DM and MM's Europe 2022 Diary

Day 7 - Meeting day 4, Belgischer Hof

Thursday, 23 June, 2022

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This morning we rose leisurely and did some stretching to ease tired muscles. We went out to have some breakfast at the Jlöcklich Barista Cafe near Eigelstein-Torburg that opens at 09:00. They had two choices of muesli: Nußmüsli and Früchtesmüsli. Both had nuts and fruit in them. We ordered one of each, and when they arrived it seemed that the major difference was actually that the nut-muesli had toasted muesli chunks, whereas the fruit-muesli had raw rolled oats. There was no indication whatsoever of this difference in the menu listings. They were generous serves with yoghurt, a very filling breakfast.

Muesli breakfast
Fruit muesli (left) and nut muesli (right), Jlöcklich Barista Cafe

After eating we went back to our room to pack some used clothes into a bag for me to take to a laundry we’d found in Ehrenfeld yesterday. We left the room and M. left me at the station, where I caught a train to Ehrenfeld. I found the laundry and asked if they spoke English, but the woman there said she only spoke German. I tried to indicate that I wanted the clothes washed for pickup tomorrow, but we had a miscommunication that I only realised after I’d left. She thought I wanted them this afternoon, not tomorrow afternoon, and quoted me a high “express” price, and said I couldn’t have them before 16:00, which was too late for my planned time tomorrow. Also, she said they’d only do pants and shirts, not underwear and socks. And the quoted cost was 31€, which was way more than I wanted to pay. So I ended up leaving without dropping any of the laundry off, and only figured out the communication error on the train to Horrem.

At the meeting I had the same peanut soba noodles as I’d had on Monday for lunch. I enjoyed it on Monday, and felt it was healthier than the chicken schnitzel option we were presented with yesterday when choosing our lunches. Technical sessions today were on camera resolution measurement (which included a technical presentation by Bosch on difficulties they had measuring wide angle automative cameras using the ISO standard), the RIMM and eciRGB image file formats, and a new project on pixel-related camera specifications.

Soba lunch
Soba noodles, Image Engineering lunch

After the meeting I went back to the hotel. M. was waiting for me at the station, having found another laundry where we might be able to drop our clothes: Helenen Wäscherei on Helenenstraße. It was on the way to walking to dinner tonight, and open until 17:30, so we had time to go back to the hotel and drop my bag before heading there. This was a much better result, as the guy there spoke English and he was fine to wash everything, although he insisted on having to do it as two loads to separate the lights and darks. Even when we said we just wash them together he said he wouldn’t because he’d be responsible if any of the colours ran and ruined any articles. Anyway, he said we could have them back around 15:00 tomorrow, which was perfect. I can probably pick them up on the way home from the meeting tomorrow.

We walked slowly onwards to our dinner at the restaurant Belgischer Hof, which we’d booked by email back in Australia, since we wanted to try it again after eating here last time we were in Cologne in 2019. We had some time to kill before our booking, so we stopped in some of the trendy and funky shops along the way, looking at art, photography, homewares, books, and antique kitsch. M. tried on some pairs of glasses at a couple of different places. We also passed a place called Cinnamood that makes super fancy cinnamon rolls in various flavours. They look great, but very filling, so we didn't get any before our dinner.

Fancy cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls, Cinnamood

At Belgischer Hof, we were shown to a small room up the front, different to the large room out the back where we’d eaten last time. Our waitress spoke decent English and we ordered the Vorspeisenvariation, a mixed appetiser platter for two people, plus flammkuche. One had brie, radicchio, green onions, apple, and almonds, while the other had Reblochon cheese, tomato chutney, rocket pesto, and shiitake. Quite the mix of ingredients! All six of the flammkuche on the menu were completely vegetarian, so we had plenty of choice. The appetiser board was amazing, with three small jars of differently spiced salads made with lentils, chick peas, bulgar wheat; some dark rye bread; a fish tartare (I suspect it was herring); curry waffles; a green salad; a goat’s cheese and tomato brûlée; cheese soufflé, pickled beetroot; slices of ham; and small chunks of some sort of roasted meat (I suspect pork) with mushrooms. We were getting full already after this, so it’s lucky flammkuche are not too heavy!

Vorspeisenvariation platter, Belgischer Hof

We ate most of the flammkuche but couldn’t finish them, despite how delicious they were. When I went to pay, our waitress asked where in Australia we were from. I said Sydney, and she said that she’d spent 6 months living there a while back, staying in Rose Bay.

Flammkuche, Belgischer Hof

Stuffed to the gills, we walked home slowly. We were lucky to beat the forecast thunderstorms, which were predicted earlier to break around 20:00, but now we’re back at the hotel the forecast has been pushed out to around midnight for the onset of the storms. Hopefully they will cool things down a bit, because it was too hot today.

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