An afternoon in Köln

Köln

Köln

Germany probably would be number 2 in our top 10 list of countries we love to visit. (Italy is number 1 and Switzerland is number 3) First of all everything is in order. No hassle of people, not much traffic, clean and tiny, no complicated parking signs, nice nature, nice history (to some extend), nice palaces and museums to visit, nice restaurants, nice outdoor activities and nice cars (which is probably the most important for the boys of my family) with less speed limit.

I have told about how we got our brand new 740 in my previous posts. So after about an hour from the airport, we were in the center of Köln, parked our car and ready to explore this typical European town. You know what I mean by “typical” right? A river, a church, an “altermarkt” and lots of old buildings. Sounds like very boring, but this is exactly what we love in the old towns of Europe. Just to walk on old stone roads, people watch activity in cafes and walk lazily, between the shops, all of which were possible in this Saturday afternoon of Köln.

I had been to Köln twice before, for business purposes, so I knew exactly what we could do. After visiting the Dom, (Not difficult to find, as you can imagine), we did a short walk following the crowd of people, which as we guessed took us a nice shopping street. Than we headed to the altermarkt and  walked down by the river of Rhein with some stops at interesting parks like this:

Köln

Walking by the river Rhein

After exploring around a few hours with some summer rains, it was time for a late lunch/early dinner, so we just stopped at one of the many cafes overlooking the river shores, name Bierhaus am Rhein, found a table at the balcony of the upper floor, and enjoyed our meals together with sunset.

After lunch/dinner, we headed to our hotel at Unkel, which was another hour drive from Köln and settled in our room at Rheinhotel Schultz which will be the subject of my next post.

A road trip with a brand new BMW 740

Köln

Köln

2 years ago, a 10 days trip to the Rhein and Mosel rivers of Germany and than further North to Utrecht, Amsterdam and Antwerp was the highlight of our summer. Today I want to start to tell some about the Germany part of the trip. The Holland part will be coming in the following days.

You probably already know my dear followers that we love to rent our car on our holidays and do some road trips freely. This trip we made in 2011 was really one of the best, as it included two of our favorite countries, Germany and Holland. But moreover, the main hero of the trip was our car.

People renting a car quite often may know that sometimes (well quite often) the rent a car agent do not have the car you require in their hand and they provide a car similar to it. That’s fine. But sometimes (very rarely) they provide a car that is one grade upper than you paid for. Well, you be happy than. But sometimes (that’s very rarely) they give a car that’s much more than you paid for. And sometimes (That’s really maybe once in a lifetime) This super car is a brand new one. So you probably understood the point.

BMW 740 just 6 km

BMW 740 just 6 km

It was the end of August, when we got off our plane at Köln airport. Passport control, luggage waiting, search for the Sixt office is the routine. Than the lady in the office said that they do not have a 5 series that we asked for. OK… and that they will give 7 series. OK OK OK OK. And the routine goes on, find the car, get the luggage in the trunk, check the car and WHAT? A 740 just 6 km old, ours for 10 long and long days of driving, on the autobahns of Germany that has no speed limit. This is a bulls eye right?

Feeding our dear car

Feeding our dear car

Next: An afternoon in Köln and our hotel by the Rhein river.