We did a bit more walking around the city to kill time because the flight out wasn’t until about 8:00pm.
Boarding the plane, we found out quickly that Ukrainians do not have the same concept as a personal bubble. It wasn’t very pleasant. They didn’t line up in a queue at all. They were rushing like they were afraid the plane would leave without them. I can understand the reasoning behind it, considering they were under communism and they had to rush to get food and supplies. But times have changed, they’re no longer under communism.
We got to Kiev fairly late, almost midnight. It was a pain to get through their customs, due to the amount of time they took with each one and not having enough booths open to check.
We got a taxi outside of the airport to take us to the hostel. Taxi cabs in Kiev do not have seatbelts in the back seats, seriously. Out of all of the cities we had been in, Kiev is the one with the need for seatbelts because people here do not know how to drive. On the way to the hostel we saw a wreck at the other side of the road involving a semi and a car. Lets just say the person from the car was on the road in pieces.
We took a bullet train out to Dusseldorf today, it only took about a half-hour or so to get there from Cologne.
The train station wasn’t near the center of the city, so we had a mile or two walk to the center, which is where all of the points of interest were. It was still fairly early once we got there so we walked the riverside seeing what all was there.
We stopped at the Dusseldorf museum and went through it. Unfortunately we found out that most of the attractions in the city shutdown on Mondays. The only reason that the museum was open was due to some political media thing going on.
We walked around the city for a good amount of time. We even found a couple Japanese stores in one area of town. I was a bit disappointed because I didn’t find any weird Japanese things in there. We took the bullet train back to Cologne.
Tomorrow evening we leave for Kiev.
Today we walked around the city more. We visited a Cologne history museum. Really other than that, there wasn’t really anything exciting. Cologne can definitely be done in 2 days.
Tomorrow we take a day trip out to Dusseldorf.
Once we arrived in Cologne yesterday, we were going to walk to the hostel, but the hostel was atleast two miles away and the map we had wasn’t exactly the best. We ended up flagging a taxi to get to the hostel. The hostel is a fairly nice hostel, similar to the hostel we stayed at in London.
We spent most of the day doing laundry and catching up on sleep.
For dinner we stopped at a German restaurant that was a block or two from the hostel. The served a lot of German specialties. I decided to try blutwurst (aka blood sausage or blood pudding) served with mashed potatoes, cooked onions, and apple sauce. The look of the blutwurst is basically of a steak, but that is where the similarities end. There is a unique texture to it when you bite into it, it’s not whole like you’re biting into a piece of meat. It has a really good taste to it as well, if you can get past the fact one of the ingredients was blood it is worth a taste.
Today we got up and began our trek around the city. We walked back down to the cathedral, which is literally right next to the train station. This cathedral is simply amazing when you consider the size of it and that it was finished over 300 years ago. The pictures I’ve seen of the cathedral simply do not do it justice.
We continued our walk around the city and ended up back at the hostel around mid-afternoon. We still wanted to go to the chocolate museum, but we couldn’t find it in our first trip. Later in the day we made another walk back down to the river, which isn’t far from the cathedral.
After a lot of looking we found the museum. There’s not a lot to say about the museum other than chocolate is also made there. From the sample of the chocolate I tried there, I can say it’s probably the best tasting chocolate I’ve had.
After the museum we grabbed some dinner and walked back to the hostel.
Our train wasn’t leaving until about 6:30pm, but we had to check out of the hotel room by 10:00am. We stored our luggage with the hotel and walked around the city with no set agenda except to buy some souvenirs and see some stuff we hadn’t seen before.
We had a late lunch at a local Italian eatery and headed back to the hotel with hours to kill. We basically hung out in the hotel bar/lobby for several hours. We took a taxi out to the train station. The train station wasn’t very helpful, information-wise. All of the information booths we were finding were closed. We finally found a place to get information regarding the train out of there.
The train ride was an all-nighter, it took us out of Czech Republic and to Cologne, in the northwestern section of Germany. For the most part I enjoyed the train ride except for the pair of people who joined the cabin around 1:00am somewhere in Germany. We had already been asleep at that point and had to move some stuff to make room for their luggage.
We arrived in Cologne around 6:30am.