† Arriving in ✙ Cologne ✙ Köln †

Good morning everyone!!
Does this picture look familiar somehow…?
Well..if you’ve been faithfully following us on our travels around Europe – I’m pretty sure you’ll know what I’m talking about! 😉
A beautiful morning, we were blessed with a wonderful morning
After spending the night in Heidleberg previously, we woke up early today to a great morning, blessed with great weather too!!
(Interested? Check out our visit to Heidelberg, yesterday. Links above!) 
Today, we go to Cologne!!
It took us just about a 2hrs30mins drive from Heidelberg.
At the rest stop: Coffee, sandwiches & donuts for our tummies, oil for the vehicle!
We’re on our way there, almost about to reach…
Arriving in Cologne, Germany
Arriving in Cologne
And here we are, finally!
Street buskers & performers line the streets of Cologne
Trust me when I say this beautiful city left me in shock.
There’s nothing bad about that, really…in fact, it’s a good thing!!
So what’s it all about??
Here in cologne, I was amazed to see how much the shopping streets look almost identical to Shinjuku-dori, in Tokyo – Japan!
The pictures here were taken during the day. However…come nightfall when lights start to flicker on and the street starts basking in it’s glow, city shining neon in the dark – the similarities become even more obvious.
Flanked by tall buildings on both sides that contain megamalls inside, the “Cramped alleyways“, become even more cramped as the shops at street level of these malls extend onto the pathways of the aforementioned “Cramped alleys” – both left & right! 
This is a very common sight in Japan.
There is even a Muji and H&M in these “Cramped Alleys“…in roughly the same location of the layout in Shinjuku-dori too.
I never ever get homesick on holidays as I’ve always loved immersing myself in the different cultures the place has to offer. However, the moment I stepped into this “Shinjuku-dori” in Cologne of Germany…it actually felt good.
It was like home-away-from-home!
With this and without further ado.. 
We now begin this post today in Germany!!
Cologne, Germany
Cologne is situated on the river Rhine in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in Germany with over one million inhabitants.
In fact, Cologne is located on BOTH sides of the Rhine River, mentioned above.
 The city’s famous Cologne Cathedral – “Kölner Dom”; is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne.
(“Kölner Dom” will be a story for another day tomorrow!)
It is one of the nation’s media, tourism and business hotspots add all those up and this is how Cologne is now known to be one of the most liberal cities in Germany.
No city can and should be divided from its history – taking a look at Cologne, the roots can be found almost 2000 years ago when Cologne was still in the hands of the Romans and called “Colonia Claudia Ara Aggrippinensium”, making it one of the oldest cities in Germany.
Present day Cologne
The distinctive flavor to the city of Cologne is often linked to the city’s inhabitants, or Kölsche, who take an enormous amount of pride in their city.
In general, older people in Cologne tend to have little or no knowledge of English, while younger Germans and those working in the business world tend to be reasonably proficient.
Cologne was a traditionally Ripuarian-speaking city, though this has mostly been replaced by German, which is now the main language of the city as of now, this is Germany after all…right? 
But even with German being the primary language of this city, it is very easy to find information in French and English, also sometimes in Spanish and Japanese. 
Probably due to a large number of immigrants, Persian, Turkish, Polish and Russian are also widely spoken. 
For tourists who speak German and wish to practice it, the citizens usually have a lot of patience with those trying to come to grips with the language. 
Cologne’s citizens are very friendly and jovial people, welcoming tourists of all types and with all interests.
(That above, is another similarity in common we have in common – back in Japan!)
Add all these together and language here is rarely a strong barrier, so this shouldn’t be too much of a worry for the average tourist.
We’ll usually just approach a friendly native using a happy smile on our faces!
I personally felt that visitors wishing to explore areas far away from the central city should plan their journey ahead before leaving, to avoid any unnecessary mess-ups later on which can cause terrible consequences.
All-in-all, Cologne is a really accessible, convenient and (I cannot leave this out) BEAUTIFUL city to visit!!
It was very impressive indeed!
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St. Andreas Dominikanerkirche
(St. Andrew’s Church)
St. Andrew’s  is a 10th-century Romanesque church located in the old town of Cologne, Germany. It is one of twelve churches built in Cologne in that period. Archbishop Gero then consecrated the church in 974, dedicating it to St. Andrew, although an earlier church at the site was dedicated to St. Matthew.
In the 12th century, the church was rebuilt in the Romanesque style, and was probably completed after the great fire of Cologne in 1220.
In the crypt of the church lies a Roman sarcophagus from the 3rd century, which holds the remains of the 13th-century theologian and natural philosopher: St. Albertus Magnus.
St. Mariä Himmelfahrt
(Church of the Assumption)
The Catholic parish church of St. Assumption was after the cathedral for a long time the largest church in Cologne , is one of the few remaining architectural remains of the Baroque in the city. 
Located on the former College Marzellenstraße near the Cathedral Church of the Jesuits, it was designed by Christoph Wamser. This church was St. Assumption as a direct model.
The first foundation stone was laid 1618. In 1629 it was finally put into use and was eventually completed in the year 1678. 
In the Second World War, the church was destroyed mostly all the way up to the perimeter. 
In the years from 1949 to 1979, the church was finally restored to its original glory. 
Feeling curious as to where we started our road trip?
Click the links below to take you to the very beginning!

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About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: JoshuaHideki.com ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

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