Münster to Köln - 9/3 to 9/6 / by Anthony Brooks

Apologies to all as I've been without any reliable Wi-Fi signal for the past few days and didn't really want to type out any blog posts on my phone (I'm a rather competent speller but my phone's autocorrect makes me look like a blundering fool). So I've waited and worked on other things in the mean time. Such as... drawing and some sightseeing. 

When we ended last, I was still in Muenster. My quick thoughts in summary-form of that city: it's a great place with a quaint, old-timey feel though I don't know if it's worth more than one visit. I guess if you'd like a quiet place to settle down, it's fantastic. Otherwise, see it and be on your way. Those are my thoughts; that's all. 

From there, I gave hitchhiking another shot, though at what I thought was a better location. I'm not sure what it is with me and my luck. Perhaps it's simply impatience. In Iceland, I was offered a ride without even trying the first time, a ride within 10 minutes the second time, and then the first time I attempted to hitch a ride in Germany I was offered multiple ride in no time (though all in the wrong direction). But man, that last time in Muenster... I just had zero luck. It was a great location. As in, at a petrol station RIGHT before the freaking autobahn with my direction as the only way to go. I was sure that it was fail-proof! But alas, I was there for nearly 4 hours before saying screw it and using my one-punch-left bus ticket to get back to the train station. I guess some would call me a quitter for that lol. Oh well, there's always next time. 

Since taking that train to Köln and then on to Euskirchen where I'm staying, I've taken a rather low stance. I was pushed to try out my liver with German drinkers the first night (and I failed... miserably. German: 1 Anthony:0). The second day was spent recovering and working on my German in an attempt to distract myself from my now-mild headache. The following day (yesterday) I got to go out with my friend, Margot, who is hosting me at her flat. As a local who's grown up in Euskirchen (which is a short ride from Köln) she knows the ins and outs of the area and was able to show me places that otherwise I wouldn't have known existed. We went to an old village with the original protective wall still intact (many were destroyed in WWII) and a small castle on the high grounds. The classic German buildings kind of took me back to a simpler time. A time of shop keepers and lehman. As with my couchsurfing experience, this was a rather nice change. I do, however, wish that they hadn't painted some of the buildings in such bright and vibrant colors as I KNOW they wouldn't have been that way originally. Paint was and still is an expensive commodity, but with villagers, a brightly-painted facade would have been a ridiculous idea that few if any could afford. We also went and saw the ruins of another castle which had been hit in the war. It was serene, to say the least. 

After that, I went and received my first commissioned piece of artwork of the trip! A family portrait done in charcoal! To say that I'm excited and accepting of the challenge would be an understatement. Anyways, that's how I spent much of my day yesterday: drawing. And today, I've been wandering around Köln gathering art supplies, some replacement pants (for the pair that I ripped the back of), and taking 360° photos of the inside of the Kölner Dom (cathedral). It's an amazing place. So much detail and such a vast interior! Awe-inspiring is the first term to come to mind Go HERE and be sure to look UP!  I think that that's all that I've really been up to, though I'm 99.9999% sure that I'm missing something. 

Either way, that's all for now. I'll include some sketches from the past few days, a peek at the portrait that I'm working on, and some other photos (below) as well as something I saw in a bakery earlier. Bees! 

Let me know any thoughts/ feedback and/or places that you've been to near Köln (Cologne) that you think I should visit! If nothing else, I hope you get something out of these blogs, sketches, photos! 

As Ron Burgundy says, "Stay classy, San Diego" and as Red Green says, "Keep your stick on the ice".