After a (relatively) late night last night, I was in bed by midnight.

4 1/2 hours later I woke up having to pee.   You know, that annoying trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I tried to go back to sleep but my awesome silicone earplugs just weren’t a match for the two snorers in the room.

So, I sat in bed for a bit trying as best I could to fall back asleep.

It just wasn’t happening.

Well, if I’m up after 4am and it’s Canucks playoff season, guess there’s just one thing to do…

Game Two!

As I mentioned the other day, the Canucks play their games in the wee hours of the morning and today the game was on between 4am and 7am.

So, at 5am, unable to go back to sleep, I flipped open my laptop, plugged in my headphones, and watched the game from my bed in a dark dorm room.

Go Canucks Go!

My philosophy with the playoffs is that if I happen to be up when the games are playing, I’ll watch them but I’m not going to go out of my way to set an alarm in the wee hours of the morning to see the game.

Anyway, when I tuned into Game 1, the Canucks scored two goals immediately and went on to win the game.

Naturally I told anyone who would listen that I was indeed the good luck charm the team needed and I was the reason they won.

Well, um, never mind.   I might have been wrong about that.

I tuned in at the first intermission to find us trailing 1-0 and then I watched us go down 2-0 and then 3-0 and, well, we ended up losing 4-1 so, yeah, guess I wasn’t the good luck charm after all.

By the time the game ended it was 7am and I was still pretty tired.

I had had a couple of long exhausting days filled with a lot of walking and I was ready to go back to sleep.

At 9:15 I jolted out of bed.

There was no time to waste!

I had to get ready, pack, grab breakfast, and head to train station in the next 45 minutes.

So, after doing all that and grabbing yet another free that shouldn’t be free breakfast buffet, we were checked out and on our way to our next destination.

All aboard!

We walked over to the train station in the light rain and over to platform 10 where the train would be arriving.

The train app shows you what section of the platform the second class train cars are so we walked all the way down the platform to where they would be.

The train arrived and we got on and found some seats.

Only to find out we were on the wrong train.

Turns out they switched our platforms at the last minute and I made the rookie mistake of just boarding the train that was arriving without matching the train number on the LED signage with the one we were supposed to travel on.

Luckily we found out our mistake before the train departed and were able to quickly disembark and walk all the way back down our platform over to the next one and then all the way down that platform.

We boarded with only a couple of minutes to spare and were soon on our way.

This would be one of our longer train journeys on our trip at almost 4 1/2 hours so I used the time to catch up on my blog from yesterday and watch some YouTube videos.

Thanks free DB Bahn wifi!

To tour or not to tour

We pulled into Cologne and arrived at our new hostel at just after 3pm.

The plan for today?

Well, nothing really.

And that was by design.

There is a walking tour that runs at noon and at 4pm.   I had originally planned for us to go on the tour this afternoon but seeing as how I was yawning and almost falling asleep on the train, I decided it would probably be better if we just took it easy today and did everything tomorrow.

As I was taking a much needed shower, Shawn was asking the front desk about places where we could find toques and gloves.

When I got done, he had a handful of places to check out marked down.


Guess I’m going shopping this afternoon!

A touque and gloves

Again, for you non Canadians out there, a touque is a beanie or a knit cap.   It keeps your head and ears warm when it’s cold and windy out.

And boy, has it been cold and windy out this trip!

If you’ve been following my blogs then you’ll remember I started the trip unprepared with a normal light jacket and no gloves or hat.

A week ago I found a touque just lying on a ledge in Dresden that someone had obviously left behind and, a couple days later, Shawn graciously lent me his leather gloves.

And then, a couple days ago, I left all of that on a ferry in Hamburg.

So, yeah, here I was – back at square one.

Anyway, long story short (as if that’s a thing on this blog lol), I found a new touque (€14.50) and a new set of gloves (€3.50) that (hopefully) will take me to the end of this trip.

Ironically, it’s supposed to warm up dramatically in a couple of days from the current temperatures in the 4C-9C range to 17C-19C range.

But, hey, for now, my poor little ears and hands are happy to be bundled up again!

Reso?   Who needs a reso?!?

By now it was after 6pm and we were both starving.

There was a restaurant about a 15 minute metro ride away that I had marked on my map as serving German food with gluten free options available.

So, off we went…

We got off the metro stop and walked a few minutes in the drizzling rain and found a packed little restaurant.

We were told that not only were there a bunch of people waiting ahead of us but there were more reservations booked after that as well.

We could get a table but probably not for a couple of hours.

Oh, okay.

Well, on to plan B.

Now, this is something I’ve adapted into my traveling.

I didn’t use to have a plan B when it came to stuff like this and I’d end up walking around aimlessly looking for another place.

Not any more.

Plan B was a 20 minute walk but there was also a Plan C along the way so off we went yet again.

Oh, and I quickly reserved a table at Plan B just to make sure.

We stopped into the place on the way to Plan B only to find that they were expecting a large group momentarily that would basically fill up their tiny restaurant.

Alrighty then, off to Plan B it is!

Plan B was a large Italian restaurant named Mama.   Ironically, the place only had a handful of tables occupied and we could have easily been sat there without a reservation.

I was hungry and I was going all out tonight.

Three courses and some wine please!

I started with a Caprese Salad which is basically buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with a pesto oil.

Next was my main course of gluten free fusilli done in a carbonara sauce.

Oh.   My.   God!

Soooo good!

I’ve always been a huge fan of carbonara pastas so when I saw it on the menu I knew right away that was what I was going to have.

And for dessert?

Well, how about a little crème brulee to cleanse your palate?

Yeah, it was a good meal.

And that was the day.

A long train trip, some shopping, and a three course Italian meal in Germany naturally.

Germany Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Cologne, Germany
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