cheap trip to köln and bonn pt. 1


In total, Maarten and I spent only less than 200 Euros per person for our four-day-trip to Köln and Bonn. And that already included the musical instruments Maarten bought for our (almost imaginary since we rarely did anything for it) Skipping Salamander School music project. 

Maarten had a close friend who lived in Bonn, so we spent our nights in his apartment. We arrived on Saturday afternoon, leaving the cold and rainy Netherlands to (a bit sunnier) Köln. It was around 3 when we reached Köln, and the cathedral was filled with dehydrated backpackers. 

We then asked some information services (about which kind of ticket/pass that we should buy) until we finally decided to buy the VRS day ticket (so that we could travel throughout Köln and Bonn by any transportation mediums) for 21Euros/day. That’s for up to 5 persons, by the way. Still, even though there were only two of us, it was a very cheap ticket.

arriving in Köln

We went to Bonn, and arrived at Joost’s apartment at around 5. We had a short stroll around the neighbourhood; bought some food at the supermarket, bought two cones of ice cream at a very nice ice cream shop, and then went to the other side of the street to see the nearest u-bahn (underground) station to buy our day ticket for the next day.


 one of the best ice creams i had ever tasted
the two flavours here were orange and straciatella (yum!)

That evening Maarten made another sambal goreng telor, a recipe that he had been fond of making one for the last couple of weeks :p

sambal goreng telor a la maarten

The next day, unfortunately, I suffered from a really awful hay fever. I had trouble breathing a couple of times, and also I occasionally had some ‘sneeze attacks’ where I had this unstoppable series of sneezes. This led to a late departure of our journey to Köln that day (sorry Maarten!). We arrived in Köln at around 1, and then we had a short city tour. The city was almost completely empty, since it was Sunday and thus the shops were closed. So we returned to the main ‘touristy site’ (i.e. The cathedral and surrounding area) and went to Ludwig Museum, a modern art museum in the heart of the city. 

One big exhibition held at the museum that month was Kunst als Motiv, displaying works of Roy Liechtenstein. The museum displayed mostly his works from his early years struggling as an artist. So instead of the “Kiss V” or “The Crying Girl”, they had (for example) the “Tall Mountains” — based on Japanese vertical paintings, and those which resembled famous paintings like those by Picasso and Matisse. Using magna paints, he managed to make a smooth colouring for the dots, with the help of stencils. 

the flyer of Kunst als Motiv exhibition

Although I don’t really like Roy Liechtenstein’s or some other pop art artist (or should I say pop artist? But that would be rather ambiguous), I found some of Liechtenstein’s work were really nice. I particularly like “Still Life with Goldfish Bowl and Painting of a Golf Ball” (1972). 

However, the dots in his paintings made me rather dizzy, especially after staring at the lot of them for a few minutes. It was like as if it had those kinds of optical illusion effect that at some point hypnotise you. 

The next big (temporary) exhibition was the Russian Avant Garde. Most of them were abstract paintings led by Kazimir Malevich.

pdf file of the flyer

One very nice piece artwork that was actually not a part of temporary exhibitions (so it was a permanent collection of the museum) was the Yves Klein Blue. 

Yves Klein Blue (or also known as the International Klein Blue) is a deep blue hue developed by French artist Yves Klein. The painting was basically just this deep blue colour on a canvas. 

Yves Klein Blue

Apart from that, I couldn’t keep my eyes off Mondriaan’s “Tableau I, with Black, Red, Yellow, Blue and Pale Blue”. Yes, went all the way to Köln, and all I was impressed by was Mondriaan’s. There were also some works by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (photograms), Dali, and Picasso. Ludwig Museum had the biggest collection on Picasso, but I somehow lost interest in Picasso’s paintings few years ago.

Piet Mondriaan
Tableau I, with Black, Red, Yellow, Blue and Pale Blue
(1921)

Anyway, the rain poured down like cats and dogs when we were inside the museum. And we saw one of the nicest view: the rainwater spewed out of the gargoyles’ mouths. 

Luckily the rain stopped when we stepped out of the museum. So we had another stroll through the city.

That evening we planned to make soto ayam for Joost, but due to our lack of experience as a traveller, we completely forgot that no no shop was open on Sundays. Not even a supermarket 😦 

So instead we went to a restaurant in Bonn for a dinner 🙂

more photos can be found here

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