Four years ago, I went to Berlin for three days. During that time, I slept, literally ran from museum to museum, and got horribly ill from the awful weather. It was not a true German experience like I remember from my childhood. My weekend in Cologne was. It was such a lovely, relaxing, and delicious two days. Three other ICTY interns went with me and stayed at the Hilton. We made our plans so late, it was actually cheaper to stay there than most hostels. Poor us. King-sized fluffy beds and a killer gym and sauna.
The city of Cologne was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. The Cathedral or "Dom" is the center right next to the train station, and our hotel was conveniently located two blocks from it. The entire surrounding area is shops and restaurants. We missed out on shopping because we overlooked the fact that the whole city basically shuts down on Sundays. But schnitzel, beer, and pastries make everything in life happy.
We had three authentic German meals in our two days: at a beer hall, tavern, and a beer garden. In between, there was lots and lots of walking around, just absorbing everything we could about the town. Before our late train home to Den Haag on Sunday, we had reached our limit on German food and fell back on the always reliable Italian food. Altogether, a great weekend.