: apple, berries, and poppy seed. She grabbed some of the loose crumble topping and gave us a handful to try, then started cutting some of the poppy seed slice. It seemed like she was keen to give all of her stock away as free samples! Before she could offer us some of that to taste, I said we’d like to buy a full slice of it. It was a large piece and cost only 2.20€. I asked if we could take some photos of the stall, and her and her junior assistant posed for a photo for us. And then she cut us two slices of their loaf with fruit in it - figs and other things - and put those in a bag to take with us as well! It was really good to have such a nice chat with a friendly—and generous!—stall holder like that.

Market bakers
Brotbäckerei Müller stall. Wochenmarkt, Apostelnkloster

We left the market and walked west towards the Rathenau Viertel neighbourhood, which is a trendy student area near the university. Our plan was just to walk around and see some new sights in interesting neighbourhoods, after I’d found a list of cool parts of Cologne to visit. This area turned out to be okay, but not as interesting as I’d hoped. We turned north to the Belgisches Viertel, or Belgian Quarter.

Belgisches Viertel mural
Street art. Belgisches Viertel

This was a lot more interesting, with lots of funky shops and things over several blocks. All of it was closed of course, still being too early for the 10 or 11 o’clock opening of many shops. We stopped at a seat in a nice tree-lined pedestrian path area to eat the poppy seed cake.

Tree-lined path
Tree-lined path on Moltkestraße. Belgisches Viertel

From the Belgian quarter we made our way east back to the centre of town. We walked along Ehrenstraße, which we discovered was lined with further interesting shops. So much so that M. marked the street on her phone map so she could return later in the day when I was in my standards meeting. After arriving back at Hohestraße, we continued on to the river to walk along there and enjoy the scenery before heading back to the hotel. Once there we rested for a half hour or so before leaving so that I could head to Horrem for my afternoon of meetings, while M. would go back to check out Ehrenstraße more closely.

Kirche Groß St Martin
Kirche Groß St Martin. Fischmarkt

I caught a train to my meeting, running into Toru, Shinji (a new guy from CIPA), and Yamamoto-san, so we chatted about our travels on the train. One interesting thing that these Japanese guys said is that to them the English and German languages sound very similar, with a lot of words in common or very similar to each other. My lunch today was chicken gyros with rice. Unlike lunch yesterday, when we just picked from pre-ordered options, Dietmar had given us the menu of the caterers yesterday and asked us to select what we wanted from the choice of four meal options. (There was also a soup and a muffin, but they weren’t full meals.) He repeated this each day so we always had a choice.

And then we got stuck into technical meetings. First up was a presentation by new people from Videndum in Italy—parent company of tripod makers Manfrotto—who have developed an Italian national standard on tripod mechanical supports and are interested in working to make it an international standard. Then we had technical discussions of image stabilisation and high dynamic range colour image format standards.

After the meeting it was time to go back to the hotel to pick up M. and then head to the meeting dinner tonight. It was at the Biergarten am Aachener Weiher. We took a U-Bahn train from Breslauerplatz to Neumarkt, and then a tram from there to Moltkestraße, which was a short walk from the beer garden. All the others were there already, having headed straight there from the meeting together. We had a good time chatting with the other delegates and eating food and drinking beer. I had a Wienerschnitzel and M. had a margherita pizza. The food was okay, but nothing special.

Biergarten am Aachener Weiher
Dinner with photography standards colleagues at Biergarten am Aachener Weiher

After dinner we left as the gathering broke up. We walked all the way back to the hotel as the sun slowly went down. It provided perfect twilight for photographing the cathedral and the Hauptbahnhof, so I snapped a few photos with my phone. Back at the hotel room we showered and went to bed.

Kölner Dom in twilight
Cologne Cathedral in twilight

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