Carnival in Köln...a ton of people dressed up and a lot of fun!
Saturday: This morning we met up with our CAM and SGT Mex at 0700 in the morning, well we were supposed to meet at 0700…we ended up getting there around 0710. We had to swing by the ATM and also didn't quite get out of the house as early as planned. This was not a big issue because it took our CAM and her mom a bit longer to get ready as well. We all piled in her truck for the trip. First stop…the gas station, then we ended up heading back to our CAM's house because they forgot to turn off the coffee pot! D'oh! I don't think we ended up leaving until about 0830…LOL.
We are heading to check out the carnival festival in Köln. They really celebrate all week, with different events going on each day. Unfortunately because we actually have to work on the weekdays, we couldn't check any of the other stuff out. We wanted to leave early so there would be no issues with traffic or finding a parking spot downtown. Upon arrival, we headed downtown and right away we saw numerous people in costume. It seems Saturday is just a day to walk around the town in costume and party. It was pretty cool people watching and checking out the occasional procession of folks in costume. We grabbed lunch from a vendor…I can't ever pass up a good bratwurst with mustard. There were groups all dressed the same and playing music as they went along, sort of like a marching band. I'm not sure exactly what was going on, but we followed a few of them and ended up in a square. At this point the place was packed and if you bought a glass for 5 euro, you could drink all the beer you wanted…what a deal! There was a lot of music and people everywhere! It was a pretty cool experience.
A full day of walking around the city and taking in the sites and the people left us pretty tired. We tried to see the chocolate museum, but it was closed for renovations. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, kind of funny to travel to a German city, participate in their festival, only to have American food. It just sounded good to everyone though, and it was nice to get off our feet for a while. We took our time, ate, drank, and socialized. We ended up heading home at around 1930. A good day all in all.
Sunday: We enjoyed what has started to become our typical Sunday…sleep in, stay home, do laundry, watch a lot of TV shows or movies. We were able to chat with family and friends back home. It is nice to take a day on the weekend and just do nothing, especially when you do so much the day before.
A few more pictures of our day trip to Carnival in Köln: