Monday, 17 November 2008

Cologne again

This is my first attempt at mobile blogging. Not that I'll be publishing this while on the road. Just writing it. Much the same as taking notes, really. Except that I'll be able to read it later.
We're sitting in the ICE in Cologne Hauptbahnhof, hoping we've got on the right bit of the train. It splits here. Can't recall where the other bit goes. Not Amsterdam, so it's pretty academic. As the reservation display says “Köln A.dam C”, I feel pretty confident. Not totally, but pretty.
It's been a funny old day. Dolores has caught the nasty stomach thing that makes you burp like crazy and feel like shit. We've all had it. My bout was on a workday. As was Andrew's. Lucky us. Not so much fun when you get it on a fun day.
Far less shopping for Dolores. She didn't feel like walking around much. We spent most of the day in the pub. Not such a disaster for me, I guess. Who am I kidding? It was an almost perfect day. Full of Kölsch, sausages and bratkartoffeln (so much healthier than chips). I squeezed in a last sausage just before the train pulled in. You have to love a country where you can buy beer and bratwurst on the platform.
We are on the right bit of the train. Unless the conductor's seriously confused. He's just announced that we're heading for Amsterdam.
Two pubs. Where we spent the day. Not just one. Peter's Brauhaus and Fruh. Despite the tiny measures, I didn't spend long nursing a lonely thirst. The waiters had me sussed as a pisshead straight off and kept up a steady stream of fresh beers. Very important when the beer is sub-4% and comes in 20cl glasses.
I was a bit worried in Fruh. The barrels were suspiciously new and large. The oak still yellow and smooth instead of pitted and grey, the hoops shiny, not rusty. I'm a naturally suspicious type. Change is usually for the worse. Had they swapped to fake barrels like Fässla? The beer tasted fine, but I'd already had 8 or 9 in Peter's.
I was relieved when I saw the barrels chocked up. Not sure if I've captured that in a photo. Though I did get a couple of good ones. I'd wondered about the dim nature of photos taken in poor light with my new camera. I'd meant to read the manual, but you know how it is. I spend half my life reading brewing manuals. It sort of fills my manual reading quota.
I should have known how to solve the problem. Just let Andrew fiddle around with buttons. He soon worked it out. And how to get it to focus on my glass of beer rather than a random bit of the background.. I'm so glad I had kids. They're great at working out all the technical stuff I can't be bothered to.
That's about it. I'll spare you the exact details of my sausages. That information is for Dolores alone. Quite a dull trip, really. I wonder if Lexie fancies a trip to the buffet for some vodka?


Tim said...

I see you took a trip to Meister Bock - the original home of the Currywurst machine that can both spice and slice your sausage at the same time!
I was banned on wikipedia for championing the Meister Bock article which has saddly been deleted - dispite all my attempts to make it 'notable'.

Lew Bryson said...

Köln, dammit...the general financial insecurity has pretty much led me to give up on returning this spring. Can you talk more about that constant stream of little beers, and the sausages, and the waiters, and all that stuff I miss? And then could you go to Düsseldorf and tell me--er, us about that, too?

Tandleman said...

Got me going has that. I'm off to Cologne 3 weeks today. Mind you, with the arse falling out of the pound..................

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, indeed, with the current level of the pound, holiday in the UK are something affordable again for us continentals... :o>

By the way, Tandleman, I guess you've heard that mythical Cologne Kneipe Lommi has reopened last March (on Siegesstr., just south of Köln-Deutz station).
A watering hole to seek out, if you haven't found your way there already, is Haus Töller. Terrific, almost untouched 1900 interior. Päffgen on gravity, of course, and damn fine food to boot, better and cheaper than in old town tourist traps.
There's a few excellent pictures of it and some background here :

Prosit !


Ron Pattinson said...

Tim. I meant to buy a sausage at Meister Bock, but the queue was too long. Had to make do with one from the buffet on the platform.

Those bastards on wp. Meister Bock not notable? Unbelievable.

Lew, I'm so lucky living just a train ride away from Cologne. And living in the eurozone.

Zythophile said...

Groucho Marx said it all on the subject of children and technology, in Duck Soup:

“Why this is so simple, a four-year-old child could figure it out! Someone run out and get me a four-year-old child – I can’t make heads or tales of it ...”

Tandleman said...

Laurent. Thanks for the reminder about Lommi. I knew it but might have overlooked it without the reminder.

Haus Töller is superb. I spent a few hours there a couple of years ago and we had a quick tour round by the owner/manager. There is a huge room at the back which is quite hidden. A classic boozer indeed.

Elektrolurch said...

meister bock?....
i always bought my currywurst at nehring imbiss near the university when i used to live near cologne....
by the way, you never made it to schreckenskammer.. right? one of my favorite places in cologne for beer, alongside braustelle which has improved pretty much over the last years -their alt became pretty decent and they now have bottled strong beers.