Chocolate in Cologne

______I've been living in Germany for just over six weeks now and after an extended 'settling in' period, I'm definitely feeling the need to travel. That's what a year abroad is all about, right? As much as I love staying in and enjoying the town I'm in, it's all too easy to find yourself getting a bit too comfortable and not utilizing the perks of the Erasmus life (i.e. lots of free time, a generous grant and friends located just about everywhere). As my boyfriend was visiting for the week, I thought I'd use the opportunity to take a trip to Cologne. 

Although we were too early for the legendary Cologne Christmas markets, it's easy to take in the beauty of this gorgeous city. We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel which is great for access to the train station and has stylish rooms. As you can tell from the photos below, the main attraction in Cologne is the cathedral and it makes a stunning skyline. On the bridge over the River Rhein, couples leave lockets and I think it's a lovely tradition. 

After we 'happened to pass' Zara (and I did a little spending damage), we headed to the Lindt chocolate museum, as you might expect from the title of this post! It was a lot of fun to learn about the origins of the cocoa bean, (they aren't harvested by Oompa Loompa's apparently!) the production of chocolate, the fair trade movement, chocolate packaging and modern marketing. My favourite new fact about chocolate is that 40 years ago, there was a popular product called 'Katzenzungen', which translates as cat tongues. The chocolates are shaped like a tongue and the packaging is covered in images of cats. Big fan.

We decided we were too tired to check out the nightlife in Cologne so I can't comment my thoughts on any cool German bars but we did go to an interesting restaurant called 'Burgerlich'. After noticing a lack of waiter service, we discovered electronic screens hidden in the table to order food and drinks. It might be the future of eating out; who knows? 

Overall, I'd definitely recommend Cologne for a mini break, it's very romantic and I can't even imagine how magical it is at Christmas time. Thanks for reading!

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