DM and MM's Germany 2019 Diary

Day 7 - Cologne to Frankfurt

Thursday, 31 October, 2019

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We are on board the ICE 125 train from Cologne to Frankfurt Airport, the first leg of our journey home.

This morning I woke up a bit before 06:00, but M. dozed longer while I got up and did some stretches. We went to breakfast a bit later than the past two days. This time I decided to try some eggs, which the woman cooked fresh for me. She offered the eggs menu, which included eggs cooked several ways, and combined with different ingredients, including cheese, bacon, herbs, and crab! I chose the scrambled eggs with cheese, which I ate on a bread roll.

Back in our room, we showered and packed our bags for the trip, before going down to check out around 10:00. We left our luggage in the hotel and then went out to find a pet shop to get a gift for Scully. I did some searching while we were getting ready and located one in the Nippes neighbourhood north of our hotel.

We decided to catch the U-bahn there rather than walk for 25 minutes. This involved catching a train one stop from Breslauerplatz to Ebertplatz, then changing to another line to catch another train one stop to Lohsestrasse. From there it was a short walk to Zoo Klütsch, the pet shop. It turned out to be a small place, with rabbits for sale in the middle, as well as birds around the back, and almost all the rest of the shop devoted to shelves of dog and cat food. There were a few accessories like leads and collars, but we feared that maybe they didn't have any dog toys, until we found a small box of them near the counter. Searching through, we found a cool toy dog with a rope wrapped around the long body, and M. also grabbed a small cotton rope since she said it was hard to find small ropes back home.

A bit further north we walked to a small, crowded market set up in the square of Wilhelmplatz. It was very much a local market, with mostly fruit and vegetable stalls, everyday clothing, a few cloth sellers, and a row of stalls selling cheese, bread, meat, and fish. From here we walked across to the main street of Nippes and then north along the street, checking out the various shops and cafes and things. It wasn't especially interesting, but it was good to see something new.

Wilhelmplatz market
Market in Wilhelmplatz

We stopped in a bakery for a snack and coffee for M. She had a nussecke, which is a hazelnut slice coated in chocolate, while I had a marzipanhörnchen. I'd actually wanted something else that was in the display, but the label immediately next to it said that, so that's what I asked for. I guess I should have just pointed.

Once we were warm again, we ventured out into the cold once more, to walk a bit further before turning around and heading south. The walk was pleasant enough and we decided to keep going towards Agnesverteil instead of hopping back on the train. This was the neighbourhood we'd explored last year, but on a Sunday and everything was closed. M. looked in a few shops as we slowly worked our way south back towards the city centre.

From Ebertsplatz we continued south as the street looked interesting enough. It passed through a giant stone gate, the Eigelsteintorburg, which was one of the old gates of the medieval city. It had modern windows on the upper floors, which looked like either residences or offices inside the tower.


As we continued, we passed a tour group with a guide telling them in English about the area. He said the nearby imbiss, or sausage shop, was where Anthony Bourdain went on his visit to Cologne, and we had a look at the tiny crowded shop as we walked past it.

We ended up crossing the main train line through a tunnel and emerged a couple of blocks from the cathedral, near the Hilton hotel. We stopped here to use the toilets in the lobby, and then continued into the main shopping street, and down to Eigel, the cake shop and cafe that we'd seen yesterday after having lunch at Fassbender.

Under the Bahnhof
Tunnel under the train line

Here we stopped in for lunch. M. had a tomato and mozzarella focaccia, while I had a "Classic sandwichtoast", which was a toasted ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich with a big serve of salad on the side, containing lettuce, tomato, cucumber, corn, and kidney beans. The focaccia turned out to have olive tapenade on it as well. I considered one of the many delicious looking cakes but decided to stick with a relatively light lunch.

Farewell Kölner Dom
Last view of Cologne Cathedral


We're at Frankfurt Airport, sitting in MoschMosch, an Asian food place, waiting for our flight. We'll eat something in a while at a reasonable dinner time, since our flight leaves at 20:30, and they might only have a snack service early in the flight, with a breakfast just before landing in Dubai.

After the lunch at Eigel, it was around 14:30 so we walked back to our hotel to collect our bags. We repacked a few small items, including the toys for Scully into my bag, and then set out back to the station. We got there at 15:00, 29 minutes before our train for Frankfurt Airport. This was a bit long to wait on the cold platform so we browsed a couple of shops, including a book shop, for a few minutes. We went up to the platform about 15 minutes before the train was due, to find it already waiting on the platform. We walked down to the far end away from the middle of the platform, thinking it would be less crowded, and found that the carriage was almost full already. But fortunately we found a pair of unreserved seats empty and claimed them. We were lucky, because more people kept boarding and soon there was standing room only.

The train left on time and 50 minutes later pulled into Frankfurt Airport Fernbahnhof. We got off and checked what terminal we needed to go to, discovering that it was terminal 2, requiring a shuttle bus transfer to get there. As we looked for where to go, I spotted Udogawa-san, and we caught the same bus, but he only noticed us after we got off at Terminal 2. He said he'd caught the same train from Cologne as us.

We checked in, avoiding a long queue at economy thanks to our silver status, and then went in through passport control. Frankfurt is an odd airport in that there is a concourse between passport control and security, with shops and restaurants, and there are small security checks near the gates, after which there is nothing but seating areas. So we wandered around a bit looking at the shops until settling in at a table in MoschMosch to have a drink and pass the time before it was time for eating dinner.

written later

M. had a stir fried udon noodles with vegetables and I had a pork ramen, and we shared some tofu gyozas. It was pretty good!

After eating, we went through security to our gate. The guy assisting people to load stuff onto the scanner belt said to take laptops out of the bags, but didn't mention anything else, so I left our iPads in my backpack like we did back at Sydney. But this triggered a manual check of my bag and the woman who pulled the iPads out asked me accusingly why I hadn't removed them. I said the man had just said laptops, and she gave me a sort of "are you that stupid?" look and said, "That means all electronic devices".Then she put the lot onto another tray and ran them back to be scanned again. So it took us some time to pass through this check.

At the boarding pass check, a man told us to go into the priority lane... I guess because of the silver status. So we ended up right near the front when boarding began, entering with the first class and business passengers. One woman at the end of the queue, just before the scanning desks, looked like she was about to pull us aside when she saw the "economy" on our passes, but by then we were at the desks and being scanned in.

The aircraft this time was an Airbus A380, and it was pretty full. It turned out they were serving a full dinner, and then just a snack before landing. So we skipped the meal as we'd just eaten, and tried to sleep. However this was impossible because a baby a couple of rows in front of us was screaming for pretty much the entire flight.

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