We slept in later today, getting up a bit after 07:00, which felt much more normal than yesterday’s 04:00. We decided to walk up to the area round the Eigelstein-Torburg just north of our hotel to find some breakfast. There were some cafes around, but the only one open only had a choice of a “schnell” continental breakfast, or eggs. We really wanted some muesli or something. We settled on grabbing some bakery items at a BackWerk, which is a cafeteria style bakery with sandwiches and pastries. I had a falafel sandwich on a Turkish roll and a cherry danish while my wife had a chocolate croissant. They were really fresh and good. After that, she grabbed a cappuccino at an Italian cafe that we’d spotted, but which didn’t open until 09:00 – we had to wait a couple of minutes until it was open. They had muesli for breakfast, but again not until 9am.
It’s a very weird cultural difference to Sydney, where all the cafes are open and serving a wide variety of breakfast menu items from 6am.
After a quick stop back at the hotel for me to pick up my bag for today’s meeting, we left together to catch a train to Ehrenfeld, which I’d found as a neighbourhood worth exploring. We walked around some of the streets there, and it was okay, but not especially interesting. I’d suggested to my wife that she could maybe explore this area by herself after I left for my meeting, and then catch the train back to the Hauptbahnhof herself, but it seemed we’d seen everything by 11:00, so we both went to the station and caught our trains in different directions at the same time.
I arrived at Horrem for my meeting a bit early, but a few people were there already. Technical discussions today were on imaging noise, image flare, autofocus performance, and depth sensor measurement.
During the meeting I searched for some nice places to eat dinner on Friday night. I found a wine bar called Henne Weinbar in the Belgian Quarter which does tapas style dishes for sharing. It looks good and has good reviews, so I booked it.
The meeting finished a bit early today as some of the technical sessions ran short, so I left a bit before 15:30 to catch a train back to Cologne and meet my wife. We decided to go to the Roman-Germanic Museum quickly to have a look in there before it closed at 17:00. I wanted to have another look in there after our first visit many years ago, and it promised the bonus of being air conditioned so we could escape the heat of the day a bit. The weather today was 30°C and there seem to be precious few places with air conditioning to get out of it. Unfortunately, the museum seemed to be closed for renovation or something. So instead we walked over to the adjacent Museum Ludwig to look at some modern art instead. The good thing was this museum was open until 18:00, so we could take a more leisurely approach.
We finished a quick tour of the galleries a bit after 17:30, and then began walking to the restaurant Klaaf for dinner. We took a seat inside, though most of the tables and customers were outside. We wanted to be away from the sun and the cigarette smoke, although a lot of smoke drifted in anyway. My wife had a daily special which was a cast iron pan filled with fried potatoes, mixed vegetables, and topped with two fried eggs. I had the bratwurst with fried potatoes and mushroom sauce.
The food was decent, but the meal was spoiled when the previously polite waiter wanted us to pay in cash and looked offended when we asked if we could pay by card. He reluctantly got the card reader machine and then as he handed over the receipt he said pointedly that “the tip is not included”. I assume he must have mistaken us for Americans and assumed we’d be leaving a big tip. But we’re well aware that Germans don’t normally tip and had not been intending to do so. So we left quickly, a sour taste in our mouths.
I stopped at a gelato bar across the square to get a cup with scoops of pomegranate and lemon gelato. Then we walked back to our hotel for the night.