Cologne. Right. So I headed out from Brussels (or Bruxelles) by train and I got in the centre of the city in about 2 hours (1:50hs to be precise). The city blew my mind for 2 main reasons: quiet and quiet. Day and night when I walked around the city, on the riverwalk, in the centre, in parks, by the electric scooter, literally everywhere was very quiet and peaceful. Don’t get me wrong – there were enough people strolling the streets, tourists spending maybe nights only for a change, artists looking for new sources of inspirations etc. Most of the people look very young and that was odd given the quiet setting everwhere. I guess the reason why I am seeing it odd is that I am not really used to hear me breathing whilst walking most of the time haha.
Booked my AirBnB on the train and realised when I got in that I was sharing with someone. Tbh, I have never done it before for I thought it would be a bit weird to share the room with someone that I don’t know beforehand and things might go awkward. But it was the complete opposite. Really. I meet this nice German guy, Valentin, a student in the States with a schoolship in semi-pro tennis league with a super chill and friendly attitude eager to find more about people experiences and stories. That was insta-match: me loving to talk a look, him being a good listener, we got along pretty well I’d say. What can go wrong with football, beers and poker tournaments? 3 beers and 1 hour later, got to bed and woke up early in the morning to explore the city.
I started off by taking e-scooters trips to different parts of the city. There were a couple of brands showing their scooters, so I ended up trying them all (downloaded apps, registered cc, accepted t&c’s etc). In total there were only 3 brands: Bird, Dott & Lime. Apologies if there were more, but those were the only ones I have seen.
The main reasons I have wanted to try them all is to see which one is faster, which one has the best area for parking and which one has the best deals for actually using it. Instead of writing a lot of content about the pros and cons of each one of them (which is not really relevant to this post), I would conclude with the winner: Lime. It’s a bit more expensive than the other ones (3cents more per minute – that’s 23cents per minute + 1 euro per activation), but the scooter itself starts instantly, you can find it internationally, and area, where you can ride it, is a bit larger than the other 2. Plus, they are not that restrictive in terms of parking and photo-prooving every parking position. Another plus is that you will find that brand pretty much everywhere so that if you are a group of travellers you can all get the same brand and explore the city at high speed (aprox 25km/h – goes up to 20km/h if you climb a hill).
Here you can see my itinerary for the day.
- Old Town
- Cologne Cathedral
- Great St Martin Church
- Hohenzollern Bridge
Great St Martin Church