Welcome to part two of my European quadrilogy. Continuing the journey in Europe, I acquired travel to Germany. While being in Germany I had plans of staying in two different hotels in two major cities, Bonn and Munich. Although those are the two main cities to stay in, I went on additional excursions to a handful of other places while on my sojourn. Before arriving, I took a five hour bus ride from Paris to Bonn. The bus ride involved traveling through many areas of France, into Belgium, and the Northwestern side of Germany.
Part IIA. Bonn, Germany
Luckily, on time of arrival I was able to run up to the hotel room and drop off my luggage. It makes a substantial difference when a hotel is ahead of their own schedule with rooms and guest turnover. I stayed at the Hotel Consul Bonn. The hotel was tucked away in a back alley, ok, sketchy. At the time, the lobby of the hotel was under renovations, which is probably why we got as good of a deal as we did on the rooms. With first impressions considered, there was nothing going for the relationship between the Consul and me. The rooms were simple, but had decently pretty views of the neighboring streets of permanent residents. I stayed in what was called an “antique wood double room.” We were served breakfast everyday; it was subpar, but did the job.
After unloading luggage and carry-ons, it was about 3:00 in the early evening. One travel mate, Josh, had been to Germany several times and was fluent in speaking the language. He knew exactly where to go in finding great German comfort food. We went to a local kebab place to get a meal to go. I was recommended to get a döner box which included shaved meat, french fries, and topped with tzatziki sauce. The döner box was, by far, the most comforting food I ate in Germany.
Since I was with a group of students through the university, we had plans of meeting a class of German students. The first thing we were to do with the German students was to break up in small groups and get a tour of Bonn, Germany. It was quite quaint, but charming.
Later in the evening, I ate at a restaurant called Gesindehaus for my first German sit-down meal. Of course the only version of the menu was written in German, so I had to get an interpreter that spoke English. For dinner my meal consisted of wiener schnitzel, which is a piece of pork served with french fries and a side salad. The meal was mediocre; I guess Germany isn’t very popular for their cuisine. The trend for the rest of the time traveling in Germany would be very subpar food.
The next day in Bonn I got the pleasure to tour Deutsche Post DHL Group, a German multinational package delivery and supply chain management company. DHL is the largest world’s courier company. The first thing I noticed when walking in the 40 floor building was a massive green “O” on the wall. This wall was to represent the direct path of going green and saving the environment within their company. The DHL headquarters was the largest building in Germany outside of Frankfort and has a glass elevator which goes at a speed of six meters per second.
For dinner I got together with a small group to browse the options the city had to offer. This is when I realized how confusing it was to navigate a small city, such as Bonn. After walking around for several minutes we found a restaurant, a healthy eating burger bar, that looked intriguing from the outside. The name of the joint was Hans Im Glück Burgergrill & Bar. The inside of the restaurant was designed with dismantled trees and other intricate decor. Our waitress spoke to us in German when we got seated, gave use German menus, and we assumed that there was going to be a language barrier. We decided that Google translate would be our best friend. About fifteen minutes into sitting down the waitress realized we were English speakers reading a German menu. Come to find out she had English menus and spoke broken English! After receiving the menus, it was smooth sailing and the restaurant ended up providing the best meal I had in Germany.
Let us go on a boat, please! After taking a tour of a university, we went on a ferry ride down the Rhine River to Drachenfels, or in English, Dragon Rock. We took a trolley up a very steep hill. Once arriving to the top, the views were beautiful. For the rest of the evening, we went out to the city of Cologne with our trusty German guides.
The following day, the German students took us back to Cologne to experience it during the day as opposed to nightlife. We went to a 360-sky view of the city, walked across the love lock bridge, went to a gorgeous cathedral, and finished the day off with a meal apart from the group. I got yet another German meal called bratwurst; This dish included a cooked sausage, sauerkraut, and potatoes.
To end our trip in Bonn, Germany we had a goodbye cookout with our German friends. The students brought us to a public park and cooked us a meal consisting of sausage, grilled cheese, chicken, and drinks. They brought us yard games, tables, and chairs. We left Bonn knowing that we would be seeing them again in August; It wasn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later.
I was in Bonn the longest out of any other cities I traveled to during my European trip. There was a certain type of comfort in Bonn from the hospitality of people, the culture, and small-city life. I genuinely enjoyed Bonn and I look forward to going back and visit. Want to journey with me? Stay tuned for Destination: Probably Munich, Germany.